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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2014
In Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, co-authors Peter W. Singer and Allan Friedman provide public policy and national security professionals with a comprehensive overview of cybersecurity matters. In straightforward prose, Singer and Friedman answer key questions in three parts: how it all works, why it matters, and what can be done and address subjects ranging from advanced persistent threats, cyber force structure, options for deterrence, the balance between offense and defense, lessons from public health, to the incentives behind public-private partnerships. To round out the discussion, I would strongly recommend Cybersecurity and Cyberwar in conjunction with with Ronald Deibert’s Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace and Thomas Rid’s Cyber War Will Not Take Place.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2013
For those who want to keep up on the latest information of where we are in this cyber world, this book is for you. I just could not put it down. There are so many questions that we don't find answers to in the local coffee shop. A sip of java and a shrug are not enough. For example, what is Stuxnet? Why is privacy so hard to maintain? Where do viruses and malware come from? Why can't we catch cyber villains? What are the larger threats? The smaller threats? What agencies protect us? What is cyber war? How can the ordinary person protect himself on line? So many important questions. Singer and Friedman have shown expertise in answering them, and sometimes with interesting stories from behind the scenes. For me, this is essential reading. And, like all things about computers, time sensitive. Read it now, and hope for a new book next year.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2014
Like most people I was looking for answers to my personal LAN security issues and picked this book in the hopes of getting a deeper understanding of how to secure my network. But, I got an even better deal instead. This book covers the entire state of cyber security issues from car theft by network interference to Cyberwar.

The issue of network security has become global in scope and there are no political boundaries in Cyberspace. Nothing separates us personally from being raided by a thief whether he be an individual using an electronic jamer to keep your car unlocked or an employee of the Chinese government using commercial routers to collect personal data against you.

The misuse and abuse of Cyberspace is predicated on the natural openness of the design of the Ethernet. Education about the current situation is our primary defense against those who would use this valuable tool against us. And this book does an excellent job of appraising us about the dangers and defenses inherent in this communications medium.

This is not a book about how to setup the network security switches on your operating system. This is the book to tell you what has been happening in the entire world of Cyberspace that can affect you directly. Before you can defend yourself you need to know what the threat really is.

Most of the book is spent covering the current world level security threat complex. With the exception of Denial of Service and RoboLensing attacks, the book gives the reader very good advice on how to deny the attackers effective access to your computer network. The general answer lies here.

As in personal self defense, the answer comes through more effective communication with the security community and application of proper security measures. Reducing your threat cross section by using the approaches detailed in the book will help you to protect your data and your sleep.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2014
Dr. Singer's books are always engaging, and this book, co-authored Allan Friedman, continues that tradition.

This book is written to be consumed by any thoughtful reader -- it is not a deep dive in UNIX system administration challenges, it not full of computer acronyms, it does not require an advanced degree in computer science.

This book clearly educates the reader about cybersecurity issues, and then expands upon this discussion to enable the reader to conceptualize the challenges of the subject. A good example of this is their Short History of the Internet, which is a clear and concise and enjoyable read by itself. This history includes, in layman's terms, evolution, funding agencies, control entities, architecture, Al Gore, governance, cryptographic keys, and more. With this foundation the authors then expand into many cybersecurity challenges, like WikiLeaks and a variety of security threats.

I particularly liked the discussions on attribution, cybercrimes, and cyber terrorism -- these are not simple issues, and the authors articulate some of the complexities of attribution that make cybersecurity so difficult.

The authors wrap up the book by defining the Five Key Trends that Affect the Future of Cybersecurity – Cloud Computing, Big Data, Mobile, Cyberspace Demographics, and Internet-of-Things (IoT). These trends all increase the problem space of cybersecurity, and the authors define how these trends will drive an even higher demand for security in our future systems.

With this history, description of threats, frameworks, and trends, the authors truly accomplish their goal of delivering a primer of what one needs to know about cybersecurity and cyberwar.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2013
Peter Singer is a master at capturing the knowledge and information you really need to know and presenting it in a well organized and entertaining volume. If you liked "Wired for War" you will love this book. Required reading for anybody who uses a computer!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2014
There were two types of book I was trying to avoid when looking for a book on cybersecurity: an overly technical IT-based approach that would lose me after the introduction and so leave me lost and bewildered; or, equally unhelpfully, a book so worthy but dull that it taught me nothing of value and left me none the wiser about the significance and importance of the subject.

What Singer and Friedmann have managed to do with great style is to write a book that steers a middle way between these two possible pitfalls.

The book rips along at a good pace, enlivened by many anecdotes and stories and interesting asides without ever straying too far from their main theme. For example, I had no idea that the days of the dominance of the Internet by cute cat videos may be nearing its end as, "Google researchers have noticed an explosion of cute goat and cute Panda bear videos that have risen in parallel with the greater number of users coming online in sub-Saharan Africa and China."

On the face of it this is merely a whimsical aside but the authors have a serious point to make that up until now the Internet has been dominated by Western, principally US-based, users. This dominance is changing quickly, and the demographic of Internet users will change everything about the way cyberspace works, and particularly it will have huge implications for cybersecurity.

Singer and Friedmann are very patient and thorough at explaining terms and concepts as they introduce them, so I never felt condescended to, or left behind in a welter of jargon. Given the amount of specialist vocabulary this was a notable achievement.

I did find Part III: What Can We Do? to be hard going. The approaches and discussions are very relevant and entirely to the point, but that doesn't make the material easy to assimilate.

The authors managed to make a potentially dull subject accessible and interesting. They also managed to provide a calm and lucid commentary on a subject that is all too often filled with hyperbole and a deliberate over-inflation of fears and threats. I felt at the end of the book that I was much better informed and, I hope, a little wiser about cybersecurity than I was at the start.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2014
The authors certainly know their way around their subject and provide a good introduction to it. I do however, have two reservations. First, the chapters on cyberwar are not quite as deep or comprehensive as one might expect; in other words, more remains to be said about the relationship between this kind of warfare and warfare as a whole. Second, the chapters on the technicalities are a little too technical for an old geezer like me.

Still, a good effort and a worthwhile read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2014
This book gives great examples, explaining concepts that I have had difficulty understanding. It is a very interesting and informative read, as well as being easy to understand, and I fully intend to order another copy for my parents. I would definitely recommend reading this book if you are curious at all about cybersecurity.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2014
Do you know how the Internet works? I thought I did, but I learned so much. I don't have a science/technology background, but I'm definitely tech/computer literate. I think this book is written for the whole gamut of technology consumers and Internet users: from those who are comfortable with technology to those who are afraid of it. I found the writing and the information interesting and digestible. However, it may not be that informative to those who have a strong technology background. This is an essential book for anyone who uses technology, but doesn't thoroughly understand it--which I think is most of us. Can you get by without the info in this book? Absolutely. But no one should.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2014
A good read if you are looking for basic level cyber security material. Recommended for those in the policy arena.
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