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Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas
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InfoSec Book Club: What’s On Your Fall Reading List?

Dark Reading community members share the books that inform and inspire their decisions and interactions as security professionals.
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I don’t know about you but when I see the yellow school buses rolling and the days start getting shorter, my biological clock tells me it’s time to put away the trashy summer novels and dive into some serious reading to psyche me up for the big-fourth quarter push at work.

But what to read? In the search for some great recommendations, I reached out to members of the Dark Reading community. I asked them to share the titles of books that have informed and inspired them in their day to day decisions and interactions as a security professional.

The selection criteria was wide open. They could recommend a technical tome, a novel, or a work of non-fiction with a business, management or political focus. The primary consideration was how they applied what they read to their job as a security practitioner.

(Image: By Work Projects Administration Poster Collection [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
(Image: By Work Projects Administration Poster Collection [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Here’s our list. But it’s just a beginning. Be sure to add your own recommendations and reasons in the comments.



Marilyn has been covering technology for business, government, and consumer audiences for over 20 years. Prior to joining UBM, Marilyn worked for nine years as editorial director at TechTarget Inc., where she launched six Websites for IT managers and administrators supporting ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
9/25/2014 | 8:27:38 PM
Re: Good Reading
The second edition of my book Cybersecurity Leadership: Powering the Modern Organization was released this month. It deals with the people and governance aspects of cybersecurity and provides a leadership model to engage everyone in an organization into a culture of cybersecurity. 
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2014 | 1:59:32 PM
Re: Good Reading
Hi Kelly,

I was just thinking about putting in an order on Amazon for that, but the Audio CD version was not listed, I should check B&N.  But here is something that I was also looking at that should tie-in pretty nicely with your recommendation.


@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex Hardcover – November 11, 2014
by Shane Harris


Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
9/16/2014 | 8:35:18 AM
Re: Surviving on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit: Reducing the National Security Risks of America’s Cyber Dependencies
Thanks for the book recommendation, @PaulH698. The author certainly has the credentials to make a strong case! Among them: Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The RAND Corporation, member of the Defense Policy Board and The President's Intelligence Advisory Board, a Director of the Center for a New American Security and from the spring of 2007 through the Presidential election of 2008, Dr. Danzig was a senior advisor to Senator Obama on national security issues and he was the 71st Secretary of the Navy. 

You can find a link to a PDF or Kindle version of Surviving on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit here:



User Rank: Apprentice
9/15/2014 | 11:49:14 PM
Surviving on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit: Reducing the National Security Risks of America’s Cyber Dependencies
It is free. Available in .pdf, kindle and tablet formats. While written from an American viepoint robably the best overview of what democratic nations need to do to preserve the benefits of an open Internet. Google the title in order to find it.

'"Surviving on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit: Reducing the National Security Risks of America's Cyber Dependencies" by the Honorable Richard Danzig offers key insights about how to improve U.S. national security policymaking to address cyber insecurity. In the report, the author examines existing information technology security weaknesses and provides nine specific recommendations for the U.S. government and others to cope with these insecurities.'
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
9/11/2014 | 11:32:02 AM
Re: Good Reading
I loved The Lowlands, but Cory Doctorow's Homeland sounds intriguing. I'm putting it on my to read list.

Keep your book recommendations coming! They're great. 
Kelly Jackson Higgins
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
9/11/2014 | 10:47:41 AM
Re: Good Reading
I'm looking forward to reading Kim Zetter's "Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon," which comes out in November. 
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2014 | 10:29:50 AM
Re: Good Reading
A must read: Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick.
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2014 | 10:22:44 AM
Good Reading
That is quite a good list of books.  Three of them I have already delved.
One book that I treat as a personal reading requirement every year is The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker.

The Effective Executive was first published in 1966, but the content in the book is timeless.  At a short ~200 pages in size, the book is pure sage advice for anyone who is in a leadership or management role.  The concepts in the book are foundational and it is my opinion that anyone who aspires to become a leader in their trade, whatever it may be, read and adopt the concepts and practices it provides.  At approximately $10 USD, the price is very reasonable.

I re-read the book every year as a mental "reset" for my management skills.  It is easy for any of us to get wrapped around the axle on unproductive or less important things.  It is my opinion that The Effective Executive can help anyone in any trade rethink the drink in regards to priorities and resource management.
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