SiegeCast: Unpacking the Packet

By Justin Connors | November 16, 2020



In a recent session, Jason Downey, a seasoned Security Consultant at Red Siege Information Security, took us through the foundational elements of networking that are crucial for every IT and security professional. From understanding basic protocols to exploring advanced network defense strategies, Jason’s insights provide a clear roadmap for strengthening our networking knowledge.

Networking Basics:

Jason starts with the essentials, emphasizing the goal of a network: enabling computers to exchange information. He breaks down complex concepts into digestible bits, explaining how protocols serve as the common language for data exchange across networks. By likening the process to everyday scenarios, he makes networking principles accessible to everyone.

The Anatomy of Modern Networks:

Delving into the structure of typical home and corporate networks, Jason highlights the critical role of routers, ISPs, and internal devices in facilitating internet access. His explanation of the OSI and TCP/IP models sheds light on how data moves through various layers, ensuring a smooth communication flow.

Core Protocols and Their Functions:

Jason provides an overview of essential protocols like IEEE 802.x, IPv4, TCP, UDP, TLS, DNS, and DHCP. He explains their purposes, from ensuring reliable data transmission to translating human-friendly domain names into IP addresses, making the internet more navigable for users.

Practical Applications and Network Design:

Moving beyond theory, Jason applies these concepts to real-world scenarios, demonstrating how understanding these protocols can aid in diagnosing network issues and enhancing security. He presents typical network designs, highlighting the importance of internal and external security measures.

Advanced Network Defense Strategies:

Jason introduces sophisticated network defense mechanisms, including firewalls, IPS/IDS, network segmentation, and encryption. He stresses the importance of these strategies in protecting against internal and external threats, advocating for a layered defense approach to secure modern networks.

Hands-On with Networking Tools:

Highlighting practical tools like Wireshark, Jason showcases how IT professionals can capture and analyze network traffic. This hands-on demonstration reinforces the significance of monitoring and understanding network communications for security and troubleshooting.

Interactive Q&A:

Jason addresses diverse questions from the audience, covering topics from DNS over HTTPS to integrating various security solutions. His responses offer valuable insights into current networking challenges and how professionals can navigate them.


Jason Downey’s session, “Unpacking the Packet,” serves as an essential primer for anyone looking to solidify their networking knowledge. His approachable style and comprehensive coverage of topics provide a foundation that IT and security professionals can build upon to enhance their skills and secure their networks.

Learn More:

For those inspired to delve deeper into networking fundamentals or explore advanced concepts, consider engaging with seasoned consultants like those at Red Siege that can provide not just insights but also practical strategies to enhance security measures against the ever-evolving landscape of digital threats. You can always contact us, or reach out on our social media. If you’re looking to dive deeper, have questions, or just want to connect with fellow cybersecurity enthusiasts, join us on our Discord.

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