CCNP Security FIREWALL 642-618 Official Cert Guide [NOOK Book]


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  • Assess your knowledge with chapter-opening ...
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CCNP Security FIREWALL 642-618 Official Cert Guide

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Trust the best selling Official Cert Guide series from Cisco Press to help you learn, prepare, and practice for exam success. They are built with the objective of providing assessment, review, and practice to help ensure you are fully prepared for your certification exam.
  • Master Cisco CCNP Security FIREWALL 642-618 exam topics
  • Assess your knowledge with chapter-opening quizzes
  • Review key concepts with exam preparation tasks

This is the eBook edition of the CCNP Security FIREWALL 642-618 Official Cert Guide. This eBook does not include the companion CD-ROM with practice exam that comes with the print edition.

CCNP Security FIREWALL 642-618 Official Cert Guide presents you with an organized test preparation routine through the use of proven series elements and techniques. “Do I Know This Already?” quizzes open each chapter and enable you to decide how much time you need to spend on each section. Exam topic lists make referencing easy. Chapter-ending Exam Preparation Tasks help you drill on key concepts you must know thoroughly.

CCNP Security FIREWALL 642-618 Official Cert Guide, focuses specifically on the objectives for the Cisco CCNP Security FIREWALL exam. Expert networking consultants Dave Hucaby, Dave Garneau, and Anthony Sequeira share preparation hints and test-taking tips, helping you identify areas of weakness and improve both your conceptual knowledge and hands-on skills. Material is presented in a concise manner, focusing on increasing your understanding and retention of exam topics.

Well-regarded for its level of detail, assessment features, comprehensive design scenarios, and challenging review questions and exercises, this official study guide helps you master the concepts and techniques that will enable you to succeed on the exam the first time.

The official study guide helps you master all the topics on the CCNP Security FIREWALL exam, including:

  • ASA interfaces
  • IP connectivity
  • ASA management
  • Recording ASA activity
  • Address translation
  • Access control
  • Proxy services
  • Traffic inspection and handling
  • Transparent firewall mode
  • Virtual firewalls
  • High availability
  • ASA service modules

CCNP Security FIREWALL 642-618 Official Cert Guide is part of a recommended learning path from Cisco that includes simulation and hands-on training from authorized Cisco Learning Partners and self-study products from Cisco Press. To find out more about instructor-led training, e-learning, and hands-on instruction offered by authorized Cisco Learning Partners worldwide, please visit

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132979412
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 6/13/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 848
  • File size: 93 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

David Hucaby, CCIE No. 4594, is a network architect for the University of Kentucky, where he works with healthcare networks based on the Cisco Catalyst, ASA, FWSM, and Unified Wireless product lines. David has a bachelor of science degree and master of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky. He is the author of several Cisco Press titles, including Cisco ASA, PIX, and FWSM Firewall Handbook, Second Edition; Cisco Firewall Video Mentor; Cisco LAN Switching Video Mentor; and CCNP SWITCH Exam Certification Guide. David lives in Kentucky with his wife, Marci, and two daughters.

Dave Garneau is a senior member of the Network Security team at Rackspace Hosting, Inc. Before that, he was the principal consultant and senior technical instructor at The Radix Group, Ltd. In that role, Dave trained more than 3,000 students in nine countries on Cisco technologies, mostly focusing on the Cisco security products line, and worked closely with Cisco in establishing the new Cisco Certified Network Professional Security (CCNP Security) curriculum. Dave has a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Dave lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife, Vicki, and their two brand new baby girls, Elise and Lauren.

