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REVIEW: "Mastering Network Security", Chris Brenton/Cameron Hunt

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKMSNTSC.RVW 20021220 Mastering Network Security , Chris Brenton/Cameron Hunt, 2003, 0-7821-4142-0, U$49.99/C$79.95/UK#37.99 %A Chris Brenton
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2003
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      BKMSNTSC.RVW 20021220

      "Mastering Network Security", Chris Brenton/Cameron Hunt, 2003,
      0-7821-4142-0, U$49.99/C$79.95/UK#37.99
      %A Chris Brenton cbrenton@...
      %A Cameron Hunt cam@...
      %C 1151 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501
      %D 2003
      %G 0-7821-4142-0
      %I Sybex Computer Books
      %O U$49.99/C$79.95/UK#37.99 800-227-2346 info@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0782141420/robsladesinterne
      %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/
      Upcoming (ISC)^2 CISSP CBK review seminars (+1-888-333-4458):
      March 31, 2003 Indianapolis, IN
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