The issue of cybersecurity is at the forefront of our mind; news of possible Russian interference in the US election, and the NHS cyber hack are just two recent examples of digital interference. The most remarkable aspect of this issue is that the bad guys aren’t just thrill-seeking bedroom hackers, they’re government-backed, government-trained and government-funded hacking outfits, working to destabilise entire nations. So in this age of cyber warfare and cyber terrorism, how much do you know about cybersecurity? It’s a dense and complex issue, so to help wrap your head around the issues, here’s our list of the 5 most important cybersecurity books that you should be reading.
This is one for the technical minded. If you’re willing to get stuck into the theory of coding, this book serves as an accessible and fascinating insight into what exactly makes hacking possible.
Equally interesting is why it’s so damn hard to stop. Tobias Klein is a cybersecurity specialist and in this book, he leads us through his work as he hunts for bugs in the systems of some of the world’s biggest companies, including Apple’s iOS.
The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security by Kevin D. Mitnick
This is an extraordinary book about social engineering, the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.
It examines the possibility that humans are the biggest problem for cybersecurity. The author is one of the world’s most notorious cyber hackers and was once the subject of a worldwide FBI manhunt; he knows his stuff. This is an invaluable book that uses real life examples to teach us how to avoid falling victim to social engineering attacks.
We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson
This book offers a first-hand account of life inside some of the world’s most notorious hacker collectives. It serves as an expose on how groups like Anonymous and The Global Cyber Insurgency, made up of loosely oraganised people from all over the globe, manage to gain worldwide headlines with acts of digital dissent.
Most interesting is the discussion around how such movements will evolve in the future, and exactly what it will mean for the world.
Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Have Cornered Culture and What It Means For All Of Us by Jonathan Taplin
Although not strictly a cybersecurity book, this remains essential cybersecurity reading. Why? Because it examines how the world, our values and our habits, have been shaped by the core beliefs of a handful of entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page.
These are the people who have largely dictated the very need for cybersecurity by moving nearly every aspect of life, governance and record keeping onto the internet. The author argues that this was not inevitable, we could have chosen a different path.
Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door by Brian Krebs
This is the story of spam. By tracing the history and examining techniques, the author lays out how spam email opened the floodgate for malware, ID theft, bank fraud and, most recently, ransomware.
It tells us exactly how we’re exposing ourselves to such attacks and ultimately delivers concrete solutions on how to avoid falling victim in the future. A gripping and foreboding vision of how our mistakes today are going to affect our lives tomorrow.