Anthony Sequeira, CCIE No. 15626, is a Cisco Certified Systems Instructor (CCSI) and author regarding all levels and tracks of Cisco Certification. Anthony formally began his career in the information technology industry in 1994 with IBM in Tampa, Florida. He quickly formed his own computer consultancy, Computer Solutions, and then discovered his true passion—teaching and writing about Microsoft and Cisco technologies. Anthony joined Mastering Computers in 1996 and lectured to massive audiences around the world about the latest in computer technologies. Mastering Computers became the revolutionary online training company, KnowledgeNet, and Anthony trained there for many years. Anthony is currently pursuing his second CCIE in the area of Security and is a full-time instructor for the next-generation of KnowledgeNet, StormWind Live. Anthony is also a VMware Certified Professional.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xxv

Chapter 1 Cisco ASA Adaptive Security Appliance Overview 3

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 3

Foundation Topics 7

Firewall Overview 7

Firewall Techniques 11

Stateless Packet Filtering 11

Stateful Packet Filtering 12

Stateful Packet Filtering with Application Inspection and Control 12

Network Intrusion Prevention System 13

Network Behavior Analysis 14

Application Layer Gateway (Proxy) 14

Cisco ASA Features 15

Selecting a Cisco ASA Model 18

ASA 5505 18

ASA 5510, 5520, and 5540 19

ASA 5550 20

ASA 5580 21

Security Services Modules 22

Advanced Inspection and Prevention (AIP) SSM 22

Content Security and Control (CSC) SSM 23

4-port Gigabit Ethernet (4GE) SSM 24

ASA 5585-X 24

ASA Performance Breakdown 25

Selecting ASA Licenses 29

ASA Memory Requirements 31

Exam Preparation Tasks 33

Review All Key Topics 33

Define Key Terms 33

Chapter 2 Working with a Cisco ASA 35

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 35

Foundation Topics 40

Using the CLI 40

Entering Commands 41

Command Help 43

Searching and Filtering Command Output 45

Command History 45

Terminal Screen Format 47

Using Cisco ASDM 47

Understanding the Factory Default Configuration 52

Working with Configuration Files 54

Clearing an ASA Configuration 57

Working with the ASA File System 58

Navigating an ASA Flash File System 59

Working with Files in an ASA File System 60

Reloading an ASA 63

Upgrading the ASA Software at the Next Reload 65

Performing a Reload 66

Manually Upgrading the ASA Software During a Reload 67

Exam Preparation Tasks 71

Review All Key Topics 71

Define Key Terms 71

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 71

Chapter 3 Configuring ASA Interfaces 75

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 75

Foundation Topics 80

Configuring Physical Interfaces 80

Default Interface Configuration 82

Configuring Physical Interface Parameters 83

Mapping ASA 5505 Interfaces to VLANs 84

Configuring Interface Redundancy 84

Configuring an EtherChannel 87

Configuring VLAN Interfaces 95

VLAN Interfaces and Trunks on ASA 5510 and Higher Platforms 95

VLAN Interfaces and Trunks on an ASA 5505 97

Configuring Interface Security Parameters 98

Naming the Interface 98

Assigning an IP Address 99

Setting the Security Level 100

Interface Security Parameters Example 103

Configuring the Interface MTU 104

Verifying Interface Operation 107

Exam Preparation Tasks 109

Review All Key Topics 109

Define Key Terms 109

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 109

Chapter 4 Configuring IP Connectivity 113

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 113

Foundation Topics 117

Deploying DHCP Services 117

Configuring a DHCP Relay 117

Configuring a DHCP Server 119

Using Routing Information 122

Configuring Static Routing 124

Tracking a Static Route 126

Routing with RIPv2 132

Routing with EIGRP 135

Routing with OSPF 142

An Example OSPF Scenario 142

Verifying the ASA Routing Table 151

Exam Preparation Tasks 154

Review All Key Topics 154

Define Key Terms 154

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 154

Chapter 5 Managing a Cisco ASA 161

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 161

Foundation Topics 165

Basic Device Settings 165

Configuring Device Identity 165

Configuring Basic Authentication 166

Configuring DNS Resolution 168

Configuring DNS Server Groups 168

Verifying Basic Device Settings 168

Verifying DNS Resolution 170

File System Management 171

File System Management Using ASDM 171

File System Management Using the CLI 172

dir 172

more 173

copy 173

delete 173

rename 173

mkdir 174

cd 174

rmdir 174

fsck 175

pwd 175

format or erase 176

Managing Software and Feature Activation 176

Managing Cisco ASA Software and ASDM Images 177

Upgrading Files from a Local PC or Directly from 179

Considerations When Upgrading from OS Version 8.2 to 8.3 or Higher 181

License Management 182

Upgrading the Image and Activation Key at the Same Time 183

Cisco ASA Software and License Verification 183

Configuring Management Access 186

Overview of Basic Procedures 186

Configuring Remote Management Access 188

Configuring an Out-of-Band Management Interface 189

Configuring Remote Access Using Telnet 190

Configuring Remote Access Using SSH 192

Configuring Remote Access Using HTTPS 194

Creating a Permanent Self-Signed Certificate 194

Obtaining an Identity Certificate by PKI Enrollment 196

Deploying an Identity Certificate 197

Configuring Management Access Banners 199

Controlling Management Access with AAA 201

Creating Users in the Local Database 203

Using Simple Password-Only Authentication 205

Configuring AAA Access Using the Local Database 205

Configuring AAA Access Using Remote AAA Server(s) 208

Step 1: Create a AAA Server Group and Configure How Servers in the Group Are Accessed 208

