- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (May 30, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321336437
- ISBN-13: 978-0321336439
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,517,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Protect Your Windows Network: From Perimeter to Data
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From the Back Cover
Praise for Protect Your Windows Network
"Jesper and Steve have done an outstanding job of covering the myriad of issues you must deal with to implement an effective network security policy. If you care about security this book is a must have."
Mark Russinovich, Chief Software Architect, Winternals Software
"Johansson and Riley's new book presents complex issues in straightforward language, examining both the technical and business aspects of network security. As a result, this book is an important tutorial for those responsible for network security; and even non-technical business leaders would learn a lot about how to manage the business risk inherent in their dependence on information technology.
Scott Charney, Vice President of Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft
"These guys have a profound understanding of what it takes to implement secure solutions in the real world! Jesper and Steve have been doing security related work (pen testing, consulting, program management, etc.) internally at Microsoft and for Microsoft's customers for many years. As a result of their real-world experience, they understand that security threats don't confine themselves to "the network" or "the operating system" and that to deliver secure solutions, these issues must be tackled at all levels after all of the threats to the environment have been identified. This book distinguishes itself from others in this field in that it does a great job of explaining the threats at many levels (network, operating system, data, and application) and how to counter these threats. A must read for security practitioners!"
Robert Hensing, CISSP, Security Software EngineerSecurity Business and Technology Unit, Microsoft Corporation, email@example.com
"A good book should make you think. A good computer book should make you change how you are doing things in your network. I was fortunate enough to be setting up a new server as I read the book and incorporated many of the items discussed. The lessons in these chapters have relevance to networks large and small and blow through many of the myths surrounding computer security and guide you in making smarter security decisions. Too many times people focus in on just one aspect or part of a network's security and don't look at the bigger picture. These days I'm doing my very best to keep in mind the bigger picture of the forest (active directory notwithstanding), and not just looking at those trees."
Susan Bradley, CPA, GSEC, MCP, Small Business Server MVP, http://www.msmvps.com/Bradley, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Jesper Johansson and Steve Riley's Protect Your Windows Network is a must read for all organizations to gain practical insight and best practices to improve their overall security posture."
Jon R. Wall, CISSP
"Jesper and Steve are two excellent communicators who really know their stuff! If you want to learn more about how to protect yourself and your network, read this book and learn from these two guys!"
"In order to protect your particular Windows network you need to understand how Windows security mechanisms really work. Protect Your Windows Network gives you an in-depth understanding of Windows security so that you use the security techniques that best map to your needs."
Chris Wysopal, Director, Development, Symantec Corporation, http://www.symantec.com
"Nowadays, a computer that is not connected to a network is fairly limited in its usefulness. At the same time, however, a networked computer is a prime target for criminals looking to take advantage of you and your systems. In this book, Jesper and Steve masterfully demonstrate the whys and hows of protecting and defending your network and its resources, providing invaluable insight and guidance that will help you to ensure your assets are more secure."
Stephen Toub, Technical Editor, MSDN Magazine, email@example.com
"Security is more than knobs and switches. It is a mind set. Jesper Johansson and Steve Riley clearly understand this. Protect Your Windows Network is a great book on how you can apply this mind set to people, process, and technology to build and maintain more secure networks. This book is a must read for anyone responsible for protecting their organization's network."
Ben Smith, Senior Security Strategist, Microsoft Corporation, Author of Microsoft Windows Security Resource Kit 2 and Assessing Network Security
"Security is finally getting the mainstream exposure that it has always deserved; Johansson and Riley's book is a fine guide that can complement Microsoft's recent focus on security in the Windows-family operating systems."
Kenneth Wehr, President, ColumbusFreenet.org
"If you have not been able to attend one of the many security conferences around the world that Jesper and Steve presented, this book is the next best thing. They are two of the most popular speakers at Microsoft on Windows security. This is an informative book on how to make your Windows network more secure. Understanding the trade-offs between high security and functionality is a key concept that all Windows users should understand. If you're responsible for network security or an application developer, this book is a must."
Kevin McDonnell, Microsoft
In this book, two senior members of Microsoft's Security Business and Technology Unit present a complete "Defense in Depth" model for protecting any Windows networkno matter how large or complex. Drawing on their work with hundreds of enterprise customers, they systematically address all three elements of a successful security program: people, processes, and technology.
