Defeating the Hacker. A Non-technical Guide to IT Security

Robert Schifreen

Publisher Wiley
ISBN 978-0-470-02555-0
RRP £18.99
Reviewed by Mehmet Hurer MBCS CITP
Score 9 out of 10

defeatingthehacker I warmed to this book very quickly after the author recalled his days at school using a terminal which was connected to the local town hall via 300 baud connection, and his early days working with Prestel systems. This was very similar to my introduction to IT.

The author is an ex-hacker and, therefore, a subject matter expert. All the key security topics are covered, and are mostly covered well, with one chapter per topic. There are 42 chapters in total, just to give you an idea of the scope of coverage. Each chapter is concise, very readable and understandable, and ends with simple checklists.

These checklists summarise the key activities that should be performed by IT management, as well as providing a means to confirm you have understood the topic. URLs are provided throughout should the reader wish to delve deeper into any of the subjects.

My only minor criticism is that in a couple of chapters the topic is covered perhaps a little too concisely, with some useful details omitted.

The anecdotes work well. Not only does the author talk about his hacking efforts but also covers some more recent security incidents.

Overall the book was very easy to read and is pitched at readers with very little or no security experience. It is a great introduction to the whole area of IT security with excellent coverage of all the key areas. If you are new to IT security I would recommend reading this book before embarking on more detailed texts.

More information: Wiley