In Chapters 1 and 2, you read about secure network design principles and various Cisco security features and devices that were developed to stop the crackers cold. How do they measure against real-world attackers and situations? To answer this question, consider the answers to the following: What motivates the Black Hats who go after your Cisco routers, switches, and other networked devices? What do they gain from taking over these devices? How can a particular device, rather than an entire network, be thoroughly tested for security flaws before it is placed in the network infrastructure or before it goes into production the first time?
This brief chapter aims to answer these questions before the real fun begins as we switch to hands-on hacking techniques.