Book Reviews: Information Security Books and Product Reviews – Microsoft® Windows® Security Essentials

Book Title:   Microsoft® Windows® Security Essentials

Subtitle: Exam 98-367

Author: Darril Gibson

Publisher: Sybex (Wiley Publishing Inc)

Date of Publishing: 2011

ISBN(13): 9781118016848

Price (UK&US price – full price, not discounted price): £26.99,   $39.99

URL of Publisher Site: Sybex

URL of Amazon UK web page:  Microsoft Windows Security Essentials (Essentials (John Wiley))

URL of Amazon UK (Kindle) web page:  Microsoft Windows Security Essentials

URL of Amazon US web page:  Microsoft Windows Security Essentials

URL of Amazon US (Kindle) web page: Microsoft Windows Security Essentials

This is not a systems security handbook for the general reader, but one of many preparation guides for the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exam in Security Fundamentals (exam reference 98-367). This exam is one of four Microsoft qualifications in fundamentals designed to equip new entrants to the IT infrastructure profession with a basic knowledge of terminology, concepts and the configuration of Microsoft products. In common with most vendor qualifications, this syllabus seems rather sketchy on underlying principles, concentrating primarily on the security facilities offered by the Windows product line.Given the purpose of this book, the content is inevitably constrained by the examination syllabus, and is therefore somewhat superficial. Nevertheless, rather than slavishly progressing module-by-module through the exam, the author has rendered a coherent and intelligent account of technical security basics in a form that is logical and easy to read, providing a cross-reference to the exam structure in an appendix.

In a field where there is much competition, this book stands out as clear, readable, accurate and remarkably free from errors, although in a few instances over-simplified technical descriptions could result in misunderstanding, as for example in the discussion of buffer overflows (p. 26). However, in general this is an excellent exam primer, which is to be expected given the credentials of the author – a seasoned professional trainer with a dozen published works under his belt.

A highly recommended study guide for the MTA Security Fundamentals examination.  Its few failings are primarily those of the exam syllabus rather than the fault of the author. The text is clear, logical and memorable, and will prove invaluable to those preparing for exam 98-367.

Marks: 4 out of 5