General security

Top 7 must-have cybersecurity books

Greg Belding
June 23, 2020 by
Greg Belding

Are you in cybersecurity and are looking to expand your knowledge horizons? Are you getting your start in cybersecurity and looking for a way to immerse yourself in the field before you take your first job? Don’t worry, because there are many good books that can help light your path toward a better general understanding of cybersecurity.

This article will detail the top seven cybersecurity books that you need to have in your library. It will provide you with briefs on these top seven books and leave you with the kind of impression you need before you consider buying and reading. Even if you are not thinking of books as the information format of choice for cybersecurity-related information, you will be pleasantly surprised!

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1.Tribe of Hackers: Cyber Advice from the Best Hackers in the World by Marcus Carey (July 23, 2019)

One of the most insightful in terms of real-world experience on this list, “Tribe of Hackers” by Marcus Carey presents readers with 70 thought-provoking interviews with influential security specialists and hackers of note. Just some of these experts include the author himself (owner of cybersecurity firm Threatcare), co-author Jennifer Jin, Steve Ragan, Jeffery Man, Terence Jackson and Jim Christy, among many others.

Each chapter is an interview with one of these experts and answers questions such as how they got their start in cybersecurity, what qualities those successful in cybersecurity share and tips for getting ahead in cybersecurity.

2.The Ethics of Cybersecurity by Michele Loi (February 10, 2020)

Presented as a collection of papers providing an integrative view on cybersecurity, this book by Michele Loi discusses problems, solutions and theories relevant to cybersecurity today.

“The Ethics of Cybersecurity” takes a practical view, using case studies and ethical issues to outline current ethical issues in cybersecurity, as well as guidelines and measures to solve those issues. Readers will find the industry and issue-specific presentation of the book both useful and organized in a way to get the most out of reading it.

3.Cybersecurity Essentials by Charles Brooks and Christopher Grow (October 30, 2018)

Written by Charles Brooks and Christopher Grow, this book earns its spot on the list for its usefulness to those getting their start in cybersecurity. It presents readers with a solid, comprehensive introduction to the cybersecurity field with essential topics required by those seeking their first cybersecurity certifications.

This book boils cybersecurity down to four key challenges: securing devices, securing infrastructure, securing perimeters and securing local networks. By the time you’re done reading this book, you will know your place in cybersecurity and will be better equipped with knowledge to make your first moves within the field.

4.Cybersecurity – Attack and Defense Strategies by Yuri Diogenes (December 31, 2019)

This is the second edition, revised for 2020, of author Yuri Diogenes’ best-selling book that tackles the latest security threats, defense mechanisms, the threat landscape today, new IoT threats and cryptomining. Readers will find that the insight into the mind of threat actors and the hands-on experience it provides with new reconnaissance techniques are useful both on the job and with their at-home computer environment.

Some take-aways from the book include the use of cybersecurity kill-chain in understanding attack strategy, the latest defense tools, identifying different types of attacks and how to perform cloud-based log analysis with popular vendors such as Microsoft and Amazon. As an example of just how fast information security changes, the edition published in 2018 was made obsolete by the next edition published in 2019.

5.The Secret to Cybersecurity: A Simple Plan to Protect Your Family and Business from Cybercrime by Scott Augenbaum (January 29, 2019)

This book makes the list as author Scott Augenbaum provides readers a no-holds-barred, in-your-face look into the reality of cybersecurity today.

Let’s face it, most people are still fairly in the dark about just how exposed they are — what with most using online banking and the vast majority of students saying they do whatever they want on their smartphones. He makes it clear that there are bad people in the world and he lets you know, through the use of personal experiences and anecdotes from others, that you can protect yourself against this amorphous, ever-present threat and outlines steps that you can take to keep yourself and your family better protected.

6.Cyber Security for Beginners: Understanding Cybersecurity and Ways to Protect Yourself by Ken Douglas (April 24, 2020)

Getting started in any field takes a solid focus on fundamentals and how these fundamentals relate to real-world practice, and author Ken Douglas does a solid job of presenting these fundamentals in a way that’s easy to digest and comprehensive to boot.

This book explores the key concepts in cybersecurity, weaknesses and breaches in cybersecurity, how you can use technology to combat cyberattacks and different types of security threats. The information gives a more high-level view of cybersecurity than seasoned veterans can use, but it will give beginners in cybersecurity a better foot to stand on regarding understanding cybersecurity.

7.The Hacker Playbook 3: Practical Guide to Penetration Testing by Peter Kim (May 1, 2018)

Described as a “must-have for every security professional,” this book uses the knowledge of Red Teams to put yourself in the mind of attackers (as Red Teaming does) so you can better understand your cybersecurity posture. Author Peter Kim takes this knowledge and focuses it on pressing cybersecurity questions such as: with all the new security techniques and tools, why are we still seeing such massive security breaches?

Being the third edition of this book, it has added new topics for this edition. These include living off the land, lateral movement attacks, ransomware attacks, abusing active directory and cloud vulnerabilities. Readers will find value in the lab sections the author has added to help test vulnerabilities and exploits.


Those looking to expand their cybersecurity library will find a number of cybersecurity books published around 2020 that will enrich their knowledge base and be must-haves for every information security professional’s library. I am confident that you will find the books listed above to be central in your library. With these books, you will be better placed to face down threats in the years to come and will get a better picture of where we are moving to in the future.


Greg Belding
Greg Belding

Greg is a Veteran IT Professional working in the Healthcare field. He enjoys Information Security, creating Information Defensive Strategy, and writing – both as a Cybersecurity Blogger as well as for fun.