Best Cyber Security Books

Hundreds and thousands of aspirants dream of landing a job in the cyber security field, but only those with the wisdom of the best cyber security books reach their goals. Here’s a compilation of books for you to study for cyber security exams.

Introduction to Cyber Security Books

Before we dive directly into the topmost books of cybersecurity, let us first understand cybersecurity as a service. You need not be a cybersecurity expert to understand attack and defence. As in the physical world, wealth in all forms is under constant attack from assailants. Similarly, in a digital world, important information and critical systems (i.e., digital wealth) are always at risk from a digital attack. 

Cybersecurity is the art of protection from such attacks. The news cycle has been dominated by cybercrime, a global issue. Individual security is jeopardized, and giant international corporations, banks, and governments are particularly vulnerable. Large organized criminal rings today operate like start-ups, employing highly-trained coders who are continuously developing online attacks, considerably outnumbering the lone hackers of the past. Cybersecurity has become increasingly important as there is so much data to abuse. Therefore, presenting to you this list of best cyber security books.

Best Cybersecurity books

The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick: 

Kevin Mitnick, an infamous and undisputed former computer hacker from the decade of the 90s and is now a cybersecurity advisor. He penned down this book. He best knows that hacking is the art of exploitation and the art of invisibility; hence this bestseller is also a book on social engineering

It makes great sense to read this book in today’s era of rampant cyber crimes. This book does a fantastic job of laying out how individuals might be duped out of knowledge. The latter two chapters of the book, where the author spells out in great detail recommended security procedures, will be the most valuable for most readers.

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation by Jon Erickson: 

The book has eight chapters, and it provides lucid as well as detailed explanations. It lays down a base for understanding the basic hacking method and then details how some specific flaws could lead to specific attacks. 

The book also presents countermeasures that could be deployed. The book’s approach starts with a basic explanation of defects and exploits and then centers on specific exploitation techniques. One can learn things such as how to run arbitrary code via buffer overflows and format strings. One can also learn to fool the common intrusion detection systems. It’s a must-read for cybersecurity enthusiasts and professionals alike. 

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier: 

This book is a non-technical introduction to the world of cybersecurity. It paints a wide picture without including any mathematics in it. It’s a book that offers itself equally to technical readers, managers, and lay readers alike. 

The book is divided into three parts; the first part deals with an overview of cybersecurity. It should be read by anyone who uses the net. The second part goes deeper and looks into a wide range of security technologies, security domains, and a final chapter on the human factor. The author clears many misconceptions about security. Finally, part three covers strategies and management of cyber security.

Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Fred Kaplan: 

When reading up on cybersecurity, one should not ignore the power of fiction. It has the power to make you learn while enjoying a story alongside. This book shows the relevance and importance of cybersecurity on a global level. It shows its dark side if things go wrong at the digital level and the havoc it could wreak.

The Essential Guide to Cybersecurity for SMBs by Gary Hayslip: 

This book is so good that it also doubles up as a CISCO reference guide. For any small business lurking in the shadows are the opportunist attackers, looking for opportunities to profit from bad practices. Your small business may not be at risk from big cyber criminals, i.e., organized hackers, but you are still a target for small-time hackers. Hayslip’s realistic guidance assists such an organization in comprehending and appreciating what they can do to help lessen the chance of their enterprises becoming “Fish Food” – balancing the risks. 

Security leaders at all levels could and should be used as a resource. While this is aimed at companies with 40-500 employees, it would also work well for big corporations with inexperienced security or no security program at all. Because “pulling the bandaid” is not advised, this would provide those organizations with a stepping stone on a much longer road map.

Principles of Fraud Examination by Joseph T. Wells: 

‘Principles of Fraud Examination’ has extensive, insightful, and well-organized content. Each chapter contains two cases to read to illustrate the topic and numerous graphics to demonstrate concepts and reasonably simple questions to aid learning. If you need to learn the fundamentals of fraud, I highly recommend this book; however, be aware that the chapters are incredibly extensive, so be prepared. This book is full of flowcharts and case studies for easy understanding.

Counter Hack Reloaded by Ed Skoudis and Tom Liston: 

A comprehensive review of computer and network security ideas, concerns, and user activities. The book clarifies and simplifies crucial under-the-hood topics. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in gaining a basic awareness of the dangers of connecting to any network. 

This book appeals since it covers nearly all of the topics that a person with operational security understanding should be familiar with. Windows, Unix, reconnaissance, scanning, application/OS-based assaults, network-based attacks, denial of service, retaining access, and covering tracks are all covered in detail in this book. On the other hand, its greatness lies in its simplicity.

Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software by Andrew Honig and Michael Sikorski: 

Malware analysis is a major business, and attacks may be very expensive for a corporation. When malware infiltrates your defences, you must act rapidly to treat existing infections and prevent new ones from developing. Practical Malware Analysis will teach you the tools and strategies used by experienced analysts so you can keep ahead of the latest malware. 

You’ll be able to securely analyze, debug, and disassemble any malicious software that comes your way with this book as your guide. This is the book to read if you’re interested in malware analysis and IT Security, and IT professionals write it. It requires no prior knowledge and will get you started even if you are a complete newbie. It is practical, simple, and easy to read.

Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters by Justin Seitz:

One may ask, why python?. It’s a must if you want to go anywhere with cybersecurity. In the subject of security literature, Black Hat Python is unquestionably the best. This book will challenge readers to quickly learn how hackers work and how to construct their tools. 

It is written for people who wish to move into the hacking and penetration testing sectors and grasp entirely what they’re doing. It includes many examples explaining what to do with code that grows in complexity as you gain experience and a lot of introductory material. Most chapters also feature a “Kicking the Tires” section that explains how to use the new tools. You won’t finish this book without a thorough understanding of how your systems work, why hacking is possible, and how to create your own hacking and security testing tools using Python and add-on tools if you read it cover to cover.

Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick and William L. Simon: 

This book is for you if you’re a fan of cyber security and computer hacking. It’s a trip book, so if you’re looking for motivation or wisdom, you won’t find it here, pal, even though his social engineering tactics to deceive people will blow your mind. In this book, Kevin Mitnick’s life revolves around computers, phones, life tragedies, imprisonment, and cybercrime. The language appears to be simple, and it is familiar with simple terminology, making it easy to understand. However, some technical phrases may be unfamiliar to you.

Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking by Christopher J. Hadnagy: 

This is a fantastic white-hat analysis of hacking approaches that target the more psychological components of the process. While it does go into some good information about technique awareness, it excels in illustrating how one may go into business as an auditor. Overall, it’s a modern-day confidence game. There are thieves and thief-takers in your midst. There is a wide range of people out there who just do not take enough measures and others who do not pay close enough attention to the RIGHT kind of safeguards.

Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking by Georgia Weidman: 

Penetration Testing should be the first book you read if you’re a complete beginner. In just 500 pages, the author covers everything from setting up a home lab to programming, and every facet of a penetration test, with room for exploit development and smartphone hacking, threw in for good measure. One of the reasons this book is so well-liked is that it includes the specific procedures needed to recreate what the author is presenting, in addition to explaining the theory of the assaults and strategies. 

Another advantage of the book is the wide range of topics it covers. This book offers a step-by-step approach to doing penetration testing for the first time. Penetration testing is a service that security researchers give to companies who want to assess their defenses. Georgia Weidman explains the process of evaluating a business and providing helpful information in a report to the company from beginning to end. A penetration test would look for one or more ways to access a company’s important information. This might be done by exploiting an unpatched vulnerability, exploiting a weakness in their defenses, or employing social engineering to get access to the data.

Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin’s Most Dangerous Hackers by Andy Greenberg: 

After reading Sandworm, IT security professionals who typically state they don’t care about threat actors or their objectives, only worry about attacks and how to stop them, may rethink their minds. Knowing that a huge group of competent hackers is prepared to unleash a damaging worm on the world to destroy an enemy compels you to reconsider your risk models. Indeed, the Ukrainian financial accounting software company that was used as an intermediary in the NotPetya attack did not expect a state-sponsored hacker to infiltrate the company over the course of a year and then use its update servers to wreak havoc on the world through its customers. The mindset of “I’m not a target” is to blame.


With an ever-increasing attack surface, technology is becoming more pervasive, and attackers combine inventiveness and practicality to get into IT systems. We all know that hackers will go for the weakest link in the chain, whether it’s unpatched systems, weak passwords, unprotected privileged accounts, or individuals who are vulnerable to phishing, social engineering, and insider threats. We are suffering a cyber skills scarcity as defenders, and the complexity and expense of cyber security are becoming increasingly unsustainable.

In under a decade, the cybersecurity field has emerged as one of the most important systemic issues for the global economy. Collective global spending has reached $150 billion a year and is predicted to exceed $1 trillion. Incidents and attacks continue to rise, but this is only the tip of a new and growing problem.

We think of hackers as people sitting in closed, isolated rooms constantly intruding, probing private and corporate networks. The reality is a little removed. Most security breaches start with people manipulation, allowing the perpetrator to move on to the next level, namely systems and data. Amongst the tech world, hacking is considered a dark art but art nonetheless. So cybersecurity also is an art, the art of protecting. Awareness and Proactive action is the key to cybersecurity. Build your knowledge base by reading up on the topic and start taking cybersecurity measures to protect, defend and sleep safer at night. 

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