Chapter 1: Modern Network Security Threats

Chapter Outline:

1.0 Introduction
1.1 Securing Networks
1.2 Network Threats
1.3 Mitigating Threats
1.4 Summary

Section 1.1: Securing Networks

Upon completion of this section, you should be able to:

  • Describe the current network security landscape.
  • Explain how all types of networks need to be protected.

Topic 1.1.1: Current State of Affairs

Networks Are Targets

Drivers for Network Security

  • Common network security terms:
    • Threat
    • Vulnerability
    • Mitigation
    • Risk

Vectors of Network Attacks

Data Loss

  • Vectors of data loss:
    • Email/Webmail
    • Unencrypted Devices
    • Cloud Storage Devices
    • Removable Media
    • Hard Copy
    • Improper Access Control

Topic 1.1.2: Network Topology Overview

Campus Area Networks

Small Office and Home Office Networks

Wide Area Networks

Data Center Networks

  • Outside perimeter security:
    • On-premise security officers
    • Fences and gates
    • Continuous video surveillance
    • Security breach alarms
  • Inside perimeter security:
    • Electronic motion detectors
    • Security traps
    • Continuous video surveillance
    • Biometric access and exit sensors

Cloud and Virtual Networks

  • VM-specific threats:
    • Hyperjacking
    • Instant On activation
    • Antivirus storm
  • Components of a secure data center:
    • Secure segmentation
    • Threat defense
    • Visibility

The Evolving Network Border

  • Critical MDM functions for BYOD network:
    • Data encryption
    • PIN enforcement
    • Data wipe
    • Data loss prevention
    • Jailbreak/root detection

Section 1.2: Network Threats

Topic 1.2.1: Who is Hacking Our Networks?

  • Modern hacking titles:
    • Script Kiddies
    • Vulnerability Brokers
    • Hacktivists
    • Cyber Criaminals
    • State-Sponsored Hackers

Topic 1.2.2: Hacker Tools

Introduction of Attack Tools

Evolution of Security Tools

  • Penetration testing tools:
    • Password crackers
    • Wireless hacking
    • Network scanning and hacking
    • Packet crafting
    • Packet sniffers
    • Rootkit detectors
    • Fuzzers to search vulnerabilities
    • Forensic
    • Debuggers
    • Hacking operating systems
    • Encryption
    • Vulnerability exploitation
    • Vulnerability Scanners

Categories of Attack Tools

  • Network hacking attacks:
    • Eavesdropping
    • Data modification
    • IP address spoofing
    • Password-based
    • Denial-of-service
    • Man-in-the-middle
    • Compromised-key
    • Sniffer

Topic 1.2.3: Malware

Various Types of Malware


Trojan Horses

Trojan Horse Classification

  • Classifications:
    • Security software disabler
    • Remote-access
    • Data-sending
    • Destructive
    • Proxy
    • FTP
    • DoS


  • Initial Code Red Worm Infection

  • Code Red Worm Infection 19 Hours Later

Worm Components

  • Components:
    • Enabling vulnerability
    • Propagation mechanism
    • Payload

Other Malware

Activity – Identify the Malware Type

Topic 1.2.4:Common Network Attacks

Types of Network Attacks

Reconnaissance Attacks

  • Initial query of a target
  • Ping sweep of the target network
  • Port scan of active IP addresses
  • Vulnerability scanners
  • Exploitation tools

Sample Reconnaissance Attacks

Access Attacks

  • A few reasons why hackers use access attacks:
    • To retrieve data
    • To gain access
    • To escalate access privileges
  • A few types of access attacks include:
    • Password
    • Trust exploitation
    • Port redirection
    • Man-in-the-middle
    • Buffer overflow
    • IP, MAC, DHCP spoofing

Social Engineering Attacks

  • Pretexting
  • Phishing
  • Spearphishing
  • Spam
  • Tailgating
  • Something for Something
  • Baiting

Denial of Service Attacks

Types of DoS Attacks

DDoS Attacks

  • Hacker builds a network of infected machines
    • A network of infected hosts is called a botnet.
    • The compromised computers are called zombies.
    • Zombies are controlled by handler systems.
  • Zombie computers continue to scan and infect more targets
  • Hacker instructs handler system to make the botnet of zombies carry out the DDoS attack

Activity – Identify the Types of Attack

Lab – Social Engineering

Section 1.3: Mitigating Threats

  • Upon completion of this section, you should be able to::
    • Describe methods and resources to protect the networks.
    • Describe a collection of domains for network security.
    • Explain the purpose of the Cisco SecureX Architecture.
    • Describe the techniques used to mitigate common network attacks.
    • Explain how to secure the three functional areas of Cisco routers and switches.

Topic 1.3.1: Defending the Network

Network Security Professionals

Network Security Organizations

Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability

Topic 1.3.2: Domains of Network Security

Network Security Domains

  • Risk assessment
  • Security policy
  • Organization of information security
  • Asset management
  • Human resources security
  • Physical and environmental security
  • Communications and operations management
  • Information systems acquisition, development, and maintenance
  • Access control
  • Information security incident management
  • Business continuity management
  • Compliance

Network Security Policy

Network Security Policy Objectives

Topic 1.3.3: Introducing the Cisco SecureX Architecture

The Security Artichoke

Evolution of Network Security Tools

SecureX Product Families

SecureX Security Technology

  • Cisco SecureX Architecture:
    • Scanning engines
    • Delivery mechanisms
    • Security intelligence operations (SIO)
    • Policy management consoles
    • Next-generation endpoint

Centralized Context-Aware Network Scanning Element

  • Defines security policies based on five parameters:
    • Type of device being used for access
    • Person’s identity
    • Application in use
    • Location
    • Time of access

Cisco Security Intelligence Operations

Topic 1.3.4: Mitigating Common Network Threats

Defending the Network

  • Best practices:
    • Develop a written security policy.
    • Educate employees about the risks of social engineering, and develop strategies to validate identities over the phone, via email, or in person.
    • Control physical access to systems.
    • Use strong passwords and change them often.
    • Encrypt and password-protect sensitive data.
    • Implement security hardware and software.
    • Perform backups and test the backed up files on a regular basis.
    • Shut down unnecessary services and ports.
    • Keep patches up-to-date by installing them weekly or daily to prevent buffer overflow and privilege escalation attacks.
    • Perform security audits to test the network.

Mitigating Malware

Mitigating Worms

Mitigating Reconnaissance Attacks

Mitigating Access Attacks

Mitigating DoS Attacks

Topic 1.3.5: Cisco Network Foundation Protection Framework

NFP Framework

Securing the Control Plane

Securing the Management Plane

Securing the Data Plane

Activity – Identify Characteristics of the NFP Framework

Section 1.4: Summary

  • Chapter Objectives:
    • Explain network security.
    • Describe various types of threats and attacks.
    • Explain tools and procedures to mitigate the effects of malware and common network attacks.

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