SABSA foundation training review

UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNAPosts: 4,048Mod Mod
So I had the pleasure of attending SABSA foundation training by non other than David Lynas (one of the original authors of the framework).

Now if you live in the US, there a strong chance that you haven't heard of SABSA.

So what is SABSA?
It's an 'Enterprise Security Architecture' framework. This is the simplest definition that I could come up with. you can Google it to get more info.

Who uses SABSA?
SABSA is extremely popular in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, UK, Middle East and other  Western European countries. It exists elsewhere, but that's where it's most popular.

Now that's not to say it's never been used in the US...the author told us multiple stories throughout the training about his engagements with big part of US Defence, NASA, and other government organizations.

I don't want to bore you with more details, but I want to clarify few things, specially that there was a thread about it here in this forum:

SABSA is NOT the equivalent of TOGAF or Zachman.

TOGAF is framework for Enterprise Architecture. SABSA is a framework for Enterprise Security Architecture.

If you're a TOGAF shop, then SABSA will fit nicely to cover the security part. Ditto for Zachman (which is a dying framework outside of the US but I digress).

SABSA integrates well with service management frameworks such as ITIL. It also works with Risk assessment frameworks such as ISO 27001 and NIST.

My review of the training:
The instructor is top notch, a real veteran in the industry. His consulting stories with big name clients are impressive and he knows what he's doing.

The most value I got from the training is how to translate Security requirements to a proper business language. If you've struggled to talk to a senior executives about security, then this training is excellent. I've never struggled before, but I still get plenty of value out of it.

If you are or want to be an enterprise security architect, then there is simply no other training course that covers this topic.

If you are American and you're worried that your local market won't recognise the will still get plenty of value from the training. You will gain marketable skills (even if you're employer haven't heard of SABSA, they still have business objectives and a budget for security....Architect that). SABSA training runs in the US, and there are plenty of SABSA certified people in the US, I don't believe it appears on American job boards.

The exam is on the fifth day and this is the worst part. you really have no time to study, and the questions are wordy (they instructor joked about how CISSP questions are wordy multiple choice...I'd say his questions are WORSE). Think of wordy CISSP questions, then re-write in 18th century Her Majesty's English vocabulary.

I've got questions that say "What's the LEAST TRUE"....seriously?

Anyway, I don't know if I passed or failed the SABSA SCF, but I don't really care about the piece of paper. I'm a point in my career where certs add no value to me anymore (well apart from the knowledge that I gain, the piece of people doesn't add much).

I've got the value that I'm after, and I'm a lot comfortable communicating and creating sound enterprise security architecture.

Can't attend the training or don't wanna pay for it? No problem, they have a book that explains the framework:

I can't comment on the quality of the book, and I'm aware it's a bit old now (2005), but I doubt much have changed. The instructor used sound engineering principles and framework is designed to address the dynamic nature of IT Security (got cloud or Agile enviroment? It shouldn't matter).

Goal: MBA, Jan 2021


  • ansionnachclisteansionnachcliste Posts: 70Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Great post, thank you.

    I've purchased the book (because of you) and can't wait for it to arrive.

    I might check out the exam if I enjoy the material in the book. 

    Best of luck with the results. 
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 4,048Mod Mod
    @ansionnachcliste ; glad you enjoyed the post! I still haven't heard whether I passed or not, but chances are I didn't pass. I'm thinking of summarising the material and potentially buying the books to understand the topics a little bit better, and have a crack at the exam later this year (in between my MBA subjects...)
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 4,048Mod Mod
    Well what a nice surprise, I PASSED B)

    My scores:
    F1 module: 88%
    F2 module: 81%

    The passing score is 75% so I did pretty well. I honestly wasn't sure I passed at all. The cert doesn't expire. Pretty happy with this. I'm usually good with doing one certification per year, specially that my focus is on my part-time degree at this point.
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • ansionnachclisteansionnachcliste Posts: 70Member ■■■□□□□□□□

    Great to hear. 
  • averageguy72averageguy72 Senior Member Posts: 308Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    CISSP / CCSP / CCSK / CRISC / CISM / CISA / CASP / Security+ / Network+ / A+ / CEH / eNDP / AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty / AWS Certified Security - Specialty / AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional / AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional / AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate / AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate / AWS Certified Developer - Associate / AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • Johnhe0414Johnhe0414 A+, Network+, Security+, Project+ USA, CAPosts: 146Registered Users ■■■■□□□□□□
    @UnixGuy Congrats!
    Current:  A+ | Network+ | Project+ |Security+
    Working on: Cysa+
  • chrisonechrisone CISSP, CRTP, eCPPT, LFCS, CEH, Azure Fundamentals, Retired Cisco NPs Posts: 1,886Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congrats! I have the book and read up a lot about SABSA, but I haven't had the time to focus on the topic. I bought my book used on amazon and it was signed by Lynas lol
    2019 Goals:
    Certs: Certified Red Team Professional - Pentester Academy (passed!), Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 (passed!), Azure Security Engineer Associate AZ-500 (in-progress)
    2020 Goals:
    Certs: AZ-500, MS-500, Pentester Academy - PACES, Varonis Certified Admin (in-progress)
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,801Mod Mod
    Congrats on the pass! SABSA is still on my wishlist. 
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
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