11 Best Cyber Security Books You Should Read In 2021

List & Comparison of the Best Cyber Security Books with Pricing, Synopsys, and Suggested Readers. Select the Best CyberSecurity Book to Gain Some Knowledge:

Are you in a mood for some high octane entertainment that is also informative?

Well if so, then grabbing a book on Cybersecurity might fill your appetite. Have you ever wondered how the most enthralling aspect of any modern thriller is almost always the nail-biting endeavor of breaking into a formidable encryption key or hacking into a computer?

That could be because the threats and dangers depicted in these fictional stories are very much real, and could transpire in this technology-driven world where we inhabit today.

The books mentioned in this article offer an intriguing insight into the world of cybersecurity and are studied by experts in their domain.

Top Cybersecurity books

We have carefully crafted this list of interesting books on Cyber Security.  This list includes real-life case studies, realized security horror stories, and the unraveling of what the future holds for the fascinatingly uncanny and ever-volatile subject of cybersecurity.

Before we begin, let’s try to understand what cybersecurity is.

What Is Cybersecurity?

From the perspective of computing, Cybersecurity can be defined as the practice and techniques employed to protect program, network, and imperative data from unauthorized intervention.

Security can be categorized into cybersecurity and physical security, both of which are put in place to prevent any form of unauthorized access to a computerized system or database. As the fundamental role of cybersecurity involves protecting the integrity and confidentiality of data, it is also known as information security.

Cybersecurity helps prevent

  • Identity Theft
  • Cyberattacks
  • Data Breach

Three main principles are followed by organizations adopting cybersecurity: Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability, which are collectively known as the CIA triad. These are referred to as pillars of security and have to be followed stringently.

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List Of The Best Cyber Security Books

  1. The Art of Invisibility
  2. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation
  3. Cult of the Dead Cow
  4. Ghost In The Wires
  5. The Code Book
  6. Practical Malware Analysis
  7. Threat Modeling
  8. Hacking Exposed 7
  9. The Cyber Effect
  10. Social Engineering
  11. The CERT Guide to Insider Threat

Comparison Of Top Cybersecurity Books

Book TitleAuthorPagesReleasePrice
The Art of InvisibilityKevin Mitnick320Feb 4, 2017$19.17
Hacking, The Art of ExploitationJon Erickson488Feb 4, 2008$22 - 27
Cult of The Dead CowJoseph Menn270June 4, 2019$20
Ghost in the wiresKevin Mitnick448April 24, 2012$11.49
The Code BookSimon Singh432Aug 20, 2000$12.89

Now that we have brushed our knowledge on Cybersecurity, let’s see the best books on Cyber Security you should read in 2020.

#1) The Art of Invisibility: The World’s Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data

The Art of Invisibility: The World’s Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data

Written By: Kevin Mitnick
Release Date: Feb 4, 2017
Pages: 320
Price: $19.17

‘The Art of Invisibility’ book relies on the insights of its author – Kevin Mitnick, who is widely renowned as the world’s most famous hacker. It is through his surprisingly engaging prose that warns the big establishments trying to take advantage of us by spying on our every mundane move.

With the help of his knowledge and experience, he has offered his readers some essential advice about protecting themselves from the ever gazing eyes of big brother and big data. Mitnick presents real-life examples of large corporations and governments which have invaded the security of our online lives.

This book will make you in equal parts, both paranoid and vigilant. This book is worth a read.

Suggested Readers: Everyone

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#2) Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

Written By: Jon Erickson
Release Date: Feb 4, 2008
Pages: 488
Price: $22 – 27

Now here comes a book that is a gift for IT professionals. ‘Hacking: The Art of Exploitation’ book not only explores how hacking works but also dives deep into the topic from a hackers perspective.

The book presents a comprehensive look at current programming and hacking techniques. What’s even better is that the second edition of this book comes with a Live CD, comprising of a complete Linux environment. This gives the inquisitive ones out there, the opportunity to get their hands dirty with programming and debugging without compromising their computer operating system.

Moreover, the book is written in simple text devoid of any technical jargon. Anyone with even a shred of curiosity regarding the subject of hacking can pick up this book for an easy read.

