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Scrappy Information Security: A plain-English tour through the world of Intranets, the Internet, Packets, Headers, Ports, ACs, Routers, Bridges, ... Cards and Biometrics, which (Happy about) Paperback – May 26, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Happy about
  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Happy About (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600051324
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600051326
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,215,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Dr. G. Hinson on July 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is promoted as a guide to information security essentials for "everyone" (meaning, it seems, ordinary IT users, not IT professionals) in plain English. I take that to mean a basic, entry-level and largely non-technical book about the protection of information in all its forms, accessible and of interest to the general population. [Read on to find out what it actually delivers.]

The book covers a decent range of commonplace physical, technical and administrative issues around IT security and to some extent the wider aspects of information security (the 6 pages on social engineering, for example, are worthwhile). However, organizations tend to have rather more information security concerns and controls than home IT users (lots of legal, regulatory and standards compliance issues, for instance, and a raft of security policies and procedures), not all of which are mentioned or well covered.

On a notional `depth scale' ranging from 0% (barely skims the surface) to 100% (PhD material), the content is about 25% with a few higher peaks in certain areas and a few lows. Identity theft, for instance, which is surely a topical and important subject for non-technical Internet users to understand, merits just over one page of coverage - 371 words according to the author. Bridges and routers get the preceding four pages. This is quite inconsistent with the needs of the stated audience.

The insets marked "What it Means" use analogies, it appears, that are presumably intended to illustrate or explain the surrounding points. Most are obscure and, despite understanding the context, some are stretched so far as to leave me perplexed. What drunk-driving has to do with host hardening I still have no idea.
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Format: Paperback
Michael Seese's "Scrappy" book about information security is an informal, yet succinct set of instructions and examples about information security topics ranging from physical security of business information systems to advice for avoid identity theft. It conveys all of the information needed for a solid groundwork in the information security field without becoming an uninteresting, overweight tome suitable only for double-duty as a doorstop.

His engaging writing style draws the reader into what could have been a dry, boring topic by making it interesting and useful, often citing current cultural references to enforce his points.

For those who deal with information technology, whether as informally as being a home computer user, or as formally as an IT careerist, his book is a useful and careful analysis of information security.
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Format: Paperback
I just wanted to say a few words of appreciation in praise of this little book. Scrappy Information Security is an accurate, readable and (gasp) funny walk through the basics of Information Security. It is rare that one of the more technical phone book size InfoSec tomes causes me to laugh out loud (usually I snore). This book got me fired up enough to start planning basic security awareness training around the topics covered within this gem of a paperback. That alone is more than worth the price of admission.
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