Step 2: Populate the Server Group with Member Servers 209

Step 3: Enable User Authentication for Each Remote Management Access Channel 210

Configuring Cisco Secure ACS for Remote Authentication 211

Configuring AAA Command Authorization 214

Configuring Local AAA Command Authorization 215

Configuring Remote AAA Command Authorization 219

Configuring Remote AAA Accounting 222

Verifying AAA for Management Access 223

Configuring Monitoring Using SNMP 225

Troubleshooting Remote Management Access 230

Unlocking Locked and Disabled User Accounts 231

Cisco ASA Password Recovery 232

Performing Password Recovery 232

Enabling or Disabling Password Recovery 233

Exam Preparation Tasks 235

Review All Key Topics 235

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 235

Chapter 6 Recording ASA Activity 243

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 243

Foundation Topics 247

System Time 247

NTP 249

Verifying System Time Settings 251

Managing Event and Session Logging 252

NetFlow Support 254

Logging Message Format 254

Message Severity 255

Configuring Event and Session Logging 255

Configuring Global Logging Properties 256

Altering Settings of Specific Messages 258

Configuring Event Filters 261

Configuring Individual Event Destinations 262

Internal Buffer 262

ASDM 264

Syslog Server(s) 265

Email 267

NetFlow 269

Telnet or SSH Sessions 271

Verifying Event and Session Logging 271

Implementation Guidelines 272

Troubleshooting Event and Session Logging 273

Troubleshooting Commands 273

Exam Preparation Tasks 275

Review All Key Topics 275

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 275

Chapter 7 Using Address Translation 279

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 281

Foundation Topics 288

Understanding How NAT Works 288

Implementing NAT in ASA Software Versions 8.2 and Earlier 290

Enforcing NAT 290

Address Translation Deployment Options 291

NAT Versus PAT 292

Input Parameters 293

Deployment Choices 295

NAT Exemption 296

Configuring NAT Control 296

Configuring Dynamic Inside NAT 298

Configuring Dynamic Inside PAT 304

Configuring Dynamic Inside Policy NAT 308

Verifying Dynamic Inside NAT and PAT 311

Configuring Static Inside NAT 312

Configuring Network Static Inside NAT 315

Configuring Static Inside PAT 317

Configuring Static Inside Policy NAT 320

Verifying Static Inside NAT and PAT 323

Configuring No-Translation Rules 324

Configuring Dynamic Identity NAT 325

Configuring Static Identity NAT 326

Configuring NAT Bypass (NAT Exemption) 328

NAT Rule Priority 330

Configuring Outside NAT 330

Other NAT Considerations 333

DNS Rewrite (Also Known as DNS Doctoring) 333

Integrating NAT with ASA Access Control 335

Integrating NAT with MPF 336

Integrating NAT with AAA (Cut-Through Proxy) 337

Troubleshooting Address Translation 337

Improper Translation 337

Protocols Incompatible with NAT or PAT 337

Proxy ARP 338

NAT-Related Syslog Messages 338

Implementing NAT in ASA Software Versions 8.3 and Later 339

Major Differences in NAT Beginning in Software Version 8.3 339

Network Objects 339

NAT Control 340

Integrating NAT with Other ASA Functions 340

NAT “Direction” 340

NAT Rule Priority 340

New NAT Options in OS Versions 8.3 and Later 340

NAT Table 341

Configuring Auto (Object) NAT 343

Configuring Static Translations Using Auto NAT 344

Configuring Static Port Translations Using Auto NAT 349

Comparing Static NAT Configurations from OS Versions 8.2 and 8.3 351

Configuring Dynamic Translations Using Auto NAT 352

Using Object Groups in NAT Rules 357

Comparing Dynamic NAT Configurations from OS Versions 8.2 and 8.3 360

Verifying Auto (Object) NAT 361

Configuring Manual NAT 363

Examining the Syntax of the Manual NAT Command 368

Configuring a NAT Exemption Using Manual NAT 369

Configuring Twice NAT 370

Configuring Translations Using Manual NAT After Auto NAT 373

