Top critical review
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Gentle introduction to IT Security
on 17 January 2011
Richard Clarke has a good understanding of the politics involved in technology and why the implementation of defensive security measures has been slow within the western world, especially within the private sector of the critical infrastructure.
I found Cyber War a very well written book that was easy to read and understand. I am giving it 3 stars because it is more aimed at a political person than a technical one. Even so I would highly recommend it to anyone getting into the computer security or IT business.
The book does not use technical language and explains terms used in the text and in a glossary at the end. It is aimed at the non technical but could be required reading for anyone in the IT industry. There is good insight into the state sponsored attacks which are going on today. The threats faced by every organisation from advanced attackers need to be taken seriously. While this book does not claim to provide the solutions it should help to get the information to the real decision makers and budget holders within Government and large organisations.
The book begins with background on previous cyber attacks like the DDOS of Estonia and talks about how America wants to control cyber space. The end of chapter two narrates a (in my opinion) far fetched scenario in which the critical infrastructure of the USA is taken down. I think this is drawn form his previous experience in writing novels!
The authors broad background and view of international affairs allows him to draw comparisons to nuclear war planning which while I admit were similar were to 'out there' for anyone on the ground to influence. By halfway through the book I started to get pretty bored of the power grid and financial sector. I found that the recommendations given while reasonable were again to broad for anyone on the ground to implement.
In summary this quick read provides overview on the state of cyber space today and what may be done to start changing it for the better. Highly recommended.