Foundations of Computer Security

Foundations of Computer Security

All aspects of computer security—from the firewall for a home PC to the most daunting designs for large distributed systems—are becoming increasingly important worldwide. However, the complexities of securing computing systems can often make the topic too intimidating or onerous for people who are relative novices.

Foundations of Computer Security provides a succinct, yet authoritative introduction to the underlying theory, history, vocabulary, and concepts that drive this pivotal area of computer science. With its user-friendly approach and clarity of style, the text conveys—in simple terms—the core principles and developments underlying computer security in its many ramifications in the rapidly evolving computing arena. Following its opening framework laid out in a broad preface and introductory chapter, the book features chapters dedicated to a wide array of security-related subtopics: physical security, viruses and worms, malware and spyware, privacy and trust, and cryptography, to name several. The work is a sort of guidebook for newcomers: It assumes only basic knowledge of computers and refrains from heavy mathematical elements.

Topics and Features:

• Provides a comprehensive, accessible overview of the elements of computer security, conveyed in an easy-to-understand style

• Covers the main security challenges, and introduces cryptography

• Reinforces its themes with thorough use of examples, exercises (with answers), historical anecdotes, and case studies

• Features a supplemental website for auxiliary instructional material

• Supplies numerous resources, including a helpful glossary, a virus timeline, and an extensive bibliography

• Instructs readers through a logical and progressive method, yet flavors treatment of the topic with enjoyable quotes, provocative questions, and other educational tools

• Presents the “essentials,” but offers additional useful background information

This broad, yet practical textbook/reference is an invaluable instructional tool for undergraduates, graduates, or professionals who know at least the basics about computers but need some exposure to the key elements pertaining to computer security. Its concise approach, complemented by its breadth of security issues covered, will make it an ideal resource for those hoping to learn the foundation topics of this critical subject.

David Salomon is a professor emeritus of computer science at California State University, Northridge. He has authored numerous articles, as well as the popular books, Data Compression: The Complete Reference (now in its third edition) and Data Privacy and Security.

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