Configuring a Unidirectional Manual Static NAT Rule 376

Inserting a Manual NAT Rule in a Specific Location 377

Comparing Manual NAT Configurations from OS versions 8.2 and 8.3 378

When Not to Use NAT 380

Tuning NAT 380

Troubleshooting NAT 382

Improper Translation 382

Proxy ARP and Syslog Messages 384

Egress Interface Selection 384

Exam Preparation Tasks 385

Review All Key Topics 385

Define Key Terms 386

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 386

Chapter 8 Controlling Access Through the ASA 391

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 392

Foundation Topics 397

Understanding How Access Control Works 397

State Tables 397

Connection Table 398

TCP Connection Flags 401

Inside and Outside, Inbound and Outbound 403

Local Host Table 403

State Table Logging 405

Understanding Interface Access Rules 405

Stateful Filtering 406

Interface Access Rules and Interface Security Levels 408

Interface Access Rules Direction 408

Default Access Rules 410

The Global ACL 411

Configuring Interface Access Rules 412

Access Rule Logging 417

Configuring the Global ACL 421

Cisco ASDM Public Server Wizard 424

Configuring Access Control Lists from the CLI 425

Implementation Guidelines 426

Time-Based Access Rules 427

Configuring Time Ranges from the CLI 432

Verifying Interface Access Rules 432

Managing Rules in Cisco ASDM 434

Managing Access Rules from the CLI 437

Organizing Access Rules Using Object Groups 438

Verifying Object Groups 450

Configuring and Verifying Other Basic Access Controls 454

Shunning 455

Troubleshooting Basic Access Control 457

Examining Syslog Messages 457

Packet Capture 459

Packet Tracer 460

Suggested Approach to Access Control Troubleshooting 462

Exam Preparation Tasks 464

Review All Key Topics 464

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 465

Chapter 9 Inspecting Traffic 473

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 473

Foundation Topics 479

Understanding the Modular Policy Framework 479

Configuring the MPF 482

Configuring a Policy for Inspecting OSI Layers 3 and 4 484

Step 1: Define a Layers 3–4 Class Map 484

Step 2: Define a Layers 3–4 Policy Map 486

Step 3: Apply the Policy Map to the Appropriate Interfaces 490

Creating a Security Policy in ASDM 490

Tuning Basic Layers 3–4 Connection Limits 495

Inspecting TCP Parameters with the TCP Normalizer 499

Configuring ICMP Inspection 505

Configuring Dynamic Protocol Inspection 507

Configuring Custom Protocol Inspection 514

Configuring a Policy for Inspecting OSI Layers 5–7 517

Configuring HTTP Inspection 518

Configuring HTTP Inspection Policy Maps Using the CLI 519

Configuring HTTP Inspection Policy Maps

Using ASDM 527

Configuring FTP Inspection 539

Configuring FTP Inspection Using the CLI 540

Configuring FTP Inspection Using ASDM 542

Configuring DNS Inspection 546

Creating and Applying a DNS Inspection Policy Map Using the CLI 546

Creating and Applying a DNS Inspection Policy Map

Using ASDM 549

Configuring ESMTP Inspection 552

Configuring an ESMTP Inspection with the CLI 553

Configuring an ESMTP Inspection with ASDM 556

Configuring a Policy for ASA Management Traffic 559

Detecting and Filtering Botnet Traffic 561

Configuring Botnet Traffic Filtering with ASDM 564

Step 1: Configure the Dynamic Database 565

Step 2: Configure the Static Database 565

Step 3: Enable DNS Snooping 566

Step 4: Enable the Botnet Traffic Filter 566

Configuring Botnet Traffic Filtering with the CLI 568

Step 1: Configure the Dynamic Database 568

Step 2: Configure the Static Database 568

Step 3: Enable DNS Snooping 568

Step 4: Enable the Botnet Traffic Filter 569

Using Threat Detection 570

Configuring Threat Detection in ASDM 571

Step 1: Configure Basic Threat Detection 571

Step 2: Configure Advanced Threat Detection 571

Step 3: Configure Scanning Threat Detection 572

Configuring Threat Detection with the CLI 572

