Going to give SISAS a shot....

Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
After debating on whether or not to wait out the release of the OCGs, I decided I would take a slight gamble and give SISAS a shot on August 1 [EDIT: July 19] because I really want to finish CCNP Security. For those that might not have followed the previous posts, I finished FIREWALL and VPN shortly before the changeover in April and took some time off for work and moving to another city. After SISAS would come SITCS.

I don't think I can wait for the OCGs to come out before I give it at least one shot because it's not even clear when they will be released (yeah, the Amazon preorders say Jan. 2015 but who is to say unless it's an official release date)?

I am using the ipExpert video series taught by Piotr Kaluzny, I was able to nab the entire CCNP Security video series (both old and new tests) for about $300 for a total of eight video series. I think the cost is lower right now but before they lowered the price I just chatted with the sales reps through their site and managed to haggle it down to 300 from 400.

In addition to this I'll be scraping the Cisco documentation, Cisco Live videos, and anything else I can get my hands on.

Fortunately I'm exposed to a subset of the material at work and I even wrote some log decoders for our Cisco WLCs, RADIUS logs, and a few other network devices. The log decoders work in conjunction with an IPS technology we use called OSSEC, so I wrote the backend that parses the logs and tokenizes things like source ip, destination ip, syslog severity/facility, and this gets fed into a custom SIEM we are working on from the ground up.

I'll be sticking close to the forums for the next month and trying to give feedback on this if I can.
Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
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Comments

  • craigaaroncraigaaron Posts: 132Member
    Good luck, Look forward to hear what happens :)
    Currently Studying: CCNP Security
    300-206 - Completed 04-Jul-2014
    300-209 - Completed 09-May-2017
    300-208 - TBC
    300-210 - TBC
  • NiqriolNiqriol Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi Vask3n. Would like to connect with you on LinkedIn. I'm doing my CCNA Security and intend to write in September/October this year. I've done a bit of penetration testing (needs some beefing up though). My aim is to take Penetration Testing to an advanced level and get CCNP security certification. My LinkedIn profile is www.linkedin.com/pub/musole-mukube/20/7b5/2a4.

  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Sure thing, hope to see you on the forums too since there's quite a few people doing CCNA Security now too on the CCNA Security section, I also used that sub-forum heavily when studying for CCNA:S.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Posts: 923Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck man! After pursuing the CCNP R&S, this will be the next NP course I'll be going for! We just recently implemented ISE and I'm trying to get my hands on as much training as possible! Unfortunately, our ISE server doesn't have access to Active Directory yet, so we have to MAB everything. icon_sad.gif CDP makes it super easy to add in our VoIP phones though!
    :study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Good luck man! After pursuing the CCNP R&S, this will be the next NP course I'll be going for! We just recently implemented ISE and I'm trying to get my hands on as much training as possible! Unfortunately, our ISE server doesn't have access to Active Directory yet, so we have to MAB everything. icon_sad.gif CDP makes it super easy to add in our VoIP phones though!

    That's great that you have access to ISE in the first place, I'm still sort of learning the GUI, it's like a cross between Cisco Configuration Professional and ASDM, but more on the CCP side.

    I'm getting through the MAB information now and how it ties in with FlexAuth, currently learning about Profiling and how probes insert hosts into the Internal Endpoints db.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Posts: 923Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    How are the IPExpert videos? I really want to get started on the CCNP Security as soon as I'm done with R&S. Is it super dry like INE's stuff or is the guy a little more upbeat like Jeremy Ciora?
    :study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    How are the IPExpert videos? I really want to get started on the CCNP Security as soon as I'm done with R&S. Is it super dry like INE's stuff or is the guy a little more upbeat like Jeremy Ciora?

    Here's a sample vid from the same instructor, this is for CCIE.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjhuDp9Fpgg

    That is basically the pace of the entire series, I would say it's closer to INE than CBT Nuggets.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Posts: 923Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Vask3n wrote: »
    Here's a sample vid from the same instructor, this is for CCIE.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjhuDp9Fpgg

    That is basically the pace of the entire series, I would say it's closer to INE than CBT Nuggets.

    I think I like him better as an instructor than the CCNP R&S instructor. As of now, this is pretty much the only option I know of anyway. It's now $149 btw for all four courses :D
    :study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []
  • lrblrb Posts: 526Member
    Good luck at meeting your target mate!

    Do the new CCNP Security exams include the nextgen ASAs? I was going to wait until they started including their recently acquired (well, not so recent anymore) Sourcefire kit in the exams before thinking about looking into them.
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    lrb wrote: »
    Good luck at meeting your target mate!

    Do the new CCNP Security exams include the nextgen ASAs? I was going to wait until they started including their recently acquired (well, not so recent anymore) Sourcefire kit in the exams before thinking about looking into them.
    Hey Irb, it looks like it does cover NGFW, here is a snippet from the exam topics for SITCS

    1.1 Cisco ASA 5500-X NGFW Security Services
    1.1.a Describe features and functionality
    1.1.b Implement web usage control (URL-filtering, reputation based,
    file filtering)
    1.1.c Implement AVC
    1.1.d Implement decryption policies
    1.1.e Describe traffic redirection and capture methods
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • craigaaroncraigaaron Posts: 132Member
    Vask3n wrote: »
    Hey Irb, it looks like it does cover NGFW, here is a snippet from the exam topics for SITCS