Suggested Readers: Everyone

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#3) Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World

Cult of the Dead Cow

Written By: Joseph Menn
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Pages: 272
Price: $20

Cult of the Dead Cow book refers to one of the oldest and most revered hacking groups that the United States has ever produced. You may have heard about it recently when president hopeful – Beto’ O Rourke announced that he was the part of the group.

Well, this book puts them back at the center of attention and explores their many exploits. It is mostly concerned with how the group was responsible for the development of TOR, and how they compelled many US Corporations to up their security protocols to the next level.

The book is all about the history of ‘Cult of the Dead Cow’ and their subsequent impact on America.

Suggested Readers: Everyone

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#4) Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

Ghost In The Wires

Written By: Kevin Mitnick
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 448
Price: $11.49

Now here is a real-life thriller from the author whose book we’ve already mentioned before. Unlike the previous one, Ghost in the Wires book is a true story that feels stranger than fiction. Mitnick presents his experience of hacking into some of the world’s most revered corporations which include names such as Motorola, Pacific Bell, and Sun Microsystems.

You can call it the memoir of a hacker who was at the top of his game, who began his career as a simple novice IT worker and went on to become the world’s most notorious hacker with the FBI on his heels. Ghost in The Wires is a book waiting to be translated into a cyber-thriller, worthy of cinema halls.

Suggested Readers: Everyone

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#5) The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

The Code Book

Written By: Simon Singh
Release Date: Aug 20, 2000
Pages: 432
Price: $12.89

Simon Singh brings his readers a fascinating book that details the entire history of encryption sprawling back to Ancient Egypt. Yes, you heard it right. According to Simon, the foundations for cyber security protocols that we cherish today could be traced back to the scriptures and antiquated espionage tactics associated with ancient Egyptian culture.

The book spares no detail in depicting how encryption has shaped the world we know today. From the inception of the e-commerce industry to ending the invasive Nazi regime, encryption can be credited for them all.

‘The Code Book’ puts historical context to the word encryption and affiliates it with many famous historical events and personalities. You will be amazed and left awestruck by the time you’ve turned its last page. No book looks into such a modern aspect of our world like encryption through a historical lens like Simon Singh does in this book.

Suggested Readers: Everyone

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#6) Practical Malware Analysis

Practical Malware Analysis

Written By: Michael Sikorski and Andrew Honig
Release Date: Feb 1, 2012
Pages: 800
Price: $39.99

The threat of Malware and Viruses is a real problem which the modern world is facing today. There is always a different breed of malware lurking around the corner, and security experts and IT professionals are always on their toes trying to find ways to effectively combat them.

Practical Malware Analysis is one such book that provides an insight into how professionals handle the threat of malware. From setting up safe virtual environments to studying specific cases and developing methods of unpacking malware, the book dives deep into this and so much more.

Companies are in constant danger of being attacked by malware. If a successful attack does happen it can cost losses in the upwards of billions, in dire cases leading to solvency declarations. Hence, they must be prepared with the appropriate response to such attacks.

Practice Malware Analysis is a book that does provide valuable insight as to how to effectively deal with such threats, presenting not only the best practices but also tools that can help companies fight and eliminate the threat of virus attacks.

Suggested Readers: Cybersecurity and IT Professionals/Aspirants

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#7) Threat Modeling: Designing for Security

Threat Modeling

Written By: Adam Shostack
Release Date: Feb 17, 2014
Pages: 624
Price: $54.22

Now here is a book that is more useful for cybersecurity professionals like developers and managers than casual readers. It presents various threat modeling best practices that have been employed or were effective in dealing with threats for companies like Microsoft and other big names.

It presents an interesting idea of building security into systems in the design phase itself, rather than facing it at some later stage. The advice Adam provides is purely action-driven and is something that can be practically applied by security experts to deal with threats daily.

Suggested Readers: Cybersecurity and IT Professionals/Aspirants

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#8) Hacking Exposed 7: Network Security Secrets and Solutions

Hacking Exposed 7

Written By: Stuart McClure, George Kurtz & Joel Scambray
Release Date: Aug 1, 2012
Pages: 768
Price: $21-38

This book is written by three cybersecurity experts who have tackled hacking from an academic and scholarly perspective. It dives deep into everything from footprinting to studying the counter-measures manual. It is a book designed solely to quench any curiosity one might have regarding the practice of hacking.

