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An Idiot’s Guide to Securing your MySQL Database

Very nicely laid out slides on how to secure your MySQL Database with a focus on SSLs. Very easy to follow.

MySQL Security

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Chunking

A NetSec’s job DEPENDS on their memory. More often than not, our memorization abilities come from experience – doing our job day in and day out. BUT, if you’re completely new to the world of IT (like me) there’s a huge learning curve. When there are numerous amounts of commands you HAVE to know, having no IT background can make it quite the challenge to remember them.

The limitations of our short-term memory limits the amount of new information we can retain. The goal is to strengthen your short-term memory to make it possible to move that information into our long-term memory. The most effective way to “cache” your short-term memory is to use the ‘chunking’ method.

Your short-term memory has a finite capacity – about 7 items. An illustration:

__   __   __  __  __  __  __

The blanks representing items such as words.

So, when it comes to memorizing a list of 15 commands or so, it’d be pretty difficult to just read the 15 commands and be able to spit them all back out without missing some. Now, here enters the magic of chunking. You take each of those blanks, and add sub blanks to them, like so:

__ = _ _ _

The large blank representing a general category and the sub blanks being items belonging in that category. I’m going to show you a list of show commands I’m required to be familiar with then I’m going to break it down into short-term memory slots to show you how I have memorized them.

The show commands are as follows:

sh int status, sh cdp neighbor, sh vlan brief, sh interface, sh spanning-tree, sh vtp status, sh monitor, sh run int, sh mac-address-table, sh int switchport, sh etherchannel summary, sh version, sh histor, sh standby, sh ip route, sh arp, sh port-security

Notice below how i’ve “categorized” them and named the category.

The category is what is actually in one of the 7 short-term slots. So, to remember all these commands, all I need to remember is:

holy trinity, sh int, short commands, long commands, other short commands, leftovers.

That’s a much shorter list! Of course you have to study them to know which commands go to which group, but with only 3 commands in each group, it becomes a lot easier.

Try memorizing this list:

Banana, monkey, rhinoceros, pineapple, pluto, celery, venus, crocodile, bird, strawberry, sun, carrot, moon, blueberry, fish, mosquito, mars, asteroid

It’d be pretty difficult to read and study that, and be able to name them all. It’s not impossible, it’s not that long of a list, but it can be made easy with categories. This is where it becomes proprietary. People will categorize them differently (and as a note, category creating and naming doesn’t always have to be conscious. You probably categorized them in your head while reading the list without even trying) . Here are some options:

Animals, Food, Space

or, to make it easier:

land animals, non land animals, fruits, vegetables, planets, space – non planets

Got it? Good! Now remember, above all, repetitio est mater studiorum. Repetition is the mother of study.

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