    1.1 Cisco ASA 5500-X NGFW Security Services
    1.1.a Describe features and functionality
    1.1.b Implement web usage control (URL-filtering, reputation based,
    file filtering)
    1.1.c Implement AVC
    1.1.d Implement decryption policies
    1.1.e Describe traffic redirection and capture methods

    from the course i just done on Implementing Cisco Edge Network Security Solutions

    the firewall they are using is X series and the concepts cover them at a basic level but the SITCS covers more advance topics
    Currently Studying: CCNP Security
    300-206 - Completed 04-Jul-2014
    300-209 - Completed 09-May-2017
    300-208 - TBC
    300-210 - TBC
  • lrblrb Posts: 526Member
    Awesome thanks guys! Might try to go for this cert after my lab
  • viper75viper75 Posts: 726Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I just got the new ASA book from Half.com

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1587143070/ref=s9_psimh_gw_p14_d4_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=029CYY6YZJDG14V8SP3E&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

    It covers the NGFW. I am currently reading that chapter. Trying to prepare for SITCS. This is the thickest book I have ever owned! HUGE!!!
    CCNP Security - DONE!
    CCNP R&S - In Progress...
    CCIE Security - Future...
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Powering through SISAS at full steam ahead, the more I study the more I find that there's a ton of information available for each topic so I'm trying to stay close to the Exam Outline.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Goal for today is to master CWA (Central Web Authentication). Went through some detailed design notes and configuration for phased deployment.

    Feeling pretty comfortable with FlexAuth and MAB, going to focus on Profiling and Posture after CWA.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Goal for today is to master BYOD. Feeling pretty confident now with MAB and MACSec and node architecture (PSN, MNT, PAN)
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • lrblrb Posts: 526Member
    Nice work man, you seem to have a really good strategy for tackling he exam topics by focusing on only a few topics every day. The content for this exam looks pretty interesting.
  • bryguybryguy Posts: 190Member
    Good luck, Vask3n. You're doing it the right way... I think in this industry, we have the expectation of being spoon fed everything. A whole cottage industry has sprung around Cisco certs that esentially teaches to the exam. Perhaps a better approach, similar to what you're doing, is reading the blue print, and seeking out the information within the Cisco documentation, and then pairing that knowledge with your experience in order to pass the exam.
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Thank you for the encouragement guys, it helps keep the morale up.

    I ended up spending a lot of hours this past week studying SISAS and I've decided to actually give it a shot this coming Saturday the 19th instead of my original goal of August 1. I feel that with the momentum I kept, August 1 is sort of far away and I feel that I would rather try it closer to when I have the momentum I do now.

    In my research I found a lot of items on ISE including how-to documents and informative videos. Without knowing how detailed the exam is I have tried to organize the information as best as I can and hope to use this next week to fill in the gaps and give it a shot on saturday.

    If anyone is curious, I would highly recommend the following video, which is part 1 of 8 on the ISE. You will notice that the video is pretty much scripted like a lot of these Cisco technical vids, but I found that this is actually a benefit because they go through details and explanations that are really comprehensive and not just covering the basics. Coincidentally, a lot of what they go over is on the exam outline so I am hoping that Cisco at least partly is basing the exam on their existing documentation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kaoof2Ty77Y
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • lrblrb Posts: 526Member
    I don't know if you have this but the INE All Access Pass includes an ISE primer for CCIE Security, which is about 4 hours of video content. I'm not sure how good this is but it might be worth checking out if you have it.
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    lrb wrote: »
    I don't know if you have this but the INE All Access Pass includes an ISE primer for CCIE Security, which is about 4 hours of video content. I'm not sure how good this is but it might be worth checking out if you have it.

    Thanks for the recommendation Irb!

    For today I am focusing on Guest Services using the ipExpert videos and some Cisco videos. Pretty nervous for taking this but trying to get as much studying done as possible.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Last 2.5 days of studying, I am pretty eager but don't really know what to expect. Hoping to get all loose ends tied before Saturday.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • bryguybryguy Posts: 190Member
    Good luck tomrrow, Vask3n! We're all pulling for you... bring one home for the TE team!
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    bryguy wrote: »
    Good luck tomrrow, Vask3n! We're all pulling for you... bring one home for the TE team!

    Thanks so much for the encouragement, I am still moving strong before tomorrow and am digging through all prior documentation again. Hoping to bring this one home tomorrow, I will post back after the exam.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • ande0255ande0255 Posts: 1,178Banned
    Good luck dude!!!
    Back in my day we used to route packets on 56k lines, through the snow, uphill both ways.

    https://loopedback.com
  • JustFredJustFred Posts: 678Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Thanks guys!!!
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Hey guys, it turns out SISAS did not pan out the way I was hoping today; I failed and will need to retake this.

    It was fun giving this a shot before the official material is out but from a practical perspective I might just wait the books out instead of dropping another 250 on an attempt.

    I did not bomb it completely and actually felt pretty comfortable while taking it until I got into some in-depth questions on a topic that I didn't expect to see covered so much because it's not on the exam outline (I can't really say much due to NDA other than I really wish it was more explicit that this was included in SISAS).

    If you are currently studying for this I can tell you with certainty that the ipExpert SISAS videos are not nearly enough to get through this test which is why I was glad I supplemented my learning with the documentation from Cisco.

    I guess I will try to hone in on my weak areas and lab up more before the next attempt, I need to take at least a short time to rest because doing these while working full time is not easy like many of us here already know.

    I am not as crushed as I was expecting after a failure and am still going to hack away and finish CCNP within the next few months.

    Edit: What I might do at this point is just start taking notes for SITCS so that by the time the books come out, I will have already taken notes for both exams and will add to the notes from the book.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • bryguybryguy Posts: 190Member
    Sorry to hear, Vask3n. It sounds like you gave it a good go... You'll nail it next time around I'm sure!
  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    bryguy wrote: »
    Sorry to hear, Vask3n. It sounds like you gave it a good go... You'll nail it next time around I'm sure!

    Many thanks brybuy, everyone's words of encouragement gave me an extra boost through all this.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
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