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Cyber Security

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Cyber Security, is the protection of computer systems; from theft or damage to their hardware, software or information, from annonymous attackers. The UK suffers with many cyber attacks every year, having eight in ten of the biggest companies in the UK attacked, costing the economy billions of pounds. One of the biggest problems  of cyber-security is the quick and constant evolving nature of security risks.

The approach has been to focus most resources on the most important system components and protect against the biggest known threats, which meant leaving some less important system components undefended and some less dangerous risks un-protected. Such an approach is insufficient in the current environment.

All companies can face two types of cyber attack:

They will either be deliberately attacked because they have a high profile and appear to have valuable data that is visible, or they will be attacked because an automated scan detects the existence of exploitable information. Nearly every Internet-facing company will have exploitable information unless it has tested and secured.

There are 3 main types of Cyber risks that companies are vunerable to:

Cyber crime – this is conducted by individual people or in groups, they primarily focus on money, data and causing disruption within a company.

Cyber war – where a nation state conducting sabotage and espionage against another nation in order to cause disruption or to extract data

Cyber terror – an organisation, working independently of a nation state, conducting terrorist activities through the medium of cyberspace.

Computer security is neccessary in almost any industry which uses computers. At the moment, most electronic devices such as computers, laptops and phones come with built in firewall security software, but despite this, computers are not 100% secure and may not be able to protect our data.

How do attackers operate?

Cyber criminals operate remotely, using numerous types of attack that are also known as ‘malware’. These include:

Worms – these expose weaknesses in operating systems to damage networks and allow full control of the infected security, is one of the biggest topics within information technology, which is why many organizations have been created to meet the demand for it.

Spyware/adware – this takes contro of your device and collect personal information without you knowing

Trojans – these create an escape on your device by which information can be stolen and damage can be caused to your device

Fast Lane offer a variety of Cyber security training, both in-classroom and e-learning programmes, ranging from beginner to expert classes.




For more information surrounding all training offers from various venders, please follow this url:

Should you require any information on training from Fast Lane, please contact us on:

Phone: 0845 470 1000

Fax: 0845 470 1001



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Advance your skills with Azure training and certification

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Whether you’re an individual collecting Digital Badges or a partner working towards Microsoft partner requirements, Fast Lane are here to help address the nationwide skills shortage on Azure.

It is a recently publicised fact that the number 1 cloud challenge for organisations is NOT security, but the lack of resource and expertise. With technology transforming just about every industry today, it’s not hard to see how lighting up these new technologies and capabilities is presenting challenges for both individuals and businesses to acquire the required skills which have evolved in the Cloud era.

In light of this, Microsoft have committed to train up 500,000 people in the UK to be cloud technology experts, and have launched their Azure Skills Initiative to help achieve this goal.

As part of the incentive, free online Azure training has been made available to help professionals develop core Azure skills with deep technical content, which is accessible anytime and anywhere via the Open edX platform, to jump start students onto their chosen Azure learning path and help individuals, partners, and customers realize their full potential.

In addition to the free online learning, Microsoft are also offering a promotion for students working towards Azure certification entitling candidates to purchase selected Azure exam vouchers, along with a free practice test and exam retake (if required), at heavily discounted rates. This is allowing individuals to reinvent themselves and prove to the world they’re ready to take on new roles that didn’t exist as recently as 5 years ago.

Recognising this huge investment from Microsoft, and as a Silver Learning Partner in the UK, Fast Lane share the responsibility to address this skills shortage and have stepped up to the challenge by creating our own Azure Expert Program, which builds upon the Microsoft Azure Skills Initiative and is ideal for individuals who are just starting their Microsoft Azure certification journey, working towards the industry recognised MCSA and MCSE certifications.

Through a combination of online learning and instructor led workshops, Fast Lane will help individuals acquire professional recognition for their expertise covering the full breadth of architecting, developing, and administering Azure solutions. The flexible package including all materials, practice tests and exam vouchers offers great value for money, representing a saving of over £1,000 against the individual components.

Students will gain in-depth and practical Azure knowledge, such as learning how to transform applications to the cloud and make them highly accessible, scalable and efficient, along with a detailed understanding of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Learners will gain the skills to transfer part or a complete infrastructure with Azure to the cloud, whilst providing users with a high-performance environment, even at peak times.

The Azure Expert program also offers flexibility, with the option to adapt the package to suit individual learning styles, instructor led classroom or virtual training workshops could be replaced with Microsoft MOC On Demand training, allowing students the option to start immediately and learn at their own pace and 24/7 with 90 days access per title to a blend of high-quality video, reading, live hands-on labs and knowledge checks.

