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CompTIA Security+ SY0-201 Video Mentor

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted June 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Security+ Video Mentor Delivers

    The Video Mentor series of DVDs is intended to select high priority topics within their respective certifications to help deliver a more in-depth look at them. The Shon Harris Security + Video Mentor certainly delivers on this promise! This series is split into six areas, each with various labs to help illustrate the concepts. The areas covered are: Asymmetric Encryption, Steganography, Sniffers and Protocol Analyzers, PKI and Certificates, the TCP/IP protocol, and Passwords.

    One of my favorite areas on this DVD is the Steganography section. I appreciated the in-depth coverage it provided in the 40-minute lecture, in addition to providing a lab. This went into much better depth than I have seen with other resources, including the detailed discussion of how it works and numerous illustrations to emphasis the important points. As a security professional, I also loved the fact that an entire module was spent covering passwords. This is so often overlooked!

    As seen by the list of topics, this DVD concentrates on the two most difficult yet important areas for Security+ candidates to understand: cryptography and networking. Shon Harris and her team have a real knack for taking such complex topics, breaking them down into understandable language, and then illustrating how they actually work in real life.

    This DVD has an accompanying book with the high level concepts covered on the DVD, as well as each module has a PDF tab with the same information in soft copy. The Security+ Video Mentor is a very helpful tool for anyone studying for this certification (and also if you aren't!)

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    no hard maths

    The topics tackled by these videos cover several basic issues of computer security. The videos are suited for students who need the assistance of video instructions to garner the gist of the topics. As with the other videos in this compTIA series, you should have the detailed backup of an accompanying text.

    The first lesson on symmetric and asymmetric algorithms lets you appreciate the big differences and the comparative advantages of each. Relatively more time is spent on the asymmetric methods, which takes us into public key cryptography. Yes, this might seem like magic the first time you meet it, but it rests on the simple asymmetry between the computational cost of multiplying two [prime] numbers to get a resultant product and the cost of starting with that product and trying to find the primes that produced it. But from the videos the take home message is that you don't need to remember, or even understand in the first place, any intricate maths to follow how PKI is implemented.

    The steganography lesson demonstrates how steg is fundamentally different from cryptography. As you will find from the lesson, cryptography is about hiding data by encrypting it; however the resultant encrypted bits are assumed to be known to an attacker to be encrypted. Whereas steg tries to hide the very existence of a secret by obscuring it in low order bits of another message [like an image].

    Of all the lessons, the one on steg is really only for your general interest. In day to day computer security tasks, steg is rarely used or met. It's just something to be aware of, as a pedagogic construct.

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