Step 1: Configure Basic Threat Detection 573

Step 2: Configure Advanced Threat Detection 576

Step 3: Configure Scanning Threat Detection 577

Exam Preparation Tasks 579

Review All Key Topics 579

Define Key Terms 580

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 580

Chapter 10 Using Proxy Services to Control Access 583

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 583

Foundation Topics 586

User-Based (Cut-Through) Proxy Overview 586

User Authentication 586

User Authentication and Access Control 587

Implementation Examples 587

AAA on the ASA 587

AAA Deployment Options 587

User-Based Proxy Preconfiguration Steps and Deployment Guidelines 588

User-Based Proxy Preconfiguration Steps 588

User-Based Proxy Deployment Guidelines 589

Direct HTTP Authentication with the Cisco ASA 589

HTTP Redirection 590

Virtual HTTP 590

Direct Telnet Authentication 590

Configuration Steps of User-Based Proxy 591

Configuring User Authentication 591

Configuring an AAA Group 591

Configuring an AAA Server 592

Configuring the Authentication Rules 593

Verifying User Authentication 595

Configuring HTTP Redirection 595

Configuring the Virtual HTTP Server 596

Configuring Direct Telnet 596

Configuring Authentication Prompts and Timeouts 596

Configuring Authentication Prompts 597

Configuring Authentication Timeouts 598

Configuring User Authorization 598

Per-User Override 599

Configuring Downloadable ACLs 600

Configuring Per-User Override 600

Verification 600

Configuring User Session Accounting 601

Configuring User Session Accounting 601

Verification 602

Troubleshooting Cut-Through Proxy Operations 602

A Structured Approach 602

System Messages 602

Using Proxy for IP Telephony and Unified TelePresence 603

Exam Preparation Tasks 604

Review All Key Topics 604

Define Key Terms 604

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 604

Chapter 11 Handling Traffic 607

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 607

Foundation Topics 610

Handling Fragmented Traffic 610

Prioritizing Traffic 612

Controlling Traffic Bandwidth 616

Configuring a Traffic Policer 618

Configuring Traffic Shaping 621

Exam Preparation Tasks 625

Review All Key Topics 625

Define Key Terms 625

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 625

Chapter 12 Using Transparent Firewall Mode 629

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 629

Foundation Topics 632

Firewall Mode Overview 632

Configuring Transparent Firewall Mode 635

Controlling Traffic in Transparent Firewall Mode 639

Using ARP Inspection 642

Disabling MAC Address Learning 645

Exam Preparation Tasks 648

Review All Key Topics 648

Define Key Terms 648

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 648

Chapter 13 Creating Virtual Firewalls on the ASA 651

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 651

Foundation Topics 654

Cisco ASA Virtualization Overview 654

A High-Level Examination of a Virtual Firewall’s Configuration 654

The System Configuration, System Context, and Other Security Contexts 655

Packet Classification 655

Virtual Firewall Deployment Guidelines 656

Deployment Choices 657

Deployment Guidelines 657

Limitations 658

Configuration Tasks Overview 658

Configuring Security Contexts 658

The Admin Context 659

Configuring Multiple Mode 659

Creating a Security Context 659

Verifying Security Contexts 661

Managing Security Contexts 661

Packet Classification Configuration 662

Changing the Admin Context 662

Editing and Removing Contexts 663

Configuring Resource Management 663

The Default Class 663

Creating a New Resource Class 663

Verifying Resource Management 665

Troubleshooting Security Contexts 665

Exam Preparation Tasks 667

Review All Key Topics 667

Define Key Terms 667

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 667

Chapter 14 Deploying High Availability Features 671

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 671