Unlike security books that focus on individual attacks and countermeasures, this book shows how to address the problem holistically and in its entirety. Through hands-on examples and practical case studies, you will learn how to integrate multiple defensesdeterring attacks, delaying them, and increasing the cost to the attacker. Coverage includes
Improving security from the top of the network stack to the bottom
Understanding what you need to do right away and what can wait
Avoiding "pseudo-solutions" that offer a false sense of security
Developing effective security policiesand educating those pesky users
Beefing up your first line of defense: physical and perimeter security
Modeling threats and identifying security dependencies
Preventing rogue access from inside the network
Systematically hardening Windows servers and clients
Protecting client applications, server applications, and Web services
Addressing the unique challenges of small business network security
Authoritative and thorough, Protect Your Windows Network will be the standard Microsoft security guide for sysadmins, netadmins, security professionals, architects, and technical decision-makers alike.
© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jesper M. Johansson, Microsoft's Senior Program Manager for Security Policy, is responsible for the tools Microsoft customers use to implement security policies, including the Security Configuration Wizard and Editor. A frequent speaker at leading security events, he holds a Ph.D. in MIS, as well as CISSP and ISSAP certification.
Steve Riley, Senior Program Manager in Microsoft's Security Business and Technology unit, specializes in network/host security, protocols, network design, and security policies and processes. He has conducted security assessments and risk analyses, deployed security technologies, and designed highly available network architectures for ISPs, ASPs, and major enterprises.
© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I read and review books, I underline sections of interest and take notes in the margins and on separate sheets of paper. I dried out a pen underlining text and took three pages of notes while reading PYWN. The amount of good advice in the book is staggering. PYWN is incredibly engaging and clear. It is superbly organized, taking a layered approach to enterprise security. The book's strength derives from the authors' consulting experience, and they deliver many stories based on their interactions with customers.
PYWN is not a Microsoft marketing person's dream, either. In many places the book is very frank. For example, p 19 says IPsec in Windows "is the poster child for user unfriendliness." The authors correctly recognize the goal of a "protected" network by explicitly telling customers "no, your network is not secure" (p 15). They are critical of "Return on Security Investment": "following the [security] policy does not increase revenue, it does not increase productivity" (p 116).
This book is definitely not afraid to offend the reader. I do not mean the use of foul language; rather, the book takes very strong stances on certain subjects. Some of these directly contradict guidance given by others. Ch 12 even features 10 Security Myths. In many cases, I believe the authors take the right position, and they adequately defend their assertions. In other cases, I must disagree. The authors are not fans of detecting intrusions, and their monitoring advice in Ch 4 is particularly shaky. They also tend to use an example of compromising a host-based IDS deployment as an excuse to attack all detection mechanisms.
The authors are sticklers for accurate language, which I believe is required in our field. They are keen to point out that "IPSec tunnels" don't exist per se; there is, however "IPSec transport mode" or "IPsec tunnel mode." They repeatedly state that L2TP+IPsec is the only "IETF-approved" remote access solution. This stems from their requirement that such a solution authenticate the user and give his/her machine an IP address. Obviously IPSec alone doesn't fulfill those requirements, hence their promotion of an alternative.
In some cases this desire to use the right word doesn't work so well. I disagree with some of the terms used in the threat modeling discussion in Ch 9. I wonder why the authors (and other Microsofties) call this "threat modeling," instead of using Bruce Schneier's older term -- "attack trees." Sometimes the authors confuse threats with vulnerabilities. For example, p 237 says "Although a threat to an application many times can be eliminated with a patch..." That should read "Although a vulnerability in an application many times can be eliminated with a patch..." Threats can only be eliminated by incarceration; vulnerabilities are flaws which can be patched. On p 254 we read "the config.sys file poses no threat." That's right, but it's not what the authors meant. They should have said "the config.sys file poses no vulnerability," or perhaps "exposure." Finally, p 236 says "you use the model to communicate the current structure of the network and the threats created because of it." That is wrong; building a network doesn't create threats -- it creates vulnerabilities and exposures. Threats are independent of the network.
Similarly, the STRIDE model on pp 242-3 is mostly about attacks, not threats. Read any government report about threats to learn about organized crime, foreign intel services, script kiddies, corporate spies, and so on -- those are real threats. "Denial of service" is an attack; "information disclosure" is a security incident, or a consequence of an attack.
