Welcome to my SANS FOR508 Review! This has been long pending, and I’m excited to share my journey with you. In 2023, one of my most significant achievements was obtaining the GCFA (GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst) certification in November. The cornerstone of this accomplishment was the invaluable training provided by the renowned SANS institute, specifically the FOR508 course. I had the privilege of attending this course in Melbourne in August 2023, under the expert guidance of instructors Steve Anson and co-instructor Seth Enoka.
What I loved about the SANS FOR508 training is that it’s not your typical classroom experience—it’s more like a story unfolding. Picture this: from day one to day five, we’re on a journey, building up an incident scenario. It’s not just theory; it’s hands-on. We played detective, spotting single clues (IOCs) in different places, weaving them into a detailed incident timeline, and diving into the nitty-gritty of timeline analysis. It wasn’t just learning; it was living through a cyber incident, and that made all the difference.
A pivotal aspect of my FOR508 experience was the exceptional guidance of instructors Steve Anson and Seth Enoka. Steve’s reputation as a top-tier instructor precedes him, and rightfully so. His expertise, coupled with an engaging teaching style, made every session impactful. Having followed his applied incident response site, I had no hesitation in joining his class, and the experience exceeded my expectations. Seth’s invaluable support, especially in addressing what I deemed ‘dumb questions,’ created a nurturing learning environment. Together, their expertise and approachability played a crucial role in my successful journey to achieving the GCFA certification.
Undoubtedly, the FOR508 course isn’t beginner-friendly, requiring a certain level of pre-learning. Drawing on my work experience was beneficial, but what truly paved the way for my success were Richard’s 13 Cubed courses and Markus’s Practical Windows Forensics course. These resources were instrumental in bridging the knowledge gap.
GCFA Exam Journey:
The GCFA exam was a thrilling experience, though not without its challenges. A brief technical glitch caused a momentary pause, but overall, the process unfolded seamlessly. Without divulging specifics, the exam content closely aligned with the extensive knowledge gleaned from the course books. The SANS FOR508 poster played a pivotal role, aiding in the quick resolution of certain questions. Surprisingly, my reliance on the meticulously prepared index was minimal, as the comprehensive understanding acquired through the course proved to be the true compass guiding me through the exam’s intricacies.