REVIEW: "Mastering Network Security", Chris Brenton/Cameron Hunt
- BKMSNTSC.RVW 20021220
"Mastering Network Security", Chris Brenton/Cameron Hunt, 2003,
%A Chris Brenton cbrenton@...
%A Cameron Hunt cam@...
%C 1151 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501
%I Sybex Computer Books
%O U$49.99/C$79.95/UK#37.99 800-227-2346 info@...
%P 490 p.
%T "Mastering Network Security, Second Edition"
The introduction states that this book is aimed at systems
administrators who are not security experts, but have some
responsibility for ensuring the integrity of their systems. That
would seem to cover most sysadmins. However, whether the material in
this work is at a suitable level for most sysadmins is open to
question. Now, to be fair to the authors, it seems that this second
edition is a reissue, only marginally revised, of a book that was
originally published seven years ago. (Under most standard contracts,
publishers have the right to do this, and authors can't do much about
it.) At that point, the material might have been pretty reasonable.
Currently, it isn't.
Chapter one discusses systems theory. While the application of the
text to network and security management is reasonably obvious in
hypothetical terms, it is not at all clear in regard to direct
operation in the real world. (This is particularly true for those who
are not security professionals.) The systems development life cycle
(SDLC) is covered in chapter two and, again, while it is an important
topic, the relation to security is not made manifest. The
introduction to networking itself covers the OSI (Open Systems
Interconnection) model, routing, and bits of TCP/IP, in chapter three.
One would have thought that this would have been old news to
sysadmins. The same is true of the material on transmission and
network topology, in chapter four. There is some mention of security
issues, but the discussion is minimal.
Chapter five has a reasonable overview of firewalls, although the
terminology is not always standard. Chapter six is documentation for
the Cisco PIX firewall. The information about intrusion detection
systems, in chapter seven, provides good material on points often
neglected by other works, and adds a guide to Snort. The coverage of
cryptography, in chapter eight, has a confusing structure. Most of
the material on virtual private networks consists of screen shots of
Microsoft's RRAS (Routing and Remote Access Server), in chapter nine.
Chapter ten relies on old concepts and technologies to discuss viruses
and other malware. Disaster prevention and recovery, in chapter
eleven, concentrates on building redundancy and the VERITAS server
based backup system. A good deal of information about Windows, most
of which may have some relevance to security, is in chapter twelve.
Some introductory, and some network, data about UNIX is available in
chapter thirteen. Chapter fourteen describes how information can be
obtained about your system in order to mount an intrusion attack.
Some resources for security are mentioned in chapter fifteen.
Overall, the book does provide a fair amount of information that would
likely be of help to most network administrators in securing their
systems and networks. However, there is also a lot of detail that is
not directly relevant to the task, some erroneous content, and not a
few gaps. While the original authors may have mastered their topic,
the volume currently on offer does not reflect that.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002 BKMSNTSC.RVW 20021220
rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
Find book info victoria.tc.ca/techrev/ or sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade/
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