Cyber security books nowadays are a dime a dozen. The topic is so popular, that it found a reliable foothold in modern day fiction, not to mention all the books detailing exploits of real-life hackers in the past turned security experts in the present.
However, if you decide to dive past the purely entertainment products, you will find a slew of IT security books for experts that are extremely useful for building protection for your own company. Filled with technical details and real life examples, such books are a great tool for building your own information security program.
But it’s not all sunshine and roses. The hard part is actually finding a cyber security book that will be both informative and easy to read because most of them are overloaded with redundant information and written as a textbook. However, if you don’t know where to start, there is always a must read classics that you can turn to.
In Ekran System, we combined our own reading list of top books on cyber security. It consists of popular and well-regarded works, covering a variety of topics from cyber security policy to hacking and programming, to insider threats. We want to share it with you and hope that you will find something useful and worth to read.
Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World
by Bruce Schneier
Bruce Schneier is a renowned cryptography and computer security expert with several books under his belt. Beyond Fear is probably his most famous and most popular work.
First published in 2003, books deals with general concepts behind cybersecurity, as well as a mindset with which to approach it. It teaches you to think critically, avoiding unrealistic scenarios and edge cases, and approach security with practicality in mind.
Schneier presents a five-stage process for analyzing threats based not only on risks but also on feasibility and practicality of implementing security solutions to handle them. Such an approach can serve as a good basis for creating a cyber-security strategy for your own company.
Interesting examples and an entertaining writing make this book an easy read for both professionals and novices alike. If you want to learn how to think about cyber security in order to build effective cyber security programs, this book is a must-read.
Silence on the Wire: A Field Guide to Passive Reconnaissance and Indirect Attacks
by Michal Zalewski
Michal Zalewski is a famous white hat hacker and cyber security expert currently working for Google.
In this book, written in an easy to read and entertaining manner, he describes basic concepts of cyber security from a technological perspective. The core topics are various passive extraction techniques that allow perpetrators to gather information that our computers put out there without us even knowing it.
Book deals with a variety of ways in which adversary can gather information about the user without them noticing anything, thoroughly describing how the very design of our hardware leads to imminent data leaks.
This book will prove a great asset to any IT security specialist working on their own security system. It teaches on how to approach IT technology and minimize inherent technical risks present, in order to make your security that more effective.
Incident Response & Computer Forensics, Third Edition
by Jason T. Luttgens, Matthew Pepe, and Kevin Mandia
This book by the talented collective of authors, each an established cyber security specialist, provides a great and very detailed overview of the probably least discussed area of cyber security – incident response.
Written in an easy to understand way, the book guides you through the whole lifecycle of incident response, covering preparation, information gathering, and practical implementation of the remediation plans in a nice and organized way.
One of the best parts of the book is a selection of case studies that provide practical examples and serve to better drive the important points home.
No cyber security program can be complete without a remediation plan. So if you want to learn the ins and outs of establishing and executing such a plan, this book will help you.
The CERT Guide to Insider Threats
by Dawn M. Cappelli, Andrew P. Moore, and Randall F. Trzeciak
Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) division of the Software Engineering Institute is a federally sponsored research group, based at Carnegie Mellon University. CERT has an Insider Threat Center, dedicated to studying insider threats and providing ways to fight and remediate them.
This book is one of the products of research, done at the Center, gathering data from numerous cases and all major findings of the team to create a cohesive and detailed overview of insider threats and ways to combat them.
Book details all types of insider attacks, fully profiling each of them, and provides practical advice on how to implement effective insider threat protection techniques.
Insider threats are an extremely important cyber security issue, that often goes overlooked as compared to traditional protection from hacking and malware attacks. At the same time, insider threats can be extremely dangerous and usually cost more to remediate. Moreover, they require completely separate solutions to detect and fight them effectively.
This book offers insight on what makes insider threats so dangerous and how to prevent, detect, and respond to them.
The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection and Response
by Richard Bejtlich
Focusing on insider threat doesn’t mean that you should forego protecting the perimeter. This book focuses on network security and provides a ton of great information on how to protect and monitor your security perimeter.
