Top 10 Cybersecurity books to read for beginners


by Mikayla Fanto, Staff Contributor

A cyber reality check is due after many businesses, including the Nine Network, have been subject to cybersecurity threats.

Cybercrime affects not only businesses, but also individuals. Cyber-attacks involving Phishing, Malware and network scanning make up a majority of attacks.

Everyday consumers of technology are at risk of malicious attacks, with an invasion of privacy, fraud and scams, identity theft and ransomware attacks through their internet connected devices.

“Australian Cyber Attacks Infographic – Click to enlarge”

Consumers can stay secure online by installing anti-virus software, keeping wi-fi secure with a password, using firewalls and encryptions and by avoiding clicking links in suspicious emails and text messages.

Consumers can actively reduce cyber-attacks by selecting good passwords of between 8-12 characters, including both uppercase and lowercase letters, at least one number, and a unique character. Another method is to use a phrase or short sentence.

Last year the Australian Cyber Security Centre received one cybercrime report every 10 minutes.

The Australian government is at heightened risk with cyber incidents against the government making up a third of all occurrences nation-wide.

The ACSC says cyber-attacks are increasing due to the growing dependence on new information technology platforms and interconnected devices and systems.

Larger companies have security measures in place, which employees are trusted to follow. If they don’t, the company could be at risk for a cyber-attack or cyber related incident.

The importance of company data and information also makes big organisations more at risk as data is often referred to ‘as the new oil’.

As a consequence, the prominence of cybersecurity has gained traction over the past few years, with people understanding the possibility of becoming a victim to cyber-attacks.

With the threat of cyber-attacks on the rise, books are the best way of obtaining information on the basics, as well as the history and current climate of technology-based crime.

There are many important topics for beginners to understand. The below list of books captures different topics of interest including a psychological thriller ‘The cyber effect’ by Mary Aiken.

1. Social engineering: the science of human hacking. This book by expert Christopher Hadnagy, looks at techniques experts use for hacking. It “reveals how to recognize, predict, and prevent this type of manipulation by taking you inside the social engineer’s bag of tricks”.

2. Cybersecurity for Beginners by Raef Meeuwisse, focuses on the basics of cybersecurity for those who would like to learn a bit about this topic.

3. The Cybersecurity Playbook: How Every Leader and Employee Can Contribute to a Culture of Security by Allison Cerra. It’s a book that intertwines facts with anecdotes from the authors life. It “provides clear guidance on how to identify weaknesses, assess possible threats, and implement effective policies”.

4. The Cyber Effect by Mary Aiken explores how cyberspace effects humans and the psychology behind it.

5. Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know About Computer and Cyber Security, Social Engineering, The Internet of Things + An Essential Guide to Ethical Hacking for Beginners by Lester Evans. This book includes Ethical Hacking, Risk Assessment, Social Engineering, Attack and Defense Strategies, and Cyberwarfare

6. Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick. This novel is a true story which teaches consumers and companies ways to protect their information online.

7. The Hacker Playbook 3: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing by Peter Kim, focuses on how we are still getting security breaches even with multiple security systems in place.

8. How Cybersecurity Really Works by Sam Grubb
This book is great for beginners and focuses on how the attackers operate and how consumers can defend themselves.

9. Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know by P.W Singer and Allan Friedman. This book offers real life anecdotes from the authors to help teach readers about how cybersecurity works and why it matters in today’s society.

10. Cybersecurity For Dummies. This book by Joseph Steinberg is a great book for beginners wanting to learn about how to become cyber secure and what the potential threats are and how to protect yourself from them.

With the use of technology growing every day and society’s reliance on websites, mobile apps and online systems, hacking is made more accessible from a diverse attack landscape.

For businesses, keeping data of customers safe is important to maintain trust and help to maintain business.

Consumers say it is important to trust the company they give access to their personal information

41% of customers say if they give personal information to a company that loses or compromises their data, they will no longer do business with them.

Damages from cyber-attacks are expected to cost the world $6 trillion by the end of the year.

Being educated on possible threats will help individuals and businesses stay secure online and be aware of these risks.