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Blueprint: Build the Best in Cyber Defense
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Blueprint: Build the Best in Cyber Defense

Author: SANS Institute

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Are you a cyber defender looking to keep up on the newest tools, technology, and security concepts? Then BLUEPRINT is the podcast for you! Tune in to hear the latest in cyber defense and security operations from blue team leaders and experts. With a focus on learning, BLUEPRINT includes interviews with today’s top security practitioners defending the world’s most respected brands, and in-depth explanations on the newest technologies, protocols, and defensive tools. BLUEPRINT, is a podcast hosted by John Hubbard and brought to you by the SANS Institute. BLUEPRINT - your one-stop shop for taking your defense skills to the next level!

53 Episodes
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Have you ever wondered what it takes to write and publish an information security book? In this special bonus episode following season 4, John discusses with Kathryn, Ingrid, and Carson the challenges and rewards of self-publishing, and the kind of effort that goes into producing a book like "11 Strategies of a World-Class Cybersecurity Operations Center".This special season of the Blueprint Podcast is taking a deep dive into MITRE’s 11 Strategies of a World-Class Cyber Security Operations Ce...
"This final chapter of the book is no simple closer! "Turn Up the Volume by Expanding SOC Functionality" covers testing that your SOC is functioning as intended through activities such as Threat Hunting, Red and Purple Teaming, Adversary Emulation, Breach and Attack Simulation, tabletop exercises and more. There's even a discussion of cyber deception types and tactics, and how it can be used to further frustrate attackers. Join John, Kathryn, Ingrid, and Carson in this final chapter episode f...
"Metrics, is there any more confusing and contentious topic in cybersecurity? In this episode the authors cover their advice and approach to measuring your team so that issues can be quickly identified and performance can continuously improve!This special season of the Blueprint Podcast is taking a deep dive into MITRE’s 11 Strategies of a World-Class Cyber Security Operations Center. Each episode John will break down a chapter of the book with the book’s authors Kathryn Knerler, Ingrid Parke...
"Research has shown that communication is one of the most important factors for success in security incident response teams. In this chapter, the authors discuss the critical types of information that must be shared within the SOC, with the constituency, and with the greater cybersecurity community. SANS Cyber Defense Discord Invite - sansurl.com/cyber-defense-discordThis special season of the Blueprint Podcast is taking a deep dive into MITRE’s 11 Strategies of a World-Class Cyber Secur...
Tool choice can be a make-or-break decision for security analysts, driving whether getting work done is a struggle, or an efficient, stress-free experience. How can we select the right tools for the job? Which tools are most important? Answers to these questions and more are in this week's episode of Blueprint!This special season of the Blueprint Podcast is taking a deep dive into MITRE’s 11 Strategies of a World-Class Cyber Security Operations Center. Each episode John will break down a chap...
In this special live recording from the SANS Blue Team Summit 2023, Kathryn Knerler, Ingrid Parker, and Carson Zimmerman joined John Hubbard they share their insights and expertise with attendees by answering their pressing questions. From discussing the most effective strategies for building a successful SOC to sharing tips on how to stay ahead of emerging cyber threats, our guests provide invaluable advice for those who work in a security operations center (SOC). If you're looking to take y...
There's no denying that the average security team is completely overwhelmed with options for data to collect. With a deluge of endpoint, network, and cloud data sources to collect, how to do we identify and collect the most useful data sources? That's the topic of this episode. Join Kathryn, Ingrid, Carson, and John in this episode for a discussion on tactical data collection that will ensure your team doesn't miss the signs of an impending incident!This special season of the Blueprint Podcas...
Every security team has limited budget and time, how do you know where to focus? Cyber Threat Intelligence provides those answers! In this episode, Ingrid, Carson and Kathryn describe how we can use CTI to focus our defensive efforts to understand our most likely attacks and attackers and move towards prioritizing what truly matters.This special season of the Blueprint Podcast is taking a deep dive into MITRE’s 11 Strategies of a World-Class Cyber Security Operations Center. Each episode John...
No security team is perfect, so in this episode, authors Carson, Ingrid, and Kathryn discuss what it takes to prepare for fast, effective incident response capability. Covering preparation, planning and execution, Strategy 5 will teach your team how to jump into action at the earliest sign of problems.This special season of the Blueprint Podcast is taking a deep dive into MITRE’s 11 Strategies of a World-Class Cyber Security Operations Center. Each episode John will break down a chapter of th...
In this episode we dive deep on the "People" factor of the SOC. Who should you hire, what skills should you hire for, what backgrounds are most likely to lead to success for your team? We also get into what happens after the hire - training, growth, and supporting your team in their skill and career development. This one is a must-listen for all the managers out there. We're all trying to build the highest skilled, most supportive team with low turnover, and the tips our authors bring to this...
In this episode we discuss how to decide on the right org structure and capabilities of your SOC. This includes questions like tiered vs. tierless models, which capabilities the SOC should focus on, centralized vs. distributed SOCs, outsourcing of duties and staff augmentation considerations, and also where the SOC might sit in the larger chart of your organization. Every SOC needs to be tailored to best meet the mission, and chapter 3 - "Build a SOC Structure to Match Your Organizational Nee...
Though a SOC is responsible for protecting your organization's assets, it is not the owner of those systems. If the SOC is not established with a clear charter and authority to act, it may quickly become difficult to be effective. Who should the SOC report to, what should be in a SOC charter, and how can we make these tough decisions? Those are the questions covered in this episode of our special "11 Strategies" season. This episode covers chapter 2 of the book - "Give the SOC the Authority t...
As the saying goes, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there!" - an approach that is disastrous to a SOC. In order to succeed, the SOC must have a clear understanding of where they are going, how they're going to get there, and why. In this episode of our "11 Strategies" season we discuss chapter 1 of the book - "Know What You're Protecting and Why". Understanding your organization and the environment the SOC must perform in forms the foundation of all security team...
Welcome to a brand new season of Blueprint! In this intro episode we discuss "Fundamentals" chapter of the "11 Strategies of a World Class Cybersecurity Operations Center" with the authors. We get into the motivation behind updating the book and why its lessons are more important than ever in 2023. This chapter includes discussion of the functions of a SOC, basics of workflow, CTI and contextual data sources, and why ops tempo and speed is a critical factor in SOC success.This special season ...
Hello Blueprint listeners! We’re excited to announce that the release of season 4 of Blueprint is just around the corner, and we’ve got something very special cooked up for you. We’ve teamed up with the authors of MITRE’s “11 Strategies of a World-Class Cybersecurity Operations Center” and over the next few months, we’ll be releasing episodes walking through each chapter with all 3 authors! We’ll be deep diving into what makes a SOC successful, get a first-hand account of why each strategy wa...
Ever wonder how a cloud and application security expert views risks of cloud workloads? Well, wonder no more because on this episode we have Brandon Evans - SANS Certified Instructor and lead author of SEC510: Public Cloud Security. We cover the why and how of moving their applications to the cloud, the key considerations for a successful cloud security posture, and how building your infrastructure with a cloud-native mindset can and should lead to an improved security posture. BONUS: Be...
In this episode we speak with Joe Lykowski - Cyber Defense Lead at a major manufacturing company on what it takes to build a mature, transparent, and effective SOC. Joe brings years of experience to the table in running a large organization’s security team and in this interview he draws out some of his favorite tips, strategies and more on metrics, building the right team, and what to prioritize as you build up a SOC for an org of any size. Our Guest - Joe LykowskiA graduate of Western ...
Many of us are either looking to start a cyber security career, improve our knowledge and skills to further our career, or hire a team that has the most skilled and promising candidates. In this special episode with Rob Lee, Chief Curriculum Director of the SANS Institute, we discuss strategies for building, improving, and testing your cyber security group’s skill levels, and working to keep our knowledge as current as possible - a critical skill for anyone in the fast moving world of cyber s...
In this episode of the Blueprint Podcast, we cover monitoring and securing macOS in an enterprise environment at scale with Jaron Bradley, Threat Detection lead at Jamf. We discuss the ups and downs of Apple's approach to macOS data collection over the years, the data sources and types that are accessible to defenders, what 3rd party agents bring to the table for security monitoring, and much more. Plus, Jaron gives us some great bonus tips for finding persistence mechanisms and malicious pro...
One of the best frameworks that showed up within the last 5 or so years is undoubtedly the MITRE ATT&CK® framework. Many of us may know about it in passing and even reference from time to time, but very few people seem to know the true depth of knowledge contained - everything from analytics to threat groups, specific mitigation and detection opportunities, and with the newest versions, even specific data sources. In this episode we talk to the Defensive Lead of ATT&CK from MITRE, Lex...
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