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The GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) certification validates a practitioner’s knowledge of information security beyond simple terminology and concepts. GSEC certification holders are demonstrating that they are qualified for hands-on IT systems roles with respect to security tasks.

Who is GSEC for?

  • Active defense, defense in depth, access control & password management
  • Cryptography: basic concepts, algorithms and deployment, and application
  • Defensible network architecture, networking & protocols, and network security
  • Incident handling & response, vulnerability scanning and penetration testing
  • Security policy, contingency plans, critical controls and IT risk management
  • Web communication security, virtualization and cloud security, and endpoint security
  • Windows: access controls, automation, auditing, forensics, security infrastructure, & securing network services
  • Requirements

  • Anyone new to information security who has some background in information systems & networking
  • Security professionals
  • Security managers
  • Operations personnel
  • IT engineers and supervisors
  • Security administrators
  • Forensic analysts
  • Penetration testers
  • Auditors
  • Exam Certification Objectives & Outcome Statements

    The topic areas for each exam part follow:

    Access Control & Password Management
    The candidate will understand the fundamental theory of access control and the role of passwords in managing access control.
    Active Defense
    The candidate will demonstrate a high-level understanding of what Active Defense is and the tools, methods, and techniques needed to utilize it effectively.
    Contingency Plans
    The candidate will understand the critical aspect of contingency planning with a business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan
    Critical Controls
    The candidate will understand the purpose, implementation, and background of the Critical Security Controls
    The candidate will have a basic understanding of the concepts of cryptography, including a high-level understanding of the major types of cryptosystems and steganography.
    Cryptography Algorithms & Deployment
    The candidate will have a basic understand of the mathematical concepts that contribute to cryptography and identify commonly used symmetric, asymmetric, and hashing cryptosystems.
    Cryptography Application
    The candidate will have a high-level understanding of the use, functionality, and operation of VPNs, GPG, and PKI
    Defense in Depth
    The candidate will understand what defense in depth is and an identify the key areas of security and demonstrate the different strategies for implementing effective security within an organization.
    Defensible Network Architecture
    The candidate will demonstrate how to architect a network to be monitored and controlled to resist intrusion.
    Endpoint Security
    The candidate will demonstrate a basic understanding of the function and uses of endpoint security devices, such as endpoint firewalls, HIDS, and HIPS
    Enforcing Windows Security Policy
    The candidate will have a high-level understanding of the features of Group Policy and working with INF security templates
    Incident Handling & Response
    The candidate will understand the concepts of incident handling and the processes pertaining to incident handling.
    IT Risk Management
    The candidate will understand the terminology and approaches to cyber security risk management including identification of the steps of the Threat Assessment process
    Linux Security: Structure, Permissions and Access
    The candidate will demonstrate understanding of a variety of Linux operating systems, including mobile systems, to better understand how to configure and secure Linux.
    Linux Services: Hardening and Securing
    The candidate will demonstrate an ability to gain visibility into a Linux system to be able to secure and harden the system.
    Linux: Monitoring and Attack Detection
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the use of system baselines, log files, and other tools common to Linux operating systems in order to better monitor systems for signs of attack.
    Linux: Security Utilities
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of how to use key security utilities and tools that are available for Linux systems to enhance system security.
    Log Management & SIEM
    The candidate will demonstrate a high-level understanding of the importance of logging, the setup and configuration of logging, and log analysis with the assistance of SIEMs
    Malicious Code & Exploit Mitigation
    The candidate will understand important attack methods and basic defensive strategies to mitigate those threats.
    Network Device Security
    The candidate will have a basic understanding of the risks of network devices and how to secure them.
    Network Security Devices
    The candidate will demonstrate a basic understanding of the function and uses of network security devices, such as, firewalls, NIDS, and NIPS
    Networking & Protocols
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the properties and functions of network protocols and network protocol stacks.
    Securing Windows Network Services
    The candidate will know how to take basic measures in securing Windows network services such as IPSec, IIS, and Remote Desktop Services
    Security Policy
    The candidate will understand the purpose and components of policy.
    Virtualization and Cloud Security
    The candidate will have a basic understanding of the risks of virtualization and cloud services and how to secure them.
    Vulnerability Scanning and Penetration Testing
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and relationship behind reconnaissance, resource protection, risks, threats, and vulnerabilities including preliminary abilities to create network maps and perform penetration testing techniques
    Web Communication Security
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of web application security and common vulnerabilities including CGI, cookies, SSL and active content.
    Windows Access Controls
    The candidate will understand how permissions are applied in the Windows NT File System, Shared Folders, Printers, Registry Keys, and Active Directory, and how Privileges are applied
    Windows as a Service
    The candidate will understand how to manage updates for a network of Windows hosts.
    Windows Automation, Auditing, and Forensics
    The candidate will be introduced to the techniques and technologies used to audit Windows hosts.
    Windows Security Infrastructure
    The candidate will identify the differences between types of Windows OSes and how Windows manages groups and accounts, locally and with Active Directory and Group Policy
    Wireless Network Security
    The candidate will have a basic understanding of the misconceptions and risks of wireless networks and how to secure them.

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