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Security books – 21 people name their favourites

Posted by on June 12, 2017.

Heimdal Security asked me and 20 other people to recommend their favourite security books.

I’m always happy to give Heimdal the benefit of my prejudices: I like the way they draw on a range of opinions from various interested and interesting parties from all over the security landscape. Thinking about it, though, I was not sure on this occasion that I was a particularly suitable person to ask about security books – at any rate, not up-to-date, state-of-the-art books on current issues. Unless I’m reviewing or editing, I tend to draw my technical reading from more immediate sources such as blogs and papers. In fact, I recently declined to take on a book project focused on malware analysis, chiefly because I’m not really qualified to do so (I haven’t disassembled malware myself in years) but also because technical assumptions and information can become drastically outdated in the long run-up to publication, and I haven’t the energy to keep updating a long technical work at my age.

Oddly enough, I tend to find that the books I find most useful now are of historical or generalist interest, rather than (nearly) up-to-date tech information. Perhaps that’s a reflection of how far my own writing (as opposed to editing) has moved away from specialist analysis and coding, or the fact that my own academic background is as much in social sciences and psychology as it is in computer science. In any case, I figured brief notes on the contents of my own little reference library and why I still use them might be of use or interest to people not necessarily looking for hard technology, so you can find my own thoughts at the end of a lengthy article put together by Paul Cucu: The best cyber security books out there, chosen by over 20 experts – Here’s what the cybersecurity pros read.

Just don’t ask me when I last read a security book from start to end… (It was probably the last time I did a book review.) At least I resisted the temptation to list more than one of mine.

David Harley

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