Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tao of Network Security Monitoring, Kindle Edition

I just noticed there is now a Kindle edition of my first book, The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection, published in July 2004. Check out what I wrote in the first paragraphs now available online.


Welcome to The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection. The goal of this book is to help you better prepare your enterprise for the intrusions it will suffer. Notice the term "will." Once you accept that your organization will be compromised, you begin to look at your situation differently. If you've actually worked through an intrusion -- a real compromise, not a simple Web page defacement -- you'll realize the security principles and systems outlined here are both necessary and relevant.

This book is about preparation for compromise, but it's not a book about preventing compromise. Three words sum up my attitude toward stopping intruders: prevention eventually fails. Every single network can be compromised, either by an external attacker or by a rogue insider. Intruders exploit flawed software, misconfigured applications, and exposed services. For every corporate defender, there are thousands of attackers, enumerating millions of potential targets. While you might be able to prevent some intrusions by applying patches, managing configurations, and controlling access, you can't prevail forever. Believing only in prevention is like thinking you'll never experience an automobile accident. Of course you should drive defensively, but it makes sense to buy insurance and know how to deal with the consequences of a collision.

Once your security is breached, everyone will ask the same question: now what? Answering this question has cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in incident response and computer forensics fees. I hope this book will reduce the investigative workload of your computer security incident response team (CSIRT) by posturing your organization for incident response success. If you deploy the monitoring infrastructure advocated here, your CSIRT will be better equipped to scope the extent of an intrusion, assess its impact, and propose efficient, effective remediation steps. The intruder will spend less time stealing your secrets, damaging your reputation, and abusing your resources. If you're fortunate and collect the right information in a forensically sound manner, you might provide the evidence needed to put an intruder in jail.


I wrote that eight years ago, and thankfully my concept that "prevention eventually fails" (which I coined in that book) is finally gaining ground.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While on travel recently, I was trying to recall what I had read in this book (years ago) on what makes a 'defensible' network. On off chance I'd find it, I ran a quick search on Amazon, found this was in fact available on Kindle, had it bought, downloaded, and the applicable sections reviewed within minutes.

Now, I'll cary it everywhere. Invaluable resource Richard, even today. Glad I found it on kindle.

Now the only question that remains... how long until Extrusion Detection and RDF hit kindle?