A guide explores the dangers of the digital world and the strategies to counter them.
Scott N. Schober (Hacked Again, 2016) begins his panoramically thorough tour of cybersecurity by painting a grim picture of a perilous technological time: “Nearly one million new malware threats are released every single day.” And there’s no “foolproof way” to inoculate oneself against the farrago of threats. The best readers can do is to formulate a multipronged strategy, “increasing the number of layers or security challenges.” Focusing on the personal user and small business owner, the author provides a comprehensive—and sometimes meandering—examination of virtually every patch of the computing landscape. He covers the quotidian—the limitations of passwords and the advantages of two-factor authentication, for example—and the more obscure, like the dangers posed by the trail of metadata internet users leave behind. The book also expertly mines the biggest security breaches in recent years for lessons, including assessments of the Yahoo, Ashley Madison, and Uber troubles. In the work’s concluding section, the author looks to the future and considers the promise and dangers of cryptocurrency, driverless cars, and even the susceptibility of older modes of transportation—planes, trains, and automobiles—to predatory hackers. His chief message is that, since the insufficient vigilance of any one digital user potentially exposes others to risk, the task of cybersecurity is a community effort: “Criminals piece together fragments of our hacked private information in order to form a full puzzle of our digital identities, but each piece of the cybersecurity puzzle we collect by learning how to protect ourselves can also effectively protect others.” The author’s command of the subject, including technical as well as historical knowledge, is magisterial. And besides his helpful, actionable advice regarding the protection of one’s digital life, the writer—who penned this book with his younger brother, debut author Craig W. Schober—furnishes an accessible explanation of the always changing technological world, including its primary players, such as Google and Facebook. But the volume sometimes digresses too far afield—readers in search of practical counsel can do without profiles of infamous hackers.
A thorough and astute manual on cybersecurity written with great clarity and authority.