Study Guide

CISSP Study Guide: Telecommunications and Network Security

The CISSP exam covers 10 domains, one of which is telecommunications and network security. Telecommunications

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and network security covers protocol stack models, core technologies, network components and extension services, among other topics. For the exam, you'll need to know how networks work, how data is transmitted from one device to another, how protocols transmit information and how applications understand, interpret and translate data.

In this Domain 5 section of the CISSP Study Guide, which is split up into several categories, you will learn the first steps of how to make sure these processes take place securely by referring to our resources and testing your knowledge with our quiz, written by CISSP All-in-one Exam Guide author Shon Harris. After reviewing this material be sure to test your knowledge with our CISSP quiz on telecommunications and network security.

 

  Telecommunications and Network Security: Protocol stack models  


Security professionals can more effectively troubleshoot network security problems after developing an understanding of the layers that make up both the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) model and the TCP/IP stack model and their role in architecting communications systems. In order to pass the CISSP exam, you must develop an in-depth understanding of both of these protocol stack models. In this section of the CISSP Study Guide: Telecommunications and Network Security, you will get a crash course on both the OSI and TCP/IP stack models.

OSI model: Crash course
The OSI model is the conceptual backbone of most enterprise networks, but do you remember all the details of how it works? Here you can get an extensive definition of what Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) is, read a rundown of the OSI model and what all the layers of OSI do as well as get advice on OSI security.

Router expert: Understanding TCP/IP to prevent network attacks, part 1
In order to successfully defend your network you must develop an in-depth understanding of the TCP/IP operation and the potential network attacks it invites.

In part one of this expert tip, we will look at TCP/IP, IP delivery services, ICMP, how TCP establishes host-to-host communications and how to end a TCP connection, and much more.

Router expert: Understanding TCP/IP to prevent network attacks, part 2
While TCP/IP is great for delivering packets, it is built upon network transmission facilities of questionable reliability. That versatility comes with a price, namely lessened security.

This tip, which is the second of a two-part series, reviews a number of TCP/IP vulnerabilities and attack methods that administrators should be aware of, such as IP spoofing and source routing, and some actions that can be taken to defend against them.

 

  Telecommunications and Network Security: Core technologies  

Domain 1 of the CISSP exam covers the evolution of telecommunications, including discussion of T-Carriers, S/WAN (a security solution), CSU/DSU, SMDS, FDDI, ISDN, circuit switching, packet switching, frame relay, X.25, DSL, cable modems, VoIP, and ATM technologies, among others. In order to pass the CISSP exam, you must understand these technologies, their differences and potential security issues. The expert tips in this section of the CISSP Study Guide will help you gain a better understanding of some of these technologies.

Secure data transmission methods
One significant issue facing security professionals, especially in health care organizations, is the secure transmission of confidential and proprietary information, and protected health information (PHI).

In this tip we will explore the secure data transmission methods and options that are available to help meet regulatory and legal requirements.

VoIP system security: VoIP security issues, training, best practices
As an increasing number of organization adopt VoIP and extend IP telephony, concerns like spam, eavesdropping and toll fraud begin to pose a significant threat to customers, making VoIP system security policies and requirements a must-have component of every organization's defense strategy.

This learning guide is designed to provide value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators with a basic framework for improving VoIP system security and addressing VoIP security issues and vulnerabilities before malicious intruders take advantage of them.

Unified threat management: An intro for solution providers
UTM technology offers a one-stop shop for a combination of security needs. The integration of antivirus, firewall, antispam and intrusion detection/prevention features in a single appliance yields simplified management and potentially lower costs for customers.

In this Hot Spot Tutorial you will learn about the value of unified threat management technology and as well as selling strategies for solution providers.

 

  Telecommunications and Network Security: Network components and services  


Networking devices such as repeaters, bridges, gateways, routers, switches and PBXs are covered in detail in this domain. Firewalls, in particular, are a main focus. In this domain of the CISSP Study Guide, you will learn the difference between stateful inspection and packet-filtering firewalls, as well as firewall architecture and topology best practices.

How do stateful inspection and packet-filtering firewalls differ?
Can you tell a stateful inspection firewall from a packet-filtering firewall? In this expert Q&A, network security expert Mike Chapple examines the important differences between stateful inspection firewalls and packet-filtering firewalls and reveals when each should be used.

Firewall architecture decisions: perimeter protection strategy
When building a perimeter protection strategy, you should plan to implement a defense-in-depth approach that utilizes multiple security devices including firewalls, border routers with packet filtering and intrusion-detection systems. When designing a firewall topology for a customer's network, you have several options.

This tip serves as a brief primer on firewall architectures to enable you to select an appropriate architecture for use in various situations.

Firewall topology: system placement
After selecting a firewall topology, you must decide where to place individual systems inside that topology.

This tip offers guidance on placing systems within three different firewall topologies: bastion host, screened subnet and multi-homed firewall.

Network router, switch and device security resource page
In this resource center you will find network router, switch and device news, tips and advice for security service providers, consultants and value-added resellers (VARs) helping customers select and deploy secure network devices. You'll find best practices, tutorials and how-to's for selling, implementing and securing networking devices including network routers and switches, network firewalls and unified threat management (UTM) devices, as well as help with network device management and configuration.

Return to the CISSP Study Guide.

About the author
Shon Harris, CISSP, MCSE, is the president of Logical Security, an IT security consulting and training company. She is a former engineer in the Air Force's Information Warfare unit, an instructor and the best-selling author of the previous three editions of this book. Shon has taught computer and information security to a wide range of clients, including RSA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the National Security Agency and many more.

This was first published in February 2008

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