I should note that sometimes the Windows focus of the book blinds the authors to other, better security approaches -- some of which Microsoft is adopting. For example, Ch 14 recommends users "uninstall unnecessary components." This is obviously true, but it's a limitation of Windows. It's much better to start with a bare system and "add necessary components." On p 422 the authors say the Windows Backup Operators group are unsafe for backup. If that is the case, why do they exist, at least as currently configured? The advice in Ch 14 also results in an "unsupported configuration" for SQL server. The authors admit this is for "high security" needs, but this indicates a problem with Microsoft's approach. PYWN pulls no punches in some places regarding Windows, but in others it holds back.
PYWN is definitely not a security configuration guide, of which the authors are highly critical. In some places they do list ways to accomplish certain goals, but most everywhere else they refer readers to previously published books or documents on the Web. Bravo. The book contains numerous footnotes which I appreciated.
I found only a few errors in the text. On p 38, the text implies the three way handshake starts with SYN, ACK instead of SYN, SYN-ACK. On p 84; ISO is not "International Standards Organization." On p 121, the text implies SOX doesn't apply to all publicly traded companies. Since I read every word very closely, I am really impressed by PYWN.
This review is long enough. Let me conclude by saying you will absolutely not waste your time reading this book. It took me a week to finish it because I tried to make the best use of the authors' recommendations and insights. Keep my earlier comments in mind, then enjoy PYWN. I hope the authors produce a sequel or at least a second edition. They are exceptional writers, and this book could easily be called "Protect Your Computing Enterprise." Windows is an example implementation, not necessarily the core focus of the book.
Okay, having said that, let me tell you about the book. I've been doing a lot of professional security work over the years, much of it with Windows. I tend to treat new security books with a big grain of salt, because there are a lot of well-meaning people out there giving advice ranging from mildly wrong to actively harmful. Now that I've written a book of my own, I have a fair idea of what is involved and how easy it is to slip technical howlers past hard-working editors (who aren't usually experts in the topic). Just because something is written down in a book doesn't mean I automatically trust it; unfortunately, too many people do place their faith in the Holy Grail of the printed word. On the other hand, I've not only seen Jesper and Steve speak before, I've had the opportunity to work with them on past projects, so I have a reasonable amount of faith that they actually know what they're talking about. (If you haven't had the pleasure of hearing them speak, go find the events they're at and sign up. Trust me.) As a result, I was pretty sure this book was going to rock on toast and give me a few good hard nuggets to think about.
This book completely threw many of my security assumptions out the window. More than once, I was reading the book shaking my head, saying "No, no, that's not right!" as the authors made hamburgers out of yet another security sacred cow. After giving myself time to think about it from a real-world point of view, though, I almost always came away agreeing with them. At other times, I'd be pumping my fist in the air, ecstatic that somebody else Got It and was able to put it as eloquently as I'd just read. I don't normally read technical books cover to cover; not only did I read this one straight through, I went back for a second pass with a bunch of sticky flags. My copy now looks like it was in a Twister factory explosion. The book also comes with a CD; it's not got a lot on it, but the scripts that are there are very useful indeed. There's also an accompanying website, [...] which contains errata and downloadable copies of the scripts and files on the CD.
Some of the best content of the book isn't contained in the book -- it's on the website in the Listening Room. Here, you can find recorded versions of talks by Jesper and Steve. You'll find their talks cover a lot of the same ground the book does, but they are both dynamic speakers and hearing the material reinforces what you're reading.
So, is this book for you? Let me answer that with another question: Are you tired of being a prisoner to security bulletins, patches, conflicting (and confusing) security guidance, and vendor claims?
If you want to learn how to actually analyze your systems and network, asses the threats you face, and do more than follow step-by-step "hardening guides" that inevitably break the CEO's favorite applications, then you need to get this book. It won't give you false warm fuzzies; it won't hold your hand and do your thinking for you, because the reality of security is that everybody's system is different. You can't produce cookie-cutter protection for a moving target; there is no substitute for digging in and learning the techniques Jesper and Steve show you here. If you put the work in, though, I can promise you will have a much better understanding of what it takes to keep your systems and network secure, and how to adapt as the threat landscape changes.
If you want to keep plodidng on, performing security by rote, following checklists, then don't read this book. It will make you question your assumptions and might even lead to thinking. And the bad guys in your network don't want that.
To see a slightly more detailed verson of this review (with hyperlinks), head to my blog (e)Mail Insecurity at:
There are some downsides, the book is fairly text intensive (which is something I don't usually cite). There could have illustrations to make the points more clearly. But the images that are there are effective and used well.