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Mission-Critical Security Planner: When Hackers Won't Take No for an Answer 1st Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471211655
ISBN-10: 0471211656
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Editorial Reviews


“…This book is unique in its approach…and in conveying the overall strategy to the reader…” (Managing Risk, Summer 2003)

From the Back Cover

All the worksheets and templates you need to create a complete customized security plan that works for your business

Let's face it: Security is a business problem, not just a technical challenge. Whether hackers simply want to test their skills or steal your data, they can-and will-do incalculable damage to your company. You need a solid plan. The good news is that Eric Greenberg has done most of the planning work for you.

This isn't just an "I told you so" book. You get hands-on involvement from the start. You'll see your own customized security plan template begin to take shape as you complete the accompanying worksheets. Choose any one of the security plans outlined in this book, and you will be able to protect your data and deter hackers. And by implementing the proven strategies Greenberg details, you can secure your company's competitive edge for the long term.

Backed up by solid business planning methods collected from years of experience, Greenberg:
* Steps you through a complete customized security improvement plan
* Provides worksheets at every stage that you can use to create a comprehensive and meaningful security plan
* Introduces practical risk management techniques to intelligently assess and manage the network security risks and costs facing your organization

The book's companion Web site contains the security planning template and all the worksheets in downloadable Microsoft Word format as well as additional resources to ensure that you have exactly what you need to protect your company.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471211656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471211655
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,046,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is very rarely, that you'd see a good high-level security book nowadays. There are lots of great "worm-eye view" books with nice detailed descriptions of attacks, defenses, secure configuration options, tools and tricks. However, many of the high-level books resolve to quoting some outdated CSI/FBI survey, blabbering about security policy and giving out piles of outworldly advice on how to "mitigate risks".
This visionary book proves the opposite: you can have a high-level security book, which is not just practical, but actionable. "Mission Critical Security Planner" delivers a portion of the security process, packed into one toolkit. Make no mistake - this book is about planning how to do security, not how to tweak your scanner or configure a firewall. However, planning is indeed a critical (and, as the author points out, often missing) piece of security conundrum, and the book delivers on that.
An awesome component of the book is a large collection of templates and worksheets on "selling" security measures, planning the implementations, organizing security team, dealing with various business people and many other occasions. The book has the printed versions while its companion website criticalsecurity.com has the download.
The main part of the book is organized around "security fundamentals", large domains of security (such as authentication, encryption, integrity, privacy, etc), which are used to structure the security planning process, described by the author.
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In Mission-Critical Security Planner, Greenberg lays out all the security elements that should concern you and what questions you should ask about them. With this book, half the battle is won because you at least know how to do the planning. You still have to do the planning, but with the worksheets and tips provided in the book, that will be much easier than it used to be.
I read the book twice: once to get an idea of what all the worksheets were about and once to really read them with all the technical and practical details provided by Greenberg.
Greenberg identifies 28 security elements, including 15 fundamental elements, (six of which are core elements), and 13 wrap-up elements. Core elements include things like authorization and access control, authentication, encryption, integrity, nonrepudiation, and privacy. Those may seem obvious, but Greenberg has a lot of useful things to say about them that others haven't said.
Perhaps the most valuable part of the book is all the other elements, which we tend to forget, including addressing and routing (with tips on how to get those right from a security point of view), configuration management, directory services, time services, staff management, legal issues, and so on.
I'd be interested to see some projects get implemented with Greenberg's methods. I think it should work quite well, although due to entropy, laziness, over-worked engineers, and other such factors, I would guess that some of the numerous worksheets will fall by the wayside. But I think Greenberg would be OK with that as long as most of the worksheets are maintained and the company adopts security as a way of thinking.
In summary, this book is definitely worth reading, probably numerous times!
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Format: Paperback
Greenberg advocates an actionable, meaningful security approach that doesn't get hung up on methodology or reliance on abstract standards, like DoD and other common standards. The book skewers bureaucracies that believe planning and methodology is an end in itself, yet recognizes key business realities facing security advocates and suggests practical approaches to "selling security" within an organization -- an important topic given tight or shrinking budgets.
Greenberg is clearly a security guy and writes with experience and authority -- at times the style is conversational and humorous and at others professorial -- it is a good read for a security-focused text. While providing a strong overview of sound security planning and risk management concepts, MCSP also digs down and provides details where it counts regarding filters, proxies, IDS/VA, configuration management, content management (ActiveX, etc), and so forth yet consistently presents this low-level detail within the framework of an actionable security planning methodology that will be relevant five or even ten years from now. MCSP is anything but a security cookbook of technology discussions gleaned from public sources, although many basic concepts and topics are explained in the book's comprehensive glossary. Instead, the book presents the strengths and weaknesses of various technologies and approaches as they relate to the security improvement process.
MCSP utilizes a sequence of sophisticated worksheets to guide the reader through the security planning process and create a dynamic, actionable security plan -- not a plan that lives on the shelf.
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