THE MAGAZINE

Counterdeception Principles and Applications for National Security

By Ben Rothke, CISSP

***** Counterdeception Principles and Applications for National Security. By Michael Bennett and Edward Waltz; published by Artech House Publishers, www.artech-house.com (Web); 338 pages; $119.

The term “instant classic” is an oxymoron, but it nevertheless may apply to Counterdeception Principles and Applications for National Security. The book is a fascinating look at denial and deception (D&D), and how it can be used to compensate for an opponent’s superiority. While the book is written primarily for those in the military and defense sector, it still is of significant relevance to professionals in corporate and general security.

The book provides a comprehensive look at the various methods used in strategic deception and counterdeception. (The military defines counterdeception as the effort to identify enemy deception, then diminish its effect, negate it, or even use it to advantage.)

In nine densely written chapters, the authors explain the inherently complex nature of counterdeception and how to create a system for conducting it. The book also provides numerous technical and organizational methods for detection of D&D operations.

Of specific interest to anyone in corporate security is Chapter 3 titled “The Cognitive Aspects of Deception: Why Does Deception Work?” Many gangs and organized crime syndicates use deception to thwart people attempting to identify them. Investigators often succumb to their own biases—whether they are personal, cultural, or organizational—and in doing so facilitate their own deception by skilled criminals. It can help to become self-aware with regard to these biases.

The book concludes with a chapter on the future of deception and counterdeception. Discussions on topics such as how global information flows and mass media are of both practical interest and global relevance.

The line between national security and corporate security has been blurring for decades. With that, the forward thinking corporate security professional will find Counterdeception Principles and Applications for National Security a fascinating read. Let’s hope that for those in the federal sector, this excellent text is review material.


Reviewer: Ben Rothke, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), is a senior security consultant with BT INS.

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