Foundation Topics 675

ASA Failover Overview 675

Failover Roles 675

Detecting an ASA Failure 681

Configuring Active-Standby Failover Mode 683

Configuring Active-Standby Failover with the ASDM Wizard 683

Configuring Active-Standby Failover Manually in ASDM 687

Configuring Active-Standby Failover with the CLI 689

Step 1: Configure the Primary Failover Unit 689

Step 2: Configure Failover on the Secondary Device 690

Configuring Active-Active Failover Mode 692

Configuring Active-Active Failover in ASDM 692

Configuring Active-Active Failover with the CLI 696

Step 1: Configure the Primary ASA Unit 696

Step 2: Configure the Secondary ASA Unit 697

Tuning Failover Operation 701

Configuring Failover Timers 701

Configuring Failover Health Monitoring 702

Detecting Asymmetric Routing 703

Administering Failover 705

Verifying Failover Operation 706

Leveraging Failover for a Zero Downtime Upgrade 708

Exam Preparation Tasks 710

Review All Key Topics 710

Define Key Terms 710

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 710

Chapter 15 Integrating ASA Service Modules 715

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 715

Foundation Topics 718

Cisco ASA Security Services Modules Overview 718

Module Components 718

General Deployment Guidelines 719

Overview of the Cisco ASA Content Security and Control SSM 719

Cisco Content Security and Control SSM Licensing 720

Overview of the Cisco ASA Advanced Inspection and Prevention SSM and SSC 720

Inline Operation 720

Promiscuous Operation 721

Supported Cisco IPS Software Features 721

Installing the ASA AIP-SSM and AIP-SSC 721

The Cisco AIP-SSM and AIP-SSC Ethernet Connections 722

Failure Management Modes 722

Managing Basic Features 722

Initializing the AIP-SSM and AIP-SSC 723

Configuring the AIP-SSM and AIP-SSC 723

Integrating the ASA CSC-SSM 724

Installing the CSC-SSM 724

Ethernet Connections 724

Managing the Basic Features 724

Initializing the Cisco CSC-SSM 725

Configuring the CSC-SSM 725

Exam Preparation Tasks 726

Review All Key Topics 726

Define Key Terms 726

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 726

Chapter 16 Traffic Analysis Tools 729

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 729

Foundation Topics 733

Testing Network Connectivity 733

Using Packet Tracer 737

Using Packet Capture 742

Using the Packet Capture Wizard in ASDM 742

Capturing Packets from the CLI 746

Controlling a Capture Session 751

Copying Capture Buffer Contents 751

Capturing Dropped Packets 752

Combining Packet Tracer and Packet Capture 760

Summary 761

Exam Preparation Tasks 762

Review All Key Topics 762

Command Reference to Check Your Memory 762

Chapter 17 Final Preparation 765

Tools for Final Preparation 765

Pearson Cert Practice Test Engine and Questions on the CD 765

Install the Software from the CD 766

Activate and Download the Practice Exam 766

Activating Other Exams 767

Premium Edition 767

Cisco Learning Network 767

Chapter-Ending Review Tools 767

Suggested Plan for Final Review/Study 768

Using the Exam Engine 768

Summary 769

Appendix A Answers to the “Do I Know This Already?” Quizzes 771

Appendix B CCNP Security 642-618 FIREWALL Exam Updates: Version 1.0 777

Glossary of Key Terms 779

9781587142710, TOC, 4/25/2012

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    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.

    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.

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  • Posted August 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    massive offering

    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.

    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.

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  • Posted June 14, 2012


    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.

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