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The Expert Recommends:
Essential Resources for Computer and Network Security Professionals

by Rebecca Bace - May 30, 2000

Essential Resources for Computer and Network Security Professionals

About the Author


Making Sense of Internet Security


Web-Based Resources for Information Security


The Library




Web-Based Resources for Information Security

These are resources for those who need to learn about some aspect of Information Security, and who furthermore need to keep up with the state of the art, which changes literally on a daily basis. I've included resources here that range from academically rigorous to hacker'esque. All are reliable, timely references for the IT professional.

Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

Audience: This site has something for everyone, from novices to security experts.

Description: CERIAS is one of the premier security research centers in the world. It's located at Purdue University, and its staff includes some of Purdue's finest professors. The center, founded and directed by Professor Eugene Spafford, a noted information security expert, is the source of a lot of security research, technologies, talent, and guidance to national policymakers.

Audience: Although the site assumes some expertise in security, future plans include a lot of elementary-level information. If you need to train yourself in a hurry about security, this is a place you need to go.

Description: Security Focus is a fast-growing security portal, founded by a group of security tool developers and the moderator of Bugtraq, the preeminent security vulnerability reporting mailing list. I consider it the best resource for researching current threat — if you see newspaper or media coverage of new attacks, you'll likely see someone from SecurityFocus cited as a source. The staff is technically knowledgeable and extremely well connected in security and technology circles. I think they do a wonderful job of tracking developments, reporting them without undue hype, and balancing the vulnerability reports with descriptions of cures.

Security Focus is devoted to providing extremely current, technically accurate information to security professionals and others who need this information. It has an extensive selection of white papers, contributed by security practitioners, hackers, and security tool designers alike.

Counterpane Labs Cryptography Paper Index

Audience: This site is for cryptography or security specialists.

Description: The Counterpane Labs web paper index offers one of the most extensive online repositories of papers on the topic of cryptography. It's part of Counterpane Security's corporate web site. Bruce Schneier, founder of Counterpane, is author of Applied Cryptography, a widely used reference work on the topic, and also publishes the excellent "Crypto-Notes" online newsletter. Bruce is a popular speaker and presenter for a variety of security conferences. I think that his take on security, especially on the flaws in popular approaches, is spot on.

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