Cyber Insecurity

Cyber Insecurity

Navigating the Perils of the Next information Age

Edited by Richard M Harrison and Trey Herr

Rowan & Littlefield New York, 2016, 412 pages

Book Review published on: May 25, 2017

Cyber Insecurity provides a comprehensive understanding to the basic complexities of the cyber world. Its purpose is threefold: first, to the layperson, explaining the critical features of cyberspace and simplifying its essential components that include many key policy issues; second, to the initiated generalist, providing relevant details and references with respect to some of the more technical and policy details; and third, to policy makers and staffers, to serve as a resource for informed work in crafting public policy. It is a great introduction to understanding the challenges confronting us in the cyber domain.

Its twenty chapters are divided into four sections— securing data, devices, and networks; combatting cybercrime; governing the security of the Internet; and military cyber operations. Each chapter, written by one or more subject-matter experts, follows the same construct with short subparagraphs describing the key issues and how they affect us from our day-to-day life to the national policy level and even the potential global impacts. Each chapter finishes with a clear conclusion and is followed by a page of abbreviated chapter highlights that makes for a great way to keep track of the summative issues. Included at the end of each chapter is also an extensive listing of citations that offers further readings and documentation, which enables the readers to gain more insight into many of the background documents that are helping to shape the cyber environment.

The value of this book is in the exposing of the challenges to cybersecurity and how the progress of policies cannot keep pace. Many of the challenges include technological advances such as securing software codes against malicious malware attacks, as well as the establishment of laws and norms across the cyber global environment. The authors explain these challenges in sufficient detail and pose many insightful questions to these challenges, along with appropriate recommendations. Despite all the focus on technology, connectivity, and policies, the greatest vulnerability in our cyber environment remains the education, training, and awareness level of the person at the keyboard.

The section on military cyber operations is congruent with current (unclassified) military cyber doctrine. The charts, diagrams, and application of specific military doctrinal terms are all up to date. As an instructor in the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, I find this section insightful and plan to incorporate many of the book’s points into future instruction.

The book is well written from start to finish and is organized in a logical sequence and the editors have done a good job of tying all the chapters together. Even though the book contains an abundance of technical discussions, I recommend this book for all military members due to its application in military operations but more importantly in our everyday lives.

Book Review written by: Lt. Col. George Hodge, U.S. Army, Retired, Lansing, Kansas