In addition, individuals with existing Cloud skills are also catered for. Recognising that customers may be dealing with multiple Cloud scenarios, Fast Lane are pleased to offer the Microsoft Azure for AWS Experts (40390) course, which is perfect for professionals to cross train, having been developed to relate IaaS technologies used in Amazon Web Services (AWS) to those used in Microsoft Azure. This is also available as a MOC On Demand self-paced e-learning offering, or by attending a 3 day instructor led course, delivered either in a physical classroom environment or live online.

So while we all acknowledge that huge skills gaps exist for both individuals and businesses to acquire the required skills that have evolved in the Cloud era … what are you going to do about it?

Please contact Fast Lane today, we will be pleased to advise and discuss with you the various options available to help provide the knowledge to fill in the gaps!

Phone: 0845 470 1000
Fax: 0845 470 1001



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Palo Alto Networks New PAN-OS 8.0

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Not only did Palo Alto release the latest OS version earlier this year but they also took the opportunity to revamp their course offerings which I’d like to talk about in this blog.

With the release of OS 8.0 Palo Alto have chosen to combine the old ‘Install, Configure, and Manage’ (EDU-201) and the ‘Configure Extended Features’ (EDU-205) and ‘Manage Cyberthreats’ (EDU-231) into one 5 day course ‘’ (EDU-210). The EDU-210 course is not just a aggregation of all the slides form the previous 3 classes but a complete rewrite and revamp of the old courses, and obviously also includes many of the new features of the new OS-8.0, allowing students attending the class to not only learn about the power of the Palo Alto firewall but also get hands on lab access to familiarise themselves with the new OS 8.0.

I’ve been in the security field as both a consultant and systems instructor for over 17 years now, working with multiple vendors and from the ground up this is not your average firewall, as it is the first real true application firewall, In saying that any firewall engineer with previous, other vendor experience, other vendor experience will really need to get a good understanding of how the Palo Alto firewall functions in order to get the full benefits out of this remarkable firewall. So many times I’ve seen firewall engineers migrate from another vendor to Palo Alto and simply get it wrong, as they still trying to configure an old fashioned layer 3-4 firewall which this is not.

Education of this product is therefore valuable to any corporation who has decided to invest in the product, and wants to get the full potential out of the firewall. The new EDU-8.0 course will be well worth the investment, providing the systems engineers with the relevant knowledge and hands on experience to go back to work with not only knowledge and understanding of the firewall, but also confidence in converting the companies security requirements into the firewalls configuration, and the ability to use the many reporting and logging features to gain unprecedented visibility into exactly what is happening in the company.

Accompanying the new EDU-210  class, Palo Alto have also now released the ‘Accredited Configuration Engineer’ (ACE) Exam, which is a no cost self-paced exam online, providing students with not only an entry level certification at no cost, but also provides great preparation for the industry’s recognised premier Palo Alto certification the PCNSE ‘Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Engineer’.

So if your company has just purchased, or plans to migrate across to the Palo Alto firewall education should be part of the budget as this once again is not your average firewall.




Gabriel Bryson
Fast Lane Lead Security Expert

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Administering Cisco Unified Communications Manager

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Cisco Unified Communications Manager, at the core of Cisco Collaboration infrastructure helps to bring people together anytime, anywhere and on any device with a single architecture for voice, video and data.

It’s no surprise many organisations are adopting CUCM to seamlessly integrate people, application and endpoints, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and other devices.

With the ability to scale for up to 80,000 users and provide instant access, feedback suggests that following the initial deployment our customers could use a little assistance with the basic operation and administration of Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

Taking this into account we have worked with Dave Looby, our Cisco Collaboration Subject Matter Expert to develop the course below, designed to provide phone network administrators, data system administrators and entry-level network engineers with a deeper understanding of the product and it’s capabilities, allowing them to optimise and maintain the solution for the organisations they are working for.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Unity Connection 11.x for Administrators 

This 4 day instructor led training course provides an understanding of the Cisco Unified Communications Manager System, Unity Connection Voicemail and the IM and Presence Server for Cisco Jabber. Through a combination of instructor sessions and lab exercise, students are taught the concepts of IP telephony based in system administration, including its function, features, and configuration. It begins with the basics of IP telephony and very quickly moves you forward into an understanding of system concepts: clustering, creation of phones and users, route plans, digit manipulation, media resources, and phone features, which are all important when supporting IP telephony in the enterprise network.

Focusing on Cisco Unified Communications Manager version 11.x, the course is geared to individuals that will be using and managing the system and performing administration for Level 1 and Level 2 support.

Should you require any further information on training from Fast Lane, please contact us on 0845 470 1000 email or visit

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