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@jtruongJessica Truong

Interested in security? Follow along for content within Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is the “practice of protecting critical systems and sensitive information from digital attacks” (IBM). The field itself is evolving on a daily basis with advancements in technology and hackers being one step ahead to developing new malware. If you have any interest in security and technology, then this may be the field for you. I will talk about the five best cybersecurity books for beginners to get a better overview of what cybersecurity is all about. These books may help you figure out if this is the career choice for you.

List of Cybersecurity Books Covered in This Article

  1. Cybersecurity for Beginners
  2. Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking
  3. The Art of Invisibility
  4. Hacking for Beginners
  5. Blue Team Handbook: Incident Response Edition

1. Cybersecurity for Beginners by Raef Meeuwisse

“If you aren’t concerned about Cybersecurity, you don’t know enough about it”

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This book provides an overview of Cybersecurity where every chapter talks about different topics within the industry. The chapters can be read in any particular order because no knowledge from earlier chapters are needed to understand the later ones. Meeuwisse does a great job with covering the basics of Cybersecurity, making this one of the best cybersecurity books for beginners. 

He provides definitions for all of the important terms that a reader needs to understand throughout the entire book. Meeuwisse also explains the purpose of having the case study examples in this book. I have listed the topics that are covered in his book below in case you are still hesitant.

Topics Covered

  • Skills required to create a Cybersecurity team
  • Basic Cybersecurity concepts
  • A couple case study examples
  • Human involvement
  • Attack and Defense methods
  • Cybersecurity Risks 
  • Organization security
  • The Future of Cybersecurity 

Check out the book here.

2. Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking by Christopher Hadnagy

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Hadnagy provides an overview of different social engineering techniques and explains how and why they work; he also provides real world examples for each technique to help make it easier to understand. Hadnagy believes that anybody who reads this book will have learned something about social engineering. Regardless of your background, this is a great book if you want to learn about Social engineering. Social engineering is a very important topic, in my opinion, and a good place to start. 

Topics Covered

  • OSINT
  • Advanced communication modeling and profiling tools
  • Pretexting
  • Rapport-building 
  • Types of social engineering attacks 

Check out the book here.

3. The Art of Invisibility by Kevin Mitnick

“To be invisible online, you more or less need to create a separate identity, one that is completely unrelated to you. … you must also rigorously defend the separation of your life from that anonymous identity”

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Kevin Mitnick is considered to be the world’s famous and most wanted hacker and in his book, The Art of Invisibility, he illustrates “what is happening without your knowledge and the ‘art of invisibility’” (mitnicksecurity). 

In this book he provides both “online and real-life tactics and inexpensive methods to protect you and your family, in easy step-by-step instructions” (mitnicksecurity). He discusses various tactics that can protect your privacy and what you can do to leave no digital trace. These are the topics that are covered in Mitnick’s book and also a book review by Scott Schober.

Topics Covered

  • Encryption 
  • Privacy
  • Password 
  • WiFi security 
  • HTTPS
  • Tracking activity

Check out the book here.

4. Hacking for Beginners: A Step by Step Guide for you to Learn the Basics of Cybersecurity and Hacking by Ramon Nastase

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If you are interested in hacking then this book is perfect for you and another one of the best cybersecurity books for beginners. 

This book will teach readers how hackers think, why they hack computer systems, and how they do it. This book is geared towards those who have an interest in penetration testing because you will learn about the different attacks that exist and the techniques used to hack into a system. The following list are the topics covered in Nastase’s book. 

Topics Covered

  • The 5 step process of hacking 
  • Installing and using Kali Linux
  • Scanning devices in a network
  • Cyberattacks
  • VPN
  • Firewall

Check out the book here.

5. Blue Team Handbook: Incident Response Edition by Don Murdoch

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If you have an interest in Blue Team – i.e. working in a SOC, incident response, etc. then this book is a good start for you. Murdoch gives an overview of what it is like to be a Cybersecurity incident responder. 

Murdoch thoroughly explains in detail why and how every tool is used. Being part of the blue team means that you have an inside out view of an organization. Members of the blue team work together to protect the organization against threats and critical assets. 

Topics Covered

  • Incident response steps/template
  • Understanding the hacker and the tools that they use
  • Host-based analysis
  • Network-based analysis

Check out the book here

Final Thoughts on These Cybersecurity Books for Beginners

These are the five best cybersecurity books for beginners that I believe you should start with if you want to pursue a career in Cybersecurity. Each one of these books gives a run-through of different aspects within Cybersecurity.

If a particular topic within Cybersecurity sparks an interest, then I recommend starting with a book on said topic. Although I have only listed these five books, there are still more that exist in many other areas. There are so many aspects within Cybersecurity to choose from so these books are just the beginning.

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