Written by a security expert Richard Bejtlich and published in 2013, the book presents a technical, yet very well written write-up, that both novice and security professionals alike will find useful. It contains numerous technical details, and best practices, giving you the tools needed to protect your perimeter and effectively monitor threats.
Network security monitoring can be extremely expensive and large endeavor for a company. If you looking for a way to make it faster, more affordable, and, importantly, more effective, this book will prove a great asset for you.
Google Hacking for Penetration Testers, Vol. 1
by Johnny Long, Ed Skoudis, and Alrik van Eijkelenborg
Written by a team of writers, heralded by famous computer security expert and public speaker Johnny Long, this book focuses on a hacking the way that we often consider non-traditional.
It deals with a technique that allows gathering very valuable, often even protected information about the target without sending them a single packet. This technique is called Google hacking and it uses Google search engine as its primary tool.
This book shows how Google can be used to study your network infrastructure and determine vectors of attack, such as login portals and SQL injection points. This book deals with such subjects as exploits, incorrect server configuration, exposed files, and more.
If you’re looking at creating a thoroughly secure perimeter with a correctly separated internal network, this book is a must read for you.
Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker's Handbook, Fourth Edition
by Daniel Regalado, Shon Harris, Allen Harper, Chris Eagle, Jonathan Ness, Branco Spasojevic, Ryan Linn, and Stephen Sims
This book was first published in 2004 but since then received a number of revisions. The latest Fourth Edition was published in 2015 in contains a number of new updates, including new chapters, making it one of the best and most current gray hacking manuals available out there.
Written by a whole panel of security experts, this book describes tools, methodology, and a process of the gray hacker from a very technical standpoint.
While requiring some initial knowledge of programming, the book is easy to read and filled with numerous examples.
It proves a great read for security specialist, not only because it provides new and valuable information, widening horizons, but also because it allows a glimpse from the other side. By knowing how hackers think and how they approach problems, you will be able to thoroughly protect your software and your infrastructure from hacking attacks.
Reversing: Secrets of Reverse Engineering
by Eldad Eilam
This cyber security book for programmers was authored by Eldad Eilam, expert programmer specializing in reverse engineering. This book focuses on x86 infrastructure and provides a number of techniques and practical example, teaching reverse engineering from the very basics.
Do not be deceived by 2005 publication date – this book is still very much relevant and popular to this day. Very well written and structured and dealing with very basics of reverse engineering, it proves to be a great introduction to the topic, even if some minor details have now become dated.
Writing and using secure software is the foundation of solid security, and this book proves a tremendous help to programmers with penetration testing and writing secure code.
Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software, First Edition
by Michael Sikorski
Malware is undoubtedly one of the most prominent vectors of attack, constantly used by perpetrators. Every company faces attacks by numerous viruses each day, protecting itself with anti-viruses, firewalls, and other means.
This book teaches you the means to look under the hood of those malicious applications in order to learn what makes them tick, but even more importantly, how to fight them. It is a great introduction to reverse engineering and proves a fantastic read for both people who dissect and analyze malware professionally, as well as programmers, focused on writing more secure software.
The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws, Second Edition
by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto
Web applications are becoming extremely widespread in a modern business world, and you need to know how to protect yours. This book, first published in 2007 and then revised in 2011 provides an excellent intro to web application security.
Full of real-life examples, the book explores in full detail steps necessary to hack web app infrastructure, including authorization, session handling, database, and application server. This book allows you to better secure your web apps, and as a result, your whole network infrastructure.
Keep in mind, however, that certain exercises in the book are created with to work with a specific paid service. They are not mandatory, however, and you can use your own tools to complete them if you wish. The content in the book is well worth looking beyond that.
Best cyber security books are rarely free. You can buy each book from this list on Amazon, but if you need more readily available resources, you can always look at numerous cyber security articles at our blog. Focusing mostly on insider threats, we provide a broad overview for various topics from best cyber security practices to general trends.
Particularly, if you don’t have a reliable insider threat program in place, you will find a lot of useful information. We write for both cyber security experts and for beginners alike. So, check us out and keep reading.