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Posted January 31, 2014
I started reading this book because my job requires that I revie
I started reading this book because my job requires that I review firewalls for their secure configuration – about 5 firewalls a year. And my ignorance showed! I have a background in Routers and Switches, but Cisco PIX and ASAs were devices on which I was never trained. This book gave me the understanding that I need when reviewing firewall configurations, i.e., what all the different lines mean and how to determine which interface is configured with which level of security. If you see a firewall configuration, you will know that though some things look similar to router configurations, many things are quite different.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Another added benefit of reading this book is the HUGE explanation of NAT and PAT configuration. There is an entire chapter (very large and in-depth) devoted to address translation complexity and how to configure it. If you require knowledge in this area, this book is for you!
Though there are many things covered in this book, I cannot express how well access lists, traffic filtering, traffic shaping, threat detection are explained. If you need a book to give you in-depth explanations, again, this book is for you.
Though I found a few errors throughout the book, most of them were typographical errors (very few errors in the figures.) A tech-savvy administrator should be able to easily see the errors and overcome any issues. I have reviewed several Cisco Press books and this book is in-depth, well written and worth it for any network administrator responsible for configuring ASA firewalls.
Posted August 23, 2012
Another massive and impressive offering from Cisco Press. This one focuses on explaining firewalls, with of course an emphasis on Cisco's implementations. This can be seen throughout the book. Take for instance chapter 5, which is about managing a Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA). It really is only meaningful to read if you already have used one of thes ASA devices. Ideally, you might be sitting at the device and are controlling it while reading the chapter. Generically, across all such ASA devices, the chapter functions as a good summary of common features. Quite possibly even, you may be able to use the chapter as sufficient documentation to administer a given ASA.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
One characteristic of many [all?] firewalls is the ability to do Network Address Translation [NAT]. This conserves the address space in the full Internet, while also providing valuable obfuscation of your subnet's machines from intruders. Granted, when everyone moves to IPv6, the address conservation becomes moot. But IPv4 is still very much dominant, and will be so for the next few years. Chapter 7 gives a nice detailed explanation of NAT. While it does use Cisco ASA devices, much of the chapter can in fact be read as quite general advice. But you also see that Cisco has tremendously built out an array of administrative options that give you fine grained control, like having Dynamic Inside NAT or Static Inside NAT.
Later chapters delve into topics like how to do detailed inspection of traffic flows and the use of policies to control these flows. As with address translation, Cisco has poured resources into giving many administrative options.
The book's structure of each chapter having a preview quiz at the start will be handy for some readers in a hurry. You can quickly ascertain if you need to read a chapter or can safely skip it.
Posted June 14, 2012
VERY VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
Are you a network administrator, network security administrator, network architect or an experienced network professional who is interested in applying security principles to your networks? If you are, then this book is for you! Authors David Hucaby, Dave Garneau and Anthony Sequeira, have done an outstanding job of writing book that helps you prepare for the Cisco FIREWALL 642-618 certification exam. Hucaby, Garneau and Sequeira, begin by discussing basic network security and traffic filtering strategies. Then, the authors review the basic methods that are used to interact with an ASA, and to control its basic operation. The authors also explain how to configure ASA interfaces with the parameters they need to operate on a network. They continue by covering the ASA features related to providing IP addressing through DHCP and to exchanging IP routing information through several different dynamic routing protocols. Next, the authors review the configuration commands and tools that can be used to manage and control an ASA, both locally and remotely. Then, they describe how to configure an ASA to generate logging information that can be collected and analyzed. The authors also describe how IP addresses can be altered or translated as packets move through an ASA. They continue by reviewing access control lists and host shunning, and how these features can be configured to control traffic movement through an ASA. Next, the authors cover the Modular Policy Framework, a method used to define and implement many types of traffic inspection policies. Then, they discuss the features that can be leveraged to control the authentication, authorization, and accounting of users as they pass through an ASA. The authors also cover the methods and features that can be used to handle fragmented traffic, to prioritize traffic for QoS to police traffic rates, and to shape traffic bandwidth. They continue by reviewing the transparent firewall mode, and how it can be used to make an ASA more stealthy, when introduced into a network. Next, the authors discuss the multiple context mode that can be used to allow a single physical ASA device to provide multiple virtual firewalls or security contexts. Then, they cover two strategies that can be used to implement high availability between a pair of ASAs. The authors also explain the basic steps needed to configure an ASA to work with the AIP and CSC Security Services Modules, which can be used to offload in-depth intrusion protection and content handling. They continue by discussing two troubleshooting tools that you can use to test and confirm packet movement through ASA. Finally, they list the exam preparation tools that are useful in the study process and provide a suggested study plan. The goal of this most excellent book is to provide the most comprehensive coverage to ensure that you are well prepared for the exam. Perhaps more importantly, this great book can be used as a static reference, whereas the exam topics are dynamic.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.