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Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker.

This authoritative work is a must-have for computer system administrators, computer security personnel, and even security managers, because it covers the entire breadth of the impact of the computer in today's society. That may seem a grandiose statement, but the authors go far beyond the technical aspects of protecting a computer system. They examine the basic questions regarding security in all fields, not just computer security, and they address the related ethical and legal issues.

Although the book is mainly technical in nature, the discussions are not all technical: concepts are firmly founded and logically built on, making the reading easy for laypersons. Readers can skip the book's technical discussions without losing the overall message.

The authors begin with a general discussion of the need for security and the vulnerability of all security systems. The book then discusses computer and communications security in-depth. The authors define firewalls and describe how to implement and test them. As the authors develop the topic of Internet security, they discuss secure communications over unsecured networks, and list sources of information and software tools.

But perhaps most valuable to the reader is the enlightening look at computer-related legal issues. That section discusses monitoring systems for attack, locating and prosecuting a perpetrator, and determining what constitutes evidence in legal proceedings. The electronic landscape is changing so quickly that the legal system is way behind in mapping it. Many new issues remain untested by the courts and unconsidered by legislatures. But the authors provide useful tips on what systems administrators should be doing (or not doing) now to protect their companies from attacks.

Overall, the authors' approach is systematic and comprehensive, and the book flows smoothly from one point to the next. This excellent work is highly recommended.

Reviewer: J.P. Jackson, an independent consultant, is a former Operations Analyst for a Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex. He has worked in computer security and systems for twenty years.
COPYRIGHT 1995 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Jackson, J.P.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1995
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