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Security Complete

By   |  May 6, 2003

Security Complete
Various authors
Second Edition 2002
Book supplied by Intersoft

The \”Complete\” series of books from publisher Sybex have become something of an institution in the world of technology publishing. The books, no matter what the topic, draw together a range of writers, articles and sources to publish books that are part reference, part step-by-step guide. Security Complete is no different and draws on the full range of Sybex writers to produce a very handy guide through the murky world of IT security.

Each chapter in the book is an adaptation of one of the other, more in-depth, books published on the subject by Sybex. So for example Chapter One A Systems Approach to Information Networks is in fact a much shorter version of Mastering Network Security and so on. And by doing so the company manages to keep the cost of the series down to a, relatively, affordable price.

Not exactly a straight introduction to network security the book could very well serve the network administrator as well as the home enthusiast who wants to learn more about designing, building and maintaining secure systems. And the book does a fairly good job of covering what is today an extensive and complex area of work in just under 1000 pages.

Initial chapters focus on some of the philosophical and design elements that go into ensure that IT networks are as safe as possible from malicious intrusion. In fact, part one has very little hands-on information and rather concentrates on explaining the principles, process and protocols behind effective security systems.

Part two, Operating Systems and Servers delves a little deeper into the mechanics of security and looks at the practicalities of setting up different operating systems with security in mind. The chapter includes Windows 2000, Windows XP, Netware 6 and Linux setup and considerations. Interestingly, the Samba server is giving an entire chapter to itself which alone could make this book worth its price given the rapid increase in users using Linux and Samba to deliver Windows file and print services.

Part three deals with firewalls, from a relatively short introuduction to what and how firewalls work through to network address translation, packet filtering, Unix, Windows and Linux firewalls. And the final two sections cover elements of the Cisco Security Specialist and MCSE courses.

Security experts that work daily with network security issues are unlikely to find much of value in this book, unless they are looking for a reasonably priced overview of current security technologies as a launch pad for further investigation.

Users still learning IT security, home enthusiasts or small business network administrators will undoubtably find the book absorbing and thought provoking. The best part of a book like this is the fact that the reader can drop in at any point and, hopefully, learn something new. And the information in each chapter is detailed enough, and generally hands-on enough, to make the book useful for most situations.

Click here for a scan of the contents page


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