CHAPTER 1 Building a Hardware and Software Test Platform

This book is designed for those who need to better understand the importance of IT security. This chapter walks you through what you need to set up a hardware/software test platform. As a child, you may have loved to take things apart, TVs, radios, computers, and so on, in a quest to better understand how they worked. Your tools probably included soldering irons, screwdrivers—maybe even a hammer! That is similar to what you will be doing throughout this book. While you won’t be using a hammer, you will be looking at protocols and applications to understand how they work. You will also examine some common tools that will make your analysis easier. The objective is to help you become a better network analyst, and improve and sharpen your IT security skills.

Because no two networks are the same, and because they change over time, it is impossible to come up with a one-size-fits-all list of hardware and software that will do the job for you. Networks serve the enterprises that own them, and enterprises must change over time. In addition, the scale of operation impacts security considerations. If you pursue a career as a security consultant, your goals (and inevitably your needs) will differ, depending on whether you work for a large multinational corporation (and even here, your goals and needs will depend on the type of industry) or a small office/home office (SOHO) operation or a small business. Clearly, a whole spectrum ...

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