10 Books That Information Security Professionals Must Read
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books about security, whether we are talking about hackers, cyber-crime, or technology protocols.
Security professionals can gain a lot from reading about IT security. One can gain an understanding of how cyber security came about and how the field works today by absorbing the information presented in the security books. These books can help to better equip IT Security professionals to advance their careers in cyber security.
However, the question that rises is which book offers the most to information security personnel?
In this article, we have compiled a list of top 10 must-read books, which according to us can offer you knowledge and insight about IT security.
1. Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide – By David Kennedy, Jim O’Gorman, Devon Kearns, Mati Aharoni
This book deals with Penetration Testing by making use of the open source Metasploit Framework. It is beneficial for the readers who do not have any prior knowledge about Metasploit. The Metasploit Framework makes discovering, exploiting, and sharing vulnerabilities quick and relatively painless.
At the end of the book, the reader will get sufficient knowledge of penetration testing. It provides you with an actual penetration test’s simulated version so as to provide you with a realistic experience.
2. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition – By Jon Erickson
This hacking book is a must read for beginners. It is the best among many Ethical Hacking Books. This book provides you knowledge about the obstacles beginners facing during the beginning of their ethical hacking profession. This book can help beginners to do their job more professionally.
Unlike others, this book spends more time explaining technical foundation of areas like programming, shell code and exploitation and how things work from inside. Instead of directly taking you through tutorials, this book will first make you understand underlying mechanism and architectures and then it teaches you how to outsmart security measures, corrupt system, wireless encryption cracking and network attacks etc. Programming languages that are covered includes C, Assembly Language and Shell Scripting.
3. Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook – By Daniel Regalado, Shon Harris, Allen Harper, Chris Eagle, Jonathan Ness, Branko Spasojevic, Ryan Limm, and Stephen Sims
“Hacking” is the thing most non-security guys think of when considering a change to infosec. It seems exciting and cool, and let’s face it: it is! If you want a career in security, rather than a stint in prison, then ethical hacking is the way to go. This book explains the difference and teaches you how to start playing security offense.
4. The Phoenix Project – By Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford
The Phoenix Project is a parable of an IT project on the brink of destruction is told with humor and insight. In the form of a fiction novel that uses Bill, the IT ‘good guy’, to narrate, the book introduces us to his company’s broken mission-critical business project. IT changes are having a devastating ‘butterfly effect’ on corporate success, leaving Bill with very little time to discover the cause and find a way to save the day.
5. Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker – By Kevin Mitnick
This book is a thrilling true story of intrigue, suspense, and unbelievable escape, and a portrait of a visionary whose creativity, skills, and persistence forced the authorities to rethink the way they pursued the author of the book, inspiring ripples that brought permanent changes in the way people and companies protect their most sensitive information. Kevin Mitnick tells the intricate tale of how he dodged the authorities for years upon years using every hacking and evasion trick in ‘his’ book- and how he eventually got caught.
6. Cryptography Engineering – By Niels Ferguson, Bruce Schneier, and Tadayoshi Kohno
This book is formerly known as Practical Cryptography, which is the first edition of the book focused simply on designing a cryptographic protocol. With its second edition and Tadayoshi Kohno added as one of its authors, this sequel adds valuable details as to how to set up an entire secure system rather than just design a cryptographic protocol.
7. Hacking Exposed 7: Network Security Secrets and Solutions – By Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, George Kurtz
Hacking Exposed, now in its seventh edition, is still a great introduction into the basics of network attack and defense. Bolster your system’s security and defeat the tools and tactics of cyber-criminals with advice and defense strategies from the world-renowned Hacking Exposed team. Case studies expose the hacker’s latest devious methods and illustrate field-tested remedies. The book contains all-new visual maps and a comprehensive “countermeasures cookbook.” Find out how to block infrastructure hacks, minimize advanced persistent threats, neutralize malicious code, secure web and database applications, and fortify UNIX networks.
8. Offensive Countermeasures: The Art of Active Defense – By John Strand, Paul Asadoorian, Ethan Robish, Benjamin Donnelly
This book introduces new cyber-security defensive tactics to annoy attackers, gain attribution and insight on who and where they are. It discusses how to attack attackers in a way which is legal and incredibly useful. The focus is on a couple of techniques and countermeasures that mislead attackers, causing them to fail and generally wasting their time so that you become an unprofitable target.
9. The Social Engineer’s Playbook: A Practical Guide to Pretexting – By Jeremiah Talamantes
This book is a practical guide to pretexting and a collection of social engineering pretexts for Hackers, Social Engineers and Security Analysts. In this book, you can learn to build effective social engineering plans using the techniques, tools and expert guidance. You can learn valuable elicitation techniques, such as: Bracketing, Artificial Ignorance, Flattery, Sounding Board and others. This book covers an introduction to tools, such as: Maltego, Social Engineer Toolkit, Dradis, Metasploit and Kali Linux among others. You can discover the most valuable sources of Intel and how to put them to use.
10. Visible Ops Security: Achieving Common Security And IT Operations Objectives In 4 Practical Steps – By Gene Kim, Paul Love, and George Spafford
This book is derived from the study of hundreds of high-performing IT organizations and provides a four-phase approach to mimicking the best known methods of high performers. Visible Ops Security builds upon the methodology presented in the original Visible Ops Handbook. It guides information security professionals in strengthening relationships with IT operations and development groups to advance IT objectives and business goals. It addresses the people side of IT, empowering security to work with operations teams to achieve closely aligned objectives and with development and release teams to integrate security requirements into preproduction work. The Visible Ops Security methodology helps IT organizations move beyond a focus on technology to address the core operational aspects of security.