THE MAGAZINE

Introduction to Computer Networks and Cybersecurity

By Chwan-Hwa (John) Wu and J. David Irwin; Reviewed by Ben Rothke

***** Introduction to Computer Networks and Cybersecurity. Chwan-Hwa (John) Wu and J. David Irwin. CRC Press; crcpress.com; 1,336 pages; $129.95; also available as e-book.

To use a boxing analogy, Introduction to Computer Networks and Cybersecurity is a superheavyweight of a book, coming in at nearly 10 pounds and more than 1,300 pages. And there is hardly a networking or data security topic that is not detailed in this reference.

Today, nearly every piece of data that needs to be secured is in some way or another connected to a network. With that in mind, the book takes an integrated approach to networking and information security, appreciating how tightly coupled they are. The authors note that one can’t effectively secure data on a network without a detailed understanding of how networks operate, as well as how data flows over the underlying network.

Written by two academicians from Auburn University and meant to be used as a primary textbook for undergraduate and graduate classes, the book is nonetheless an effective guide for anyone who needs a comprehensive reference, from the higher-level details all the way to the packet-level minutiae of the core topics of network security.

The book’s six sections include 28 chapters that progress from the fundamentals of networks and security to detailed networks, systems, threats, vulnerabilities, applications, and much more. While the book is huge, a large part comprises highly detailed and effective illustrations so readers can visualize the specific concept or idea being discussed. Each chapter can be read as a self-contained section; each starts with goals, includes detailed text, and ends with concluding remarks, problems to ponder, and additional references.

The book is physically heavy and textually dense, with a comprehensive index. But for those looking for a reference whose scope covers the entire gamut of networks and information security, Introduction to Computer Networks and Cybersecurity is a knockout of a reference.

Reviewer: Ben Rothke, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), is an information security manager with Wyndham Worldwide Corporation. The views expressed are entirely his own.

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