Category Archives: Training

Training Course Scholarships

I’m glad to announce that I’m offering full scholarships for my online training courses to individuals employed by non-profit human services organizations. These are given out based on availability, and each application is evaluated individually by me. This covers the courses listed on my training page, and is my way of serving those who are helping others.

To apply, visit this link and fill out the application:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HQCW5ZN

Announcing the Investigation Theory Online Course

Investigation Theory LogoI’m excited to announce my newest training course, with a portion of the proceeds supporting multiple charities.

Register Here

When I first started out, learning how to investigate threats was challenging because there was no formal training available. Even in modern SOCs today, most training is centered around specific tools and centers too much around on the job training. There has never been a course dedicated exclusively to the fundamental art and science of the investigation process…until now.

If you’re a security analyst responsible for investigating alerts, performing forensics, or responding to incidents then this is the course that will help you gain a deep understanding how to most effectively catch bad guys and kick them out of your network. Investigation Theory is designed to help you overcome the challenges commonly associated finding and catching bad guys.

  • I’ve got so many alerts to investigate and I’m not sure how to get through them quickly.
  • I keep getting overwhelmed by the amount of information I have to work with an investigation.
  • I’m constantly running into dead ends and getting stuck. I’m afraid I’m missing something.
  • I want to get started threat hunting, but I’m not sure how.
  • I’m having trouble getting my management chain to understand why I need the tools I’m requesting to do my job better.
  • Some people just seem to “get” security, but it just doesn’t seem to click for me.

Course Format

Investigation Theory is not like any online security training you’ve taken. It is modeled like a college course and consists of two parts: lecture and lab.  The course is delivered on-demand so you can proceed through it at your convenience. However, it’s recommended that you take a standard 10-week completion path, or an accelerated 5-week path. Either way, there are ten modules in total, and each module typically consists of the following components:

  • 1 Core Lecture: Theory and strategy is discussed in a series of video lectures. Each lecture builds on the previous one.
  • 1 Bonus Lecture: Standalone content to address specific topics is provided in every other module.
  • 1 Reading Recommendation: While not meant to be read on pace with the course, I’ve provided a curated reading list along with critical questions to consider to help develop your analyst mindset.
  • 1 Quiz: The quiz isn’t meant to test your knowledge, but rather, to give you an opportunity to apply it to reinforce learning through critical thinking and knowledge retrieval.
  • 1 Lab Exercise: The Investigation Ninja system is used to provide labs that simulate real investigations for you to practice your skills.

Investigation Ninja Lab Environment

This course utilizes the Investigation Ninja web application to simulate real investigation scenarios. By taking a vendor agnostic approach, Investigation Ninja provides real world inputs and allows you to query various data sources to uncover evil and decide if an incident has occurred, and what happened. You’ll look through real data and solve unique challenges that will test your newly learned investigation skills. A custom set of labs have been developed specifically for this course. No matter what toolset you work with in your SOC, Investigation Ninja will prepare you to excel in investigations using a data-driven approach.

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Get stuck in a lab? I’m just an e-mail away and can help point you in the right direction. Enjoy the labs and want to go farther? You can purchase additional access to more labs, including our upcoming “Story Mode” where you create a character and progress through eight levels of investigation scenarios while trying to attain the rank of Investigation Ninja!

Instructor Q&A

This isn’t a typical online course where we just give you a bunch of videos and you’re own your own. The results of your progress, quizzes, and labs are reviewed by me and I provide real time feedback as you progress. I’m available as a resource to answer questions throughout the course.

Syllabus

  1. Metacognition: How to Approach an Investigation
  2. Evidence: Planning Visibility with a Compromise in Mind
  3. Investigation Playbooks: How to Analyze IPs, Domains, and Files
  4. Open Source Intel: Understanding the Unknown
  5. Mise en Place: Mastering Your Environment with Any Toolset
  6. The Timeline: Tracking the Investigation Process
  7. The Curious Hunter: Finding Investigation Leads without Alerts
  8. Your Own Worst Enemy: Recognizing and Limiting Bias
  9. Reporting: Effective Communication of Breaches and False Alarms
  10. Case Studies in Thinking Like an Analyst

Plus, several bonus lectures!

Cost

The course and lab access are $597 for a single user license. Discounts are available for multiple user licenses where at least 10 seats are purchased (please contact me to discuss payment). A significant portion of the purchase price will go to support multiple charities including the Rural Technology Fund, the Against Malaria Foundation, and others.

You’ll receive:

  • 6-mo Access to Course Videos and Content
  • 6-mo Access to Investigation Ninja
  • A Certification of Course Completion
  • Continuing Education Credits (CPEs/CEUs)

Sign Up Now!

This course is only taught periodically and space is limited.

Video: Tracking Investigations with Timelines

As humans, we rely on visualizing things to solve problems, even when we don’t realize it. In this video, I want to talk about how you can use timelines to visualize investigations. This is useful for tracking active investigations, retracing your steps and identifying gaps in your analysis, and relaying investigation output to management.

If you like this video, you’ll enjoy the course its a part of that I’m releasing in a few months. You can learn more about the course by signing up for my mailing list.

In this thirty minute video I illustrate the complexity of investigations and describe why visualizations are important. From there, I explain how timelines can fit this gap, and the types of events that are notable for tracking on a timeline. From there, I use VisJS to provide an example of how you can create simple timelines to track your investigations.

I’ve also included the following resources:

  • A sample timeline using VisJS
  • A directory structure and HTML page for managing timelines

You can download these resources here.

Video: Building an NSM Lab

Building a security lab is something I get asked about really often. So often, in fact, that I decided to put some of my notes together and record a short training video on the topic. This video is only a small part of a much larger series I’m developing, so if you’re interested in learning more about that when it’s available, sign up for my mailing list.

In this one hour video I discuss the importance of an NSM lab and go through a systematic approach to building your own. I go through the following topics:

  • Analyzing your needs to define your inputs and desired outputs
  • Modeling your lab by building a list of technologies
  • The pros and cons of physical, virtual, and cloud based labs
  • Choosing the right platform for your lab
  • Designing your lab network
  • Sourcing the right hardware for your lab
  • Taking a step by step approach to designing and building the lab

Once you’re done with this video, you should have a system you can follow to build a lab that will help you test and build detection, analyze malware, and create simulations. I also provide a lot of insight to my own personal lab I use for my writing and my day job. I’ve also included some additional resources:

  • Lab planning worksheet
  • An exact parts list from my lab
  • Two example lab network diagrams
  • The network diagram for my personal lab

You can access the additional resources mentioned in the video by signing up here.

Mailing List Availability

If you like the content on my blog, one of my presentations, or enjoyed any of my books, consider signing up for my new mailing list. You can do so here:

http://chrissanders.org/list

I’ll be using the list to occasionally collect feedback about research I’m doing and to send out preliminary research and content that won’t be appearing on the blog. If you’re interested in my work, this is a great way to contribute and benefit from it. I’ll also be sharing details about some new training content I have coming up and how you can get free or discounted access by signing up early and providing feedback. Lastly, I’ll provide information about new publications, discount codes, and the occasional free book giveaway.