I just switched my personal web site (this one) over to HTTPS using Let’s Encrypt. My long-time hosting provider, Dreamhost, added support for it recently (January 20, 2016). Both Let’s Encrypt and Dreamhost’s support for it are still considered Beta, but no issues here so far.
I have always wanted to have encrypted transmissions for my web site but did not want to spend the money to get the certificate and and possibly pay for the static IP. Thanks to Let’s Encrypt and Dreamhost’s support for it, it’s now possible.
I am an information security guy with a computer science degree. A good portion of my knowledge lies in operating system security and the interactions between systems. In college I took a computer science course in networking in which we delved into network fundamentals (packets, headers, protocols, etc.). However, most of it was focused on building network-enabled applications at the system call library level in the C programming language. We did not get to play with routers and switches, even though we knew how they worked, at least in theory. We assumed those components were there, were properly configured, and worked perfectly.
In my information security work, I have worked with small firewalls, software VPNs, IPS/IDS devices, VLANs and switches, and some other network components. I was able to figure out and configure most of that stuff out based on my fundamental knowledge of networking. However, I still didn’t have any exposure to enterprise-level switching and routing. Now I am a security architect and that is essential knowledge.
I got a free copy of the second edition of Network Warrior by Gary A. Donahue in early January 2016 through my membership to several O’Reilly Media mailing lists. This was a great opportunity to grow my knowledge of an area that I needed. It’s just over 1000 pages and packed full of useful information. It’s mostly about Cisco gear, but there are many chapters that focus on concepts that apply no matter what the vendor.
Here is a mini-review of what I found to be most helpful from an information security perspective.