Homer's Travels: Book: P.W. Singer's "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know"

Monday, December 14, 2015

Book: P.W. Singer's "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know"

I'm a little behind in my reading and posting about said reading.  I finished my last book, P.W. Singer's "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know", over two weeks ago and I'm just now getting around to posting about it.  So, here goes.

"Cybersecurity and Cyberwar" provides an interesting overview of the state of computer security and computer threats our world is experiencing today.  It lays everything out in fairly clear language.  It does so in non-hyperbolic language, calling out hysteria and exaggeration, and providing a level headed assessment of the subject.

The first two thirds of the book are interesting.  Sections one and two cover what all the cyber stuff is and why all the cyber stuff matters.  These sections read well and held my interests. The third section, covering what can and is being done about cybersecurity, gets bogged down in acronyms and regulation-speak.  It is an important section that made my eyes glaze over a tiny bit.

The Author is a consultant that works with the American government on Cyber issues.  The most interesting parts are when he gives example of governmental shortcomings when dealing with computer stuff.  One example that stuck with me was a story about a US delegate at negotiations with Chinese officials.  The negotiations were about cybersecurity.  The delegate came up to the author and asked him what an ISP was?  This is truly shocking in my opinion.  The sad thing is that our Representatives and Senators know even less about computers and modern technology.

I heard about this book on Fareed Zakaria's show on CNN.  It was a book recommendation and I have to say that I enjoyed this book.  It made me think a bit ... and worry a bit .... about how prepared we are for cyberwar and cyberterror.  I may have to look at Zakaria's other recommended book choices.  I gave the book four stars on Goodreads.

Note:  For the non-computer savvy, ISP means Internet Service Provider.

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