Book review: Digital Defense

Periodically, I review books for the American Library Association. I thought it might be helpful to students to include a copy of my latest book review here as well. This will be published in the June issue of Connect Magazine at the ALA site also. I do need to keep my reviews to roughly 200 words (hence this quick review).

Pelton, Joseph N. Digital defense: a cybersecurity primer, by Joseph N. Pelton and Indu B. Singh. Springer/Copernicus, 2015. 209p bibl index afp ISBN 9783319199528, $19.99; ISBN 9783319199535 ebook, $9.99.

The goal of this helpful resource is to explain the importance of cybersecurity to anyone using a computer or mobile device.  The book begins with an overview of what is at stake and why individuals should care about security vulnerabilities.  The most valuable aspect is the authors’ holistic approach.  Rather than just focusing on the personal computer, Pelton (Pelton Consulting International) and Singh (Los Alamos Technical Associates) discuss everything from SCADA systems to life insurance policies to Wi-Fi hotspots and more.  They present concepts in easily understood language, define potential threats, and describe concrete steps to defend against and reduce exposures.  The book includes in-depth discussions of security as it affects the Internet of Things and attacks against both personal and corporate information.  Although the field of cybersecurity is constantly evolving and changing, most of the book emphasizes common security vulnerabilities, which will likely exist for some time.  The last chapter presents ten key cybersecurity rules.  One of the volume’s four appendixes is a useful glossary of common terms.


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