- Hardcover: 296 pages
- Publisher: Copernicus; 1st ed. 2003. Corr. 2nd printing 2006 edition (May 4, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0387026207
- ISBN-13: 978-0387026206
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World. 1st ed. 2003. Corr. 2nd printing 2006 Edition
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"Does arming pilots make flying safer? Computer security guru Schneier applies his analytical skills to real-world threats like terrorists, hijackers, and counterfeiters. BEYOND FEAR may come across as the dry, meticulous prose of a scientist, but that's actually Schneier's strength. Are you at risk or just afraid? Only by cutting away emotional issues to examine the facts, he says, will we reduce our risks enough to stop being scared." -- Wired
"Schneier provides an interesting view of the notion of security, outlining a simple five-step process that can be applied to deliver effective and sensible security decisions. These steps are addressed in detail throughout the book, and applied to various scenarios to show how simple, yet effective they can be....Overall, this book is an entertaining read, written in layman's terms, with a diverse range of examples and anecdotes that reinforce the notion of security as a process." --Computing Reviews
"Schneier is a rare creature... Although he made his name as an alpha geek in cryptography... [he] can also speak to laypeople about the general security matters that increasingly touch all of our lives." -- Business Week
"Once again Schneier proves that he is the one of few people who indeed understands security, and what is more important and more difficult, can explain complex concepts to people not specializing in security. Whatever your trade and whatever your background, go ahead and read it ..." -- itsecurity.com
"In his new book, 'Beyond Fear', Bruce Schneier -- one of the world's leading authorities on security trade-offs -- completes the metamorphosis from cryptographer to pragmatist that began with Secrets and Lies, published in 2000." -- infoworld.com
About the Author
Bruce Schneier is the author of seven books, including Applied Cryptography which Wired called "the one book the National Security Agency wanted never to be published" and Secrets and Lies, described in Fortune as a "startlingly lively jewel box of little surprises you can actually use." He is also founder and Chief Technology Officer of Counterpane Internet Security, Inc., and publishes Crypto-Gram, one of the most widely read newsletters in the field of online security.
Top customer reviews
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The concepts in this book will be familiar to anyone acquainted with threat or risk analysis and the making of 'attack trees', which are a subset of 'who's trying to get at this' and 'how can they be stopped?'
Grounded in a thoroughly secular evolutionary worldview, from which innumerable illustrations are drawn, and working from a thoroughly atheistical anthropology which believes in the inherent goodness of human nature, the analysis is hampered from reaching the heights of truth and probing some of the deep things of security, but as a practical layman's introduction it is not hampered as much as it could be (as if it were, say, a text looking for the underlying cause of security failure, subornability, etc.), and does its job admirably.
This whole book is filled with common-sense and not-so-common-sense thinking. I had the opportunity to see Schneier speak at Toorcon 2003 in San Diego and I can tell you this guy not only knows as much as anyone about security, he also talks *like a normal person*. He's not arrogant, he doesn't throw in gratuitous latin terms, he just makes a very clear point with extremely strong logic to back it up.
That's what this book is: a handbook on how to logically sift through all the garbage that's trickling down to us via the US media and our govt. Does the FBI need expanded snooping powers? Not according to Schneier, who backs that up with facts regarding 9-11 that tell us the right govt agencies *had* the info, they just couldn't analyze it all. So giving up a bunch of our privacy for the FBI to get more info doesn't make much sense in combating terrorism.
This is just one example in dozens. You may not even agree (I've met a few FBI people and they ALWAYS say they need more power/info), but reading this book allows you to pull the emotion out of security-based decisions, whether they are about home alarm systems or airport security lines.
For people who aren't familiar with Schneier, he is basically a semi-legend in the information security field for his cryptography, writing and speaking. His last book, "Secrets & Lies", broadened the scope of his writing from crypto to general infosec. Now he has broadened his focus even further to include the physical world (beyond the server room). To be honest he doesn't really even bring up computers directly that often, and when he does he usually tells us that they aren't nearly as good at making security decisions as people. Seasoned infosec people won't be surprised by any of the logic or conclusions in this book, but it's still worth a read because Schneier has obviously spent a lot of his brain's cycles thinking about security in general and we can all benefit from his conclusions.
Schneier has won my respect with this book. It proves that not only does he get the security details (the crypto), he gets the "big picture", even when the big picture has nothing to do with computing (eg muggings). It is rare to find this in one company, let alone one person.
Bruce has a five step process he tries to illustrate, especially in the second half of the book:
* What assets are you trying to protect?
* What are the risks to these assets? ( I think threats is a more correct word than risks )
* How well does the security solution mitigate those risks?
* What other risks does the security solution cause?
* What trade-offs does the security solution require?
This is a nice implementation of threat vector analysis and he tells great stories. I am not sure the book teaches that much, but it might be a valuable awareness tool for executives.