Another Great Way to Keep Current

It is essential for people in cybersecurity and other technical fields to keep up with their professions. It’s particularly hard with a field as broad as cybersecurity. Not only are there technical tools to keep up with, but there are societal, managerial and other aspects of the field to watch, too.

One resource I look forward to receiving in my inbox is Crypto-Gram, an email newsletter from Bruce Schneier. The newsletter addresses current events in security and has tons of links to other great resources.

Bruce Schneier’s blog is Schneier on Security. As I write this the most recent posts are about Ricin, the NSA surveillance controversy, and “Trading Privacy for Convenience”. I think you’ll find all these articles (as well as older ones, of course), quite interesting. Even non-technical people will appreciate Schneier’s blog and newsletter as seldom goes into any significant technical detail.

Schneier is a technical guy, though. He is Chief Security Technology Officer of BT. His first bestseller was the book Applied Cryptography – a genuine classic. Secrets and Lies was published in 2000 and I still recommend it to people getting involved in the security profession. In it, Schneier talks about security technologies honestly – he discusses both strengths and weaknesses. It’s not a technical book and it is one of my favorites.

His three more recent books Beyond Fear, Schneier on Security, and Liars and Outliers discuss issues in the security world that will interest virtually everyone who uses technology. He is regularly quoted by the press and has written articles for The New York Times, Wired and multiple other well-known publications. (You can see his bio here.)  He is also the architect of Password Safe, a password saving and generating tool I’ve mentioned before.

When I opened Crypto-Gram the other day, the first article was “Government Secrets and the Need for Whistleblowers”. It is also on his blog and it appeared on The Atlantic. The newsletter version, though has dozens of links related to the article. Fortunately they’re organized by topic as I don’t have time to follow them all.

I find the “News” section of Crypto-Gram to be particularly valuable. Even though I subscribe to multiple newsletters and RSS feeds about security, Schneier always seems to find things I haven’t seen or new takes on topics I hadn’t thought of before.

I could go on about the benefits of this newsletter, but it’s better that you subscribe and read it. It is also available as a podcast and for mobile platforms.

In Learning Tree Course 468, System and Network Security we talk about the implications of cybersecurity issues in addition to discussing fundamental technology. With cybersecurity in the news so often these days, it helps to be able to understand the real impact of the issues. Crypto-Gram can be a big help – it is for me.

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