CSX Network Application and Configuration Course

Establish and secure networks from scratch.

Difficulty: Beginner CSF Domain: Protect


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The Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) Network Application and Configuration (CNAC) course provides students a fundamental understanding of how to establish, enhance, and enable organizational networks. Students will work with real networks in real environments and will leverage real tools, techniques, and skills to complete tasks in a cybersecurity environment. Upon completion, students will be able to set up networks, troubleshoot issues, and mitigate specific network-based attacks– valuable traits in the cybersecurity field.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credit Count: 18


Lesson Introduction to Networking Concepts

  • Understand the OSI and DoD TCP/IP models
  • Review commonly used ports and protocols
  • Understand various network types
  • Review network topologies and media types

Lab/Instructional Initial Configuration

Understanding how to configure a firewall and/or gateway for a first use instance is one of the most important elements of establishing a properly functioning network. In this lab, students will set up a pFsense configuration.

Lab/Instructional Router Familiarization

Without understanding the command line interface (CLI) or the graphical user interface (GUI) of an organization's gateway and/or firewall, cybersecurity analysts find themselves lost in confusion when an incident occurs. This lab will familiarize students with the CLI and GUI of pFsense, one of the preeminently used open-source firewalls available to organizations.

Lesson IP Addressing

  • Learn the Internet Protocol addressing schemes
  • Learn about subnet masks and class subnetting
  • Review common IP address related protocols

Lab/Instructional Setting up a LAN and a WAN

Understanding the difference between a Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) connection is pivotal to cybersecurity analysts and network engineer's alike. Regardless if an individual is an incident responder or a help-desk technician, it is important to understand the different types of networks and how they impact an organization. In this lab, students will set up and conduct basic configuration of a WAN and LAN interface on a gateway.

Lab/Instructional Connecting Clients

Cybersecurity professionals understand that most clients do not magically connect to a network unless Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is involved. Even then, the use of DHCP needs to be established at key points within a network and requires configuration. In this lab, students will work to ensure that clients are able to connect to a network properly.

Lab/Challenge Establishing a Network

Cybersecurity professionals should be able to set up and backup their router and firewall configurations in the event of an incident. Ensuring that these backups are on hand is pivotal, yet, more important is that they exist in the first place. Students will implement what they have learned thus far to ensure that a network is established and a backup of it is secured.

Lesson Network Threats and Response

  • Security weaknesses of networks
  • Identification of threats and vulnerabilities
  • Security assessments and testing
  • Common threat types
  • Tools used to monitor and protect network assets

Lesson Security Mechanisms

  • Learn the importance of network security mechanisms
  • Identify and implement various system hardening techniques
  • Determining security that meets your needs
  • Identify commonly targeted entry points

Lab/Instructional Basic Configuration

Simply providing connectivity to an organization is insufficient when considering cybersecurity implications. Ensuring that a firewall is properly configured will guarantee a higher degree of safety when organizational users access to network resources. In this lab, students will learn how to navigate a firewall interface to establish appropriate protection mechanisms for organizational users.

Lab/Instructional Port Forwarding and VPN Setup

Many organizations make use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to protect data coming into and leaving the network. Many remote workers, for example, rely on VPNs to ensure that they can securely work on a corporate network from a distance. In this lab, students will set-up and perform preliminary configuration of an organizational VPN.

Lab/Instructional Exploitation Identification and Response

Identifying when an exploitation is on a network is one of the key abilities which separates a cybersecurity professional from other IT work roles. Identifying when an exploit is sending data out of a network of responsibility and stopping the data leakage ensures that organizations can safely commence disaster recovery proceedings without losing additional data. In this lab, students will learn how to identify and block an exploitation on their network of responsibility.

Lesson Backup and Recovery

  • Understand the importance of network availability
  • Identify common issues that must be overcome
  • Review a variety of storage approaches
  • Understand the importance of patch and update management

Lab/Challenge Detecting, Responding, Recovering from a Network Attack

Students have learned a myriad of networking skills throughout this course and this final challenge will require them to critically apply all of their newfound talents to an incident occurring on their network of responsibility.