Sunday, October 07, 2007

One Review and One Prereview just published my five star review of Security Data Visualization by Greg Conti. From the review:

Security Data Visualization (SDV) is a great book. It's perfect for readers familiar with security who are looking to add new weapons to their defensive arsenals. Even offensive players will find something to like in SDV. The book is essentially an introduction to the field, but it is well-written, organized, and clear. I recommend all security analysts read SDV.

I give five star reviews to books that meet certain criteria. First, the book should change the way I look at a problem, or properly introduce me to thinking about a problem for which I have little or no frame of reference. Although I have been a security analyst for ten years, I have little visualization experience. Author Greg Conti spent just the right amount of time explaining the field, describing key terms (preattentive processing, occlusion, brushing) and displays (star plots, small multiples, TreeMaps). I loved the author's mention of Ben Shneiderman's visualization mantra: "overview first, zoom and filter, details on demand" (p 14).

I'd like to mention another great No Starch book called Linux Firewalls by my friend Mike Rash. Mike was kind enough to ask me to write the foreword. If you look at my quote on the front cover (click on the image) you might think "Wow, Bejtlich is creative." Here's the context for that quote, from the foreword:

I'd like to conclude these thoughts by speaking as a book reviewer and author. Between 2000 and mid-2007 I've read and reviewed nearly 250 technical books. I've also written several books, so I believe I can recognize a great book when I see it. "Linux Firewalls" is a great book. As a FreeBSD user, "Linux Firewalls" is good enough to make me consider using Linux in certain circumstances!

No Starch has several more great books on the way, including Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Ed (on FreeBSD 7.x) and several others.


eliot said...

I'm still working through SDV, but I've been fairly disappointed. There have been many places where I felt the book was too light or even left things hanging right after developing an idea. I'm getting the feeling that I'll reach the end and think that it has come 100 pages too soon.

MikeP said...

Thanks for the comments on SDV, Richard and Eliot. ORA sent me an email when the book was released and I immediately tried to find some reviews and could not. At least now I have a couple of data points on it.

CG said...

I'm reading SDV right now too. I'm new to the security visualization field as well. So far the book is well organized and gives you a good taste of the different areas, and most importantly there are links to further research and reading.

Adam said...

I just placed an order for it. Thanks for your review Richard.