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By Ben Rothke

Defending Against Hacks
Many organizations approach information security by throwing the latest technologies at each new problem, then hoping for the best. The approach never works because the organization has no knowledge of the threats it faces, no structured method for defending against them, and no process for dealing with information security as a whole.

Counter Hack Reloaded: A Step-by-Step Guide to Computer Attacks and Effective Defenses can help. The book shows the readers how to design networks so that they can withstand the many threats they face.

Authors Ed Skoudis and Tom Liston lay out the approach by providing a comprehensive overview of networks and networking protocols. Even readers with significant networking experience will find valuable information within.

Two chapters provide detailed information about UNIX and Windows operating systems, and the nuances of securing each. It is imperative to develop competency in both, because they are the world's two main target platforms and the top two platforms from which hackers launch attacks.

Other chapters detail how cybercriminals perform their reconnaissance and scanning attacks, then provide methods to defend against these.

At more than 700 pages, Counter Hack is an intense trove of invaluable security information; it is presented in an easy-to-read style. Any reader who sticks with this lengthy tome will gain an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of information security.

This nearly 800-page book, published by Prentice Hall PTR, is available via www.phptr.com (Web) for $54.99.

Review by Ben Rothke, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), a senior security consultant with BT INS.

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