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The Craft of System Security

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2008

    Extremely informative and a valuable reference guide!

    The Craft of System Security, by Sean Smith and John Marchesini is one of the industry¿s best resources to obtain the necessary understanding of computer system security. The authors delve into each of the subjects by introducing the reader to the basics and then quickly present the material to bring them full circle. The five sections are: (1) History, (2) Security and the Modern Computing Landscape, (3) Building Blocks for Secure Systems, (4) Applications and (5) Emerging tools. There are at least five books that are contained in this one volume that can stand alone. Each of the chapters end in a chapter summary termed ¿The Take-Home Message¿. The concepts are reinforced by including this at the end of the material being presented. The Craft of System Security begins with a brief history of computer security and explains how the field and principles that defined the area were conceived. I found the topic explaining the Orange Book to be very clear and concise. The section on Security and the Modern Computer Landscape briefly explains the OS and network security and how to apply them in ¿real-world¿ scenarios. The third part of the book, Building Blocks for Secure Systems, tackle the how to design, build and deploy secure computer systems. The explanation and utilization of cryptography, authentication, PKI and the validation of the systems as very detailed. In the final sections, the authors explain the applications and tools that can be deployed in your environment and networks. The information contained in this section may offer the reader a different prospective on how software and hardware impact security. Also, the human element is brought into focus. In order to fully understand the concepts that were being conveyed, I read the book a few times. This book is not for the ¿faint of heart¿ or novice. Although readers at all levels will obtain knowledge in computer security and how the methodologies relate to one another, it is understood that they should have the basic knowledge of the field prior to diving into this material. One of the recommendations that I would suggest for possible future editions of this book is to include a CD or other reference materials for the readers to quickly obtain and utilize the vast resources that are mentioned. I found this book extremely intriguing and full of practical information. I will refer to it through out my career as a valuable resource. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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