As we know, cybersecurity is an extremely volatile field with certain concepts that are becoming irrelevant as others gain relevancy. ‘Hacking exposed’ is that one right book that offers the correct insight into cybersecurity. A book that is constantly revised with new editions to keep its readers up-to-date on recent developments in the field.

It presents interesting remedies to combat hacking by putting its reader in the shoes of a hacker. It makes you think like them, thus arming professionals with the knowledge they need to combat security breaches. There aren’t many books in recent times that do that successfully while remaining engaging throughout.

Suggested Readers: Cybersecurity and IT Professionals/Aspirants

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#9) The Cyber Effect

The Cyber Effect

Written By: Mary Aiken
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Pages: 400
Price: $14

In ‘The Cyber Effect’ by Aiken, draws from her experience as a forensic cyber-psychologist to create an honestly groundbreaking book on how cyberspace is changing the way we humans feel, think, and behave.

If you are keen on learning about the mental process behind the conceptualization of technology then you are in for a treat. Through ‘The Cyber Effect’ book, Aiken poses and successfully answers questions like “What are the Effect of Technology in Our Lives?” “What is its effect on our lives, our children’s lives?” or “to what extent has technology invaded our personal spaces?”, “Is there even a thing called privacy anymore?”

The questions are intriguing, but the answers are even more fascinating. The author has worked with law enforcement agencies throughout the world and was also the inspiration behind the now-famous series: SCI: Cyber, which explains the books enthralling prose.

Suggested Readers: Everyone

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#10) Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking

Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking

Written By: Christopher Hadnagy
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Pages: 320
Price: $23.54

As the title of the book suggests, “Social Engineering” chooses to focus on the life of hackers rather than focus on the actual practice of hacking. It depicts both the genius and the lazy hackers who go through the shenanigans of breaking through a virtual wall instead of simply walking through the front door.

The book explores the most vulnerable aspect of hacking – humans. It unravels their weak spots and helps you identify, anticipate, and exploit them for your advantage. It is a cynical, often dark exploration into the psyche of virtual criminals. In other words, the book hacks into the minds of professional hackers and that alone makes the book extremely mesmerizing.

It is a great read even for those who don’t understand the intricacies of coding and hacking. The book teaches you to defend yourself against hacking in a non-technical way.

Suggested Readers: Everyone

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#11) The CERT Guide to Insider Threat

CERT Guide to Insider Threat

Written By: Dawn M. Cappelli, Andrew P. Moore
Release Date: Feb 3, 2012
Pages: 432
Price: $30-54

The CERT Guide, again written by three cybersecurity experts, is a great book that sheds light on an area that is often overshadowed by other cybersecurity threats – Insider Threat.

We all are aware and extra cautious of external threats seeking to destroy our systems, however, certain internal vulnerabilities often get overlooked as we focus all of our efforts on fighting the former. This book highlights all of the internal threats a company can face and also outlines solutions to effectively deal with them.

The book is made only for the eyes of cybersecurity professionals and experts as the words can get extremely jargon-heavy and technical. For those seeking reprieve from internal threats, however, there is no other book as good or as intuitive as ‘The CERT Guide to Insider Threat’

Suggested Reader: IT and Cybersecurity Professionals

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So, there you have it, our list of best Cybersecurity books that you can read. It took us a good day of scrounging through Amazon and Goodreads to come up with a well-rounded list of books that we were comfortable in recommending.

The books mentioned here, have been complied with the criteria of popularity and the number of sales. Other factors included their prose, the experience of the author in the field of cybersecurity, and their respective relevance.

If you are looking to prioritize entertainment over information, then we highly recommend you to start with Mary Aiken’s The Cyber Effect – A book that is equal parts a psychological thriller as it is an intriguing insight into the world of cybersecurity.

For those who want to learn more about hacking, then Kevin Mitnick’s The Art of Invisibility will do just fine to squash your curiosity.

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