Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 5

This was the last day for the Management 512 “Security Leadership Essentials for Manager’s” course.  Day 5 was a Management Practicum.  

The Day 5 material was the most focused on pure management with less attention on technical information.  The topics included understanding legal liability and managing technical employees.

As a management “practicum”, I was hoping for more scenarios, role-play, or exercises.  That being said, the class did have an outstanding discussion on the topics at hand. 

MGMT 512 uses a trademarked feature called “Knowledge Compression”. Most of the full length courses are 6 days.  There are also a handful of one day courses that are being offered, so the conference runs throughout this weekend.

I had a GREAT time participating in the SANS work-study program.  One of the most memorable moments was when the hotel staff asked if we wanted to jump in a bounce house they set up.  Apparently they had it set up to model to a different group and thought someone should get some use out of it before they deflated it.  

We collectively thought it would be a good idea to get a picture of us all jumping around with and post it on the website with a caption of “Volunteering at SANS is fun!”.  Well, the bounce house had a “structural failure”.  To make a long story short, I ended up folded like a taco in a corner of the bounce house with everything collapsing around me.  Needless to say, we were all laughing pretty hard.  Hopefully, I can get a copy of one of the pictures taken.  Check out the SANS website if you are interested in their work-study program I highly recommend it! 

Related Posts: 

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 4

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 3

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 2

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 1

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Setup


2 comments so far

  1. Ray on

    Douglas – been long time since I saw you in LA at that SANS conference – hope all is well. I took 512 a couple of years ago and while there was great content it just felt ill suited for security management / leadership. Perhaps the course has changed, but I thought 2 hours of refresh on packet analysis to be ‘cool’ but entirely inappropriate given the cost of the course and the marketed content/approach. My hope would have been that Stephen re-tooled the course to focus more on management & leadership disciplines. Anyway – last tidbit was that I never really understood the whole ‘knowledge compression’ thing – if it means sitting on your derriere for 9-10 hours and grinding through the material then mission accomplished. I’ve since spent much time in a PhD program and partly studying learning theory as it applies to security training and awareness – there is little to show, evidence or support KC. Having poo pooed it all – the 512 course did have some positive elements – the chance to network with and dialogue with others on ‘what are you doing’ was invaluable. I only hope SANS continues to try and improve the product.

  2. wifijedi on


    Thanks for visiting, and more importantly, commenting. I love the discussion aspect of blogging!

    The MGMT 512 course seemed to be a Manager’s Version of the Security 401 course. For me, more management information would have been useful. However, that’s because I have more technical experience than managerial experience. I think the MGMT 512 course has to play to both crowds.

    SANS has come out with another course – MGMT 525 (Project Management and Effective Communications for Security Professionals and Managers). I haven’t taken this, but it seems to be much more of what I was looking for.

    I also see that SANS offers a one day course, MGMT 421 (SANS Leadership and Management Competencies). I will let you know if I happen to take either of these courses in the near future.

    I will leave you with the fact that I know Stephen updates his course almost every single time it gets taught. SANS takes their feedback forms VERY seriously, and Stephen’s attitude towards constant improvement of his course leads the rest of the group.

    I hope that all is well for you – please don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you need anything. Again, thanks for your comment.


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