Think like a hacker, course teaches

To stop criminal activities within your organization, you first need to think like a hacker a new security course will teach when its first classes start in August.

Dimension Data will join forces with US-based training company Foundstone to run the first of its local Ultimate Hacking Defence training courses.

The course will provide in-depth instruction from the vendor's IT security consultants on performing attack and penetration assessments to expose the latest in network vulnerabilities and defences.

Dimension Data national security practice manager, Neil Campbell, said the course will incorporate everything from Microsoft Windows and Unix hosts, to routers and firewalls.

“Instructors will illustrate each technology’s default security posture, installation weaknesses, and pointers which hackers use to circumvent ‘secure’ settings. The teachers will provide practical countermeasures to every vulnerability,” he said.

Steve Ross, general manager at DD, said the course is designed to help IT security professionals think like a hacker.

“To stop a criminal, you have to have a mind like a criminal, which is what this course is all about,” he said. The course was originally titled Ultimate Hacking but it was changed to Ultimate Hacking Defence to avoid ambiguity.

Ross said although the course used practical and locally relevant examples, it was mainly geared towards equipping IT professionals with a way of thinking to keep ahead of the constantly changing security environment. He said hackers are constantly finding new points of entry and the secret is to find those weaknesses first.

“Security is the most important issue facing CIOs today. Yet it is not something you can just purchase; it requires a mentality that pervades the organization, as led by the IT department,” Ross said.

“Without the right people trained and skilled to protect, detect and respond to security issues, ‘out of the box’ security systems are useless. It is in response to this need for security training, both in government and corporate Australia, that we have joined forces with Foundstone,” he said.

The US based Foundstone offers training, software and services in strategic security and has published 20 books, including the best-selling Hacking Exposed.

The material used in the Ultimate Hacking Defence course is the same as that used by Foundstone in the US, but with Australian examples and relevance.

The $5000 course (plus GST) will run for five days starting from August 16 in all mainland capital cities.

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