***** Security Power Tools. By Bryan Burns, Jennifer Granick, et al; published by O’Reilly Media, Inc., www.oreilly.com (Web); 856 pages; $59.99.
A classic ad for Snap-on brand tools featured the tagline, “I own the best, please don’t ask to borrow them.” In the new, complex world of IT security, picking the best tool for the job is no easy task. An indispensable reference on the subject, Security Power Tools, brings together a slew of expert authors who detail the best security tools available.
The main portion of the book is divided into six sections comprising 23 chapters that cover the following aspects of network security: reconnaissance, penetration, control, defense, monitoring, and discovery. The chapters cover tools for major operating systems from Unix/Linux, to Windows and Macintosh. The book is organized and progresses in a logical sequence that parallels real-world security scenarios and application of the tools.
Each section and subsection covers the subjects at hand, and then lists the appropriate tool for the job. The book not only lists and evaluates top tools but also explains how to access all of them, many for free, by downloading them from the Internet.
Many of the hacking countermeasures listed in the book may, however, require specific legal permission before use. Perhaps for this reason, the book opens with a chapter on legal and ethical issues. Yet the chapter does not read like a legal disclaimer—quite the contrary—it’s both engaging and fascinating.
This book is written for experienced security professionals who need an authoritative resource for finding the best IT security tool for the job. At nearly 800 pages, the text covers nearly every available security tool known, making it the de facto reference to such tool selection. Readers will find it an invaluable guide.
Reviewer: Ben Rothke, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), is a New York City-based senior security consultant.