January 30, 2012

11 Essentials for the Modern Man

Every man loves gadgets, tools, toys and gifts. I scour catalogs and websites looking for the next cool thing. Occasionally, I find items that become truly essential. Items I use daily and can’t leave the house without. Some of these items are pricy, but there are also several that are less than $10. All of them are top quality and built to last a lifetime. Ladies, with Valentine’s day fast approaching and Father’s day a few months later, look no further than this list to make your man happy.

Saddleback Leather WalletSaddleback Leather Wallet – A man’s wallet is his life. Look in a typical guy’s wallet and you’ll see cash, credit cards, pictures of loved ones, business cards from someone he met in a bar 3 years ago, old fortune cookie fortunes, shopping lists from last Christmas, and receipts from everything he has ever bought. His wallet becomes a part of body, molding to his shape over time. When you have that kind of relationship with an item, you want it to last. There are no better wallets on earth than the wallets made by Saddleback leather. They are beautiful, built to last, and come with a 100 year warranty. That’s right, they are guaranteed to last 100 years. Saddleback also makes the finest briefcases, ipad cases, and luggage around. My iPad case is guaranteed to last 97 years past the useful life of the iPad! I have many of their pieces and will never go back to cheap store-bought leather goods. Buy one of these and you’ll thank me for years to come. (read more…)

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October 26, 2006

Top 20 Books Every IT Security Professional Should Own (and READ!)

Security WarriorI recently was asked by some colleagues how an IT admin can get into infosec. It’s a tough question for 3 reasons: 1) Most administrators are not wired to be security professionals. The goal of admins is to provide services to users. The goal of infosec is to limit services to only authorized users. These goals often conflict. 2) Most admins specialize in a single technology; good security pros need to be fluent in a wide range of technologies. 3) Security requires a deep knowledge of computing and networking theory, which many admins lack. Modern operating systems provide a high level of abstraction from issues such as the proper format of TCP headers. I know some very skilled systems engineers who do not fully understand a 3-way handshake, nor do they need to. But for a security engineer, understanding this process, how to exploit it, and how to recognize when someone else is exploiting it is critical.

My best advice for those crazy enough to desire a career in infosec is always to start with the technology they already know, learn how it works at a low level and how to break it, and then learn how to protect it. After that, security is a non-stop learning process. The best security guys I know spend hours reading, surfing, and studying every night. Sleep is for the weak!

I compiled the list of books below as a representative sample of the books on my shelf that I reach for regularly. In my (never) humble opinion, every infosec professional should own (and read) each of these, or others in the same category. Originally, I intended this to be a Top 10 list, but I had too many books on my list. 20 is the shortest I could get it and still be representative.

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