General Question

Jeruba's avatar

What are the hottest new topics in information security?

Asked by Jeruba (48719points) April 7th, 2012

If you’re up on data security, can you help me out with some keywords that would lead me to reading matter on this topic? I need to find a book that is up to date and yet not too, too technical. (Assume a fair level of technical knowledge but not a specialist’s grasp.)

Subject matter could pertain to anything from hand-held devices to data centers, and from the employee level all the way up to international law and practice.

Better yet, can you point me to such a book?

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8 Answers

gasman's avatar

Here’s an informative take on password complexity from the web comic xkcd.com.

Wikipedia has an article on the RSA algorithm for public-key cryptography, based on the fact that it’s easy for a computer to multiply two large prime numbers together, yet nearly impossible to do the inverse operation, which is to decompose a product into composite prime numbers. This was invented in the late 1970s, so not really a “hot topic” anymore.

Two recent books on related topics that I found interesting (and easy to read) are The Code Book by Simon Singh (2000) and The Information by James Gleick (2011).

Hope that helps.

ratboy's avatar

Bruce Schneier is a well known security expert who maintains a news letter and a blog on current issues in the area. He also has written several books on the topic. If you want to pick up some jargon, you can find Handbook of Applied Cryptography on citeseerx.

SmashTheState's avatar

Quantum computing is the future. and there’s already virtual knife-fighting in the computer security world over the use of quantum cryptography in making cloud technology secure. One of the biggest problems looming in the mid- to long-term is that quantum computing is going to increase speeds by several orders of magnitude. Old 70s-era solutions to security like using multiplications of primes are going to vanish overnight when quantum computers which operate 100,000 times faster than modern computers appear.

If you want more information about this, try search for, alternatively, “quantum computer security” and “quantum computer security cracked” on Google. You’ll also find some useful material by searching for “quantum cryptography” on Google and Wikipedia.

Jeruba's avatar

Many thanks for the responses so far.

Again, I am looking for topics and keywords that will lead me to a book.

janbb's avatar

I just did a search on “Cyber Security” in Amazon and brought up several titles, published in 2011, that seem relevant.

ratboy's avatar

Jeez @Jeruba, post an outline of the plot and we’ll write the book for you. Many keywords can be garnered from the SANS Glossary of Security Terms. Some hot information security topics. Some book reviews. RSA Conference videos. Some scary stuff.

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks, @ratboy! That’s great. The conference topics are a treasure trove.

Sure, I could just wade in on my own, but I’m not really knowledgeable enough to tell fresh, current, solidly based stuff from what’s stale, passe, old news, bogus, one-sided, or misguided. I thought a recommendation from someone who’s current in the field would be superior to my just grabbing blindly at whatever’s nearest. I’m sure there’s a lot of literature that wouldn’t pass muster with people who know what’s what.

Jeruba's avatar

P.S. I don’t want to write the book, if that’s what you thought. I have to read a book on the subject, and I wanted to make it a good one.

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