This book is not an introduction to network, server, or database administration. Neither is it an introduction to security tools or techniques. You need to have a foundational understanding of these areas and seek to build on them through specialization of your base skills. If you need a more introductory book I highly recommend The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection. This book attempts to take you deeper into your network, guiding you to identify the more sensitive, important parts of the network for focused monitoring. The first chapter is just an overview chapter and introduces the fictitious company used throughout the book, Blanco Wireless. Like most tech books, the good stuff starts in chapter two.
The second chapter discusses the wide variety of approaches for selecting the policies to monitor. It then discusses the the environment in which these policies are to be applied. Chapter three explores two primary methods of learning about a network: network taxonomy and network telemetry. Chapter four provides a third and final foundation, guiding you to select broad targets on which to focus your monitoring. Deep, proactive security monitoring is overwhelming and unproductive if it isn't targeted to specific systems. By selecting monitoring targets, you can narrow your focus to the most critical systems, making the most of your security monitoring equipment and staff.
Once you've worked through the steps of defining security policies, you know your network, and you've selected your targets, you can build on that foundation by choosing your event sources. Chapter 5 provides an overview of the various device types and their event sources, how you can collect them, and how you can inspect them for security policy violations. The various choices available are collected into a subset of the best event sources to help you choose the appropriate sources quickly, without becoming overwhelmed in the sea of possibilities. Chapter 6 provides guidance on how you can carefully configure systems that fit your infrastructure, and then tune them so you can detect the real security events.Chapter 7 aims to professionalize your monitoring, preventing gaps that could allow an intrusion to succeed without notice. With these finishing touches in place, you should be able to monitor your systems with confidence.
Chapter 8 is a concluding chapter. It gives examples where monitoring ideals haven't always aligned with practical experience, including the consequences of those deviations from standard rules. It gives the results of two case studies, including how the organizations deployed targeted monitoring. It concludes by stripping down the advice of the book to bare-minimum tasks for each step, leaving you with a checklist to start your own targeted monitoring.
Appendix A gives detailed information on setting up and running a NetFlow collector based on OSU flow-tools, followed by some simple commands to enable NetFlow generation from a Cisco IOS router. OSU flow-tools is a set of open source NetFlow collection utilities.
This book is a good combination of tools, calculations, and advice on organizing your thoughts and strategy for the more advanced user who is familiar with networks and network security. I highly recommend it for that type of reader.