I read alot of books across different genres, the below are the list of books I have read since January this year.
PS: Some of the books got nothing to do with InfoSec, but I tend to focus on topics such as productivity, emotion intelligence/fitness, personal development, and other interesting topics I pick up from podcasts and books.
For the new cyber security consultants, either your internal or providing consulting services to clients. Speaking this from GRC point of view, most consultant may ignore the fact that for one being effectively in providing sound advice to clients, especially in this modern era of cyber security, one need to at least understand what need to be protected i.e information asset.
Information can be physical or digital/electronic. Information has its life cycle, and go through phases such as creation, processing, and storage. There is a famous data cycle – refer to this blog as https://www.securosis.com/blog/data-security-lifecycle-2.0 . All the phases information will need to be protected.
Diagram: The data security life cycle.
Through this life cycle, when considering digital form of information, it will touch different layers such as Computing, storage, network, and well all these things they just don’t live in the vacuum (cloud), they need to physically hosted, that’s where physical security comes into play.
I believe in deconstructing things to its core or the basic bare. I think the areas below, a cyber security consultant should at least have some high level understanding on how things work and how they are built. (architecture)
As a Cyber Security Consultant, whether you choose technical or non technical track, you will need to build competence in understand the following areas. Computing including OS, Virtualisation + Containers, Cloud, Database, Application / Software- Programming, Networking, Storage and physical at the very basic level. These areas form the basic of what you are going to protect, as they relates to information / data lifecyle.
Hint: You dont have to do any the certification however you need a structural way for reading and master the topic / competence area. My approach as always been a self-study, others prefer boot-camps if they have resources (money and time) to do so.
On fortnightly I tend to follow work of interesting individuals, these can be cyber security professional or other professional e.g. motivation speakers, human genuine pigs, peak performance coaches etc. So below is my list of person of interest and the work they did / do.
Tim (othy) Ferriss – Author of Tool of Titans, Tribe of Mentors, The 4 hours work week, and many other books – http://www.tim.blog
Robin Sharma – 5 am Club, The Monk who sold his ferrari, the leader without title
Josh Waitzkin – The Art of Learning, Peak Perfomance Coach
Being a cyber security consultant, requires high discipline of self motivation, and stay on top of the task that you need to delivery to the client. Why this is assumed that everyone should behave and play the part, most of the consultants they have trouble doing this. I have a few tips and tools to stay on the task.
Tracking time – Toggl
Planning and Scheduling – Calendar (Schedule everything and put this as calendar entry – things that are scheduled are the things that get done)
Pomodoro Technique – Set timer for 25 mins work, 5 minutes break. You can use an app (mobile / WebApp) — I use Mobile/desktop App Focus To-Do and Garmin Watch. I should add during the break apart from doing tea, do anything physical like 10 pushups, wall-sits, a quick sprint or go out for a fresh air walk.
PS: Make sure you spend your weekend wisely so to minimise burnout 🙂
This a place holder, I will expand this post when I get time to write.
I have been a QSA since 2013, and before that I worked for a multi-national bank from 2007 to 2009, which had a programme to secure card payments, hence my early involvement of PCI World.
so what do PCI stands for ? Payment Card Industry, and maybe your next question will be what is PCI DSS and what is the security council SSC ( Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council )? and ofcourse what is PCI QSA? I will answer these questions in an expanded post. For now, a quick reference go to the PCI SSC website here
The say a typical CEO reads about 60 books per year. That is roughly around one book a week. I try to keep up with that pace, but sometimes I fall short. I tend to read one book every 2 weeks, and this covers different categories including self-help, autobio,business, cyber security among many other categories. What I would advise to new entrants to cyber security, to make sure to read different business books to complement your technical knowledge, because if you cannot translate your security knowledge to help the business, then it becomes useless.
So for the this year, I have been reading the following books:
The Effective Executive
Fast Focus – Damon Zahariades
80/20 Your Life – Damon Zahariades
Tools of Titans – Timothy Ferris
5 AM Club – Robin Sharma
The Art of Learning – Josh Waitzkin
Tribe of Mentors – Timothy Ferriss
Power – Jeffrey Pfeffer
The 4-hour Work Week (Audiobook) – Tim Ferriss
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith