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Security Monitoring with Cisco Security MARS Paperback – Jul 6 2007

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About the Author

Gary Halleen is a security consulting systems engineer with Cisco. He has in-depth knowledge of security systems, remote access, and routing/switching technology. Gary is a CISSP and ISSAP and has been a technical editor for Cisco Press. Before working at Cisco, he wrote web-based software, owned an Internet service provider, worked in Information Technology at a college, and taught computer science courses. His diligence was responsible for the first successful computer crimes conviction in the state of Oregon. Gary is a regular speaker at security events, and he presents at Cisco Networkers conferences. He lives in Salem, Oregon, with his wife and children.

Greg Kellogg is the vice president of security solutions for Calence, LLC, which is based out of Tempe, Arizona. He is responsible for managing the company’s overall security strategy, as well as developing new security solutions and service offerings, establishing strategic partnerships, managing strategic client engagements, and supporting business development efforts. Greg has more than 15 years of networking industry experience, including serving as a senior security business consultant for the Cisco Systems Enterprise Channel organization. While at Cisco, Greg helped organizations understand regulatory compliance, policy creation, and risk analysis to guide their security implementations. He was recognized for his commitment to service with the Cisco Technology Leader of the Year award. Additionally, Greg worked for Protego Networks, Inc. (where MARS was originally developed). While there, he was responsible for developing channel partner programs and helping solution providers increase their security revenue. Greg currently resides in Spring Branch, Texas, with his wife and four children.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Overall a must for anyone working with CS-MARS product Aug. 21 2007
By Jamie Sanbower - Published on
Format: Paperback
This MARS book is a must have for consultants, engineers and operations staff. When I first got the book, I thought that it was going to be a replica of the first, but I was truly surprised. The authors use real life example to explain how to use the features/functionality of the MARS product. This made the book very easy to understand for different levels of knowledge and also made it easier to use these features in a production environment. My favorite chapter was the one on queries and reports. Any user of the MARS know how important a good understanding of queries and reporting and the authors make sure that you understand these topics.

I found that the authors did a great job detailing the importance and configuration of Archiving for CS-MARS. Many organizations forget to do this and suffer because of it.

Some of the other highlights that caught my eye and I thought everyone would like were:

- Chapter on Regulatory Compliance - Most books offer too many details on information that does not mean a lot to their audience, but this gives the perfect amount of information in order for you to understand the compliancy rules and how CS-MARS specifically handles them.

- How to size the MARS box for your organization

- Another chapter that caught the eye, was how to secure your MARS appliance, and why you should, with suggested IPS placement and firewall rules

- Details into how to use CS-MARS in your incident response procedure

- Integration of CSM with CS-MARS, this is where Cisco really stands out with security, being able to bring intelligence from one product into another

- The book would not of been complete without a section on the Custom Parser. There are a few examples, plus a parser for the Cisco CSC Module that you won't find anywhere else.

Overall a must for anyone working with CS-MARS product.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This really got me going July 20 2007
By Marcus - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book had all the right information I needed to get going with MARS. The way the book is organized, I was able to go from start to finish with my MARS appliance. I can now fully understand how the device works to help me protect my organization from security threats, as well as report on statistics that were essential to my management. One of the most helpful components for me was the great usage of screenshots that clearly illustrated each process being discussed.

I certainly recommend this book to anyone who is looking at security event management products, or has purchased MARS for their organization!
Just Okay Nov. 28 2008
By Paul Stewart - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is an extremely quick read which I like. Honestly, I expected a book on MARS to be more like a boat anchor and less like a paper weight. In any case, from this book, I understand the general flow of events through sessionization and the creation of incidents. However, there is no detail as to the algorithms that are used to create sessions. This leaves some mystery to the solution.

Another aspect that I thought was lacking was in the arena of topology awareness and device discovery. The book mentions that this solution is Topology Aware and how that is beneficial. However, it does not get very deep into how that is calculated and it pulls this information. Discovery is glossed over as well. For example, MARs has a global setting that is called "Valid Addresses". Does anyone know what that means? I would assume any addresses on MY network.

The book also mentions that MARs can do Vulnerability Assessments to determine the OS/Patch level of a host, but doesn't give detail as to how and when this happens.

I also felt like the book was extremely terse in explanation of connecting it to devices for collection. Granted this is a MARS book, but the fact that it is from Cisco Press, I would have expected general recommendations for connecting to an ASA, Pix, Router and Switch. None of that is there. Additionally, Netflow is barely mentioned.

This book is a good read, but only for new Mars admins. This book is well written, but its coverage is like swiss cheese. It is more like a document that was produced from an idea of what MARs was going to be during the development cycle than a guide that will lead you through implementation, and operation. As I said, I enjoyed, the book and it was a quick read. Probably not worth the list price though.
Needed more detail Dec 2 2009
By ame4c - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did like this book for it's overview of CS-Mars. However, I'm in the position to need more detail and ended up taking a class, which is what I recommend if you are going to be using the product daily.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A must have book on Cisco's MARS Oct. 26 2007
By Jason Westlund - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the best MARS book by far if you need the straight hard core information to get it done. As a CCIE I highly recommend it.