About This Book
This book is about computer securitywhat it is, where it came from, where it's going, and why we should care about it. It introduces the many different areas of security in clear and simple terms: access controls, worms and viruses, cryptography, firewalls, network and web security, biometric devices, and more. If you're at all interested in computer security or if computer security is a part of your job (whether you want it to be or not!), you should find this book useful. I've tried to give you the big picture and quite a few helpful details.
This book is not a technical reference. I've tried to pull together the basics about many different areas of computer security and put that information together comprehensively. If you need particularly technical information about a specific area of computer security (for example, making your specific system or operating system more secure, securing your web site, or configuring a router or firewall), you should refer to other, more specialized books.
Summary of Contents
This book is divided into 10 chapters and 3 appendixes.
Part I, Security for Today
This section presents a brief overview of what computer security is, where it came from, and where it's going.
Part II, Computer Security
This section discusses computer security methods of protecting information stored in a computer system, primarily by controlling access to that information.
Part III, Communications Security
This section discusses communications security methods of protecting information while it's being transmitted over communications lines and network backbones.
Part IV, Other Types of Security
This section describes several additional types of security.
Part V, Appendixes
This section provides a number of quick references to computer security requirements and programs.
Using Code Examples
This book is here to help you get your job done. In general, you may use the code in this book in your programs and documentation. You do not need to contact O'Reilly for permission unless you're reproducing a significant portion of the code. For example, writing a program that uses several chunks of code from this book does not require permission. Selling or distributing a CD-ROM of examples from O'Reilly books does require permission. Answering a question by citing this book and quoting example code does not require permission. Incorporating a significant amount of example code from this book into your product's documentation does require permission.
We appreciate, but do not require, attribution. An attribution usually includes the title, author, publisher, and ISBN. For example: Computer Security Basics, Second Edition, by Rick Lehtinen, Deborah Russell, and G.T. Gangemi Sr. Copyright 2006 O'Reilly Media, Inc., 0-596-00669-1.
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Any author of a second edition is incredibly indebted to the authors of the first. Deborah Russell, you were great to work with from start to finish. The text authored by you and G.T. Gangemi Sr. gave me an excellent starting point. Let's do it again some day. And to my buds at Cisco's Network Academy and to Gwen, my CISSP coach, who put me up to thiswarm thanks, I owe you.
Thanks to Kathy, Jana, Jon, Kyle and a few cats who did not see enough of me during this book's production, and Louise who said I shouldn't undertake it, but was kind of proud once it got done.
Many people from O'Reilly helped to produce this second edition: Deborah Russell for seeing the value in the project and Tatiana Apandi for keeping me at it and cheering me on when it conflicted with my day job. Thanks to my technical reviewers: Mark Lucking, Simon Biles, and especially Mary Dageforde for all her help. Many thanks!
Some of the chapters in the first edition were based on an internal document that Deborah Russell prepared for Wang Laboratories. Thanks to a lot of other people who contributed to the first edition of this book: Dennis K. Branstad, James Burrows, Daniel Faigin, Perry Flinn, Simson Garfinkel, Irene Gilbert, Nick Hammond, Stuart W. Katzke, F. Lynn McNulty, Paul Mei, Andrew Odlyzko, Victor Oppenheimer, Tim O'Reilly, Robert Rosenthal, Bradley Ross, Len Schneider, Miles Smid, Gene Spafford, Bob Tinkelman, Gene Troy, and Mitch Wright.