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Mainframe Basics for Security Professionals: Getting Started with RACF 1st Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0131738560
ISBN-10: 0131738569
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ori Pomerantz has been securing computer networks--and teaching other people to do so--since 1995. Since joining IBM in 2003, he has written classes on several Tivoli®  security products, including IBM Tivoli zSecure.


Barbara Vander Weele, a software engineer at IBM, has developed and presented education material on provisioning, security, storage, and business technologies for IBM Worldwide Education. 


Mark Nelson, Senior Software Engineer at IBM, is a twenty-year veteran of the RACF design team and a frequent speaker on RACF and z/OS security-related topics.


Tim Hahn, IBM Distinguished Engineer, has been with IBM for seventeen years. He is Chief Architect for Secure Systems and Networks within the IBM Software Group Tivoli organization.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: IBM Press; 1 edition (January 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131738569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131738560
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,351,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. H. on May 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a young security professional who has had no prior experience with IBM mainframes. Recently I had the opportunity to get up to speed on z/OS and the security components involved. Using this book, I was able to understand all the terms and learn what I needed about RACF in just one weekend. It is a short read, and goes right to the point, which is quite beneficial.

Let's just be serious for a moment though. You are not going to learn all you need to know about securing mainframes by reading this book. Many chapters caution the reader that this is merely a high-level overview. If you require more specific information, you are going to need to review the IBM Red Books and start playing around to gain some experience with the security mechanisms. That's something you will never be able to accomplish in a weekend. And z/OS has probably been around longer than I have been alive, so...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark S. Hahn on February 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
For those familiar with the "Hello World" exercises for learning new computer environments, this book provides a very similar basic introduction to TSO for mainframe newbies. All of Chapter 1 is devoted to helping novices begin to make sense of the mainframe operating system interfaces (ISPF, TSO, JCL, etc).

Chapter 2 jumps right into RACF administration. Using the basic RACF panels to create RACF users and groups and even setting up their zOS UNIX (OMVS, or UNIX System Services, USS) environment, this book wastes no time in delivering what the title promises. Additionally, sprinkled throughout the wealth of screen shots are nuggets of very important design philosophy for RACF administration (for example: Least Privilege, Separation of Duties, and much more).

Chapter 3 continues with Dataset and General Resource protections. One advantage to having this team of long time z/OS professionals authoring the book is their sprinkling of anecdotal background materials. These anecdotes explain some of the "why do they..." questions that "old timers" take for granted and newbies would have no way of knowing. Such as - "Why do we have to scroll right to see all of the log message text on our terminal screen when we are looking at SYSLOG?"
Another factor in the value of this book is the timeliness of its information. It discusses the UNIXPRIV class and its value in the zOS UNIX environment. Even Discretionary Access Controls (DAC) and zOS UNIX Access Control Lists (ACLs) are packed into this book's 160 pages.

The depth of coverage in Chapter 4 on Logging is impressive. This is a subject near and dear to anyone in security or audit, and it is well covered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Gobbett on March 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This title fit the needs of the IT section of our office for reference questions concerning the mainframe security aspects. Shipment was prompt and delivery was without any problems in condition.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very basic. It could be better written in places, but over all it gets the job done It is pricey considering it is not very thick.
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