30 Best Cyber Security Books You Should Read in 2024


In today’s digitally interconnected world, staying informed and well-equipped to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats is paramount. 

Whether you’re a cybersecurity professional seeking to sharpen your skills or someone looking to understand the fundamentals of online safety, this selection of books offers valuable insights, strategies, and knowledge to help you stay secure in an increasingly digital age. 

Explore these essential reads and boost your cybersecurity expertise.

Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking


Author: Christopher Hadnagy

Date of Publication: 2018

Curious about the human side of cybersecurity? Christopher Hadnagy’s “Social Engineering” stands out in the crowded cybersecurity genre. While many books detail technical hacks, Hadnagy zeroes in on the psychology behind security vulnerabilities. 

He offers a unique dive into the human decision-making pitfalls that hackers exploit. It’s not just about recognizing threats but understanding why they work. This book isn’t just a warning—it’s an exploration of our innate vulnerabilities in a digital world.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition


Author: Jon Erickson

Date of Publication: 2005

Eager to crack the code behind hacking? Jon Erickson’s “Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition” is your map. Instead of just spewing jargon, Erickson crafts a journey from the basics of C programming to the art of advanced exploits. 

Award-winning and critically acclaimed, this edition sets itself apart by bridging the gap between theory and execution. Dive in, and you’ll soon grasp why it’s hailed as a trailblazer in cybersecurity literature.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

The Art of Invisibility

The World’s Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data


Author: Kevin Mitnick

Date of Publication: 2017

Ever felt watched online? “The Art of Invisibility”, penned by hacker legend Kevin Mitnick, pulls back the curtain on our surveillance-heavy world. With anecdotes from his notorious hacking days, Mitnick doesn’t just spook you—he equips you with tools to reclaim your digital privacy. A unique read that merges personal tales with tech-savvy advice.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software


Authors: Andrew Honig and Michael Sikorski

Date of Publication: 2012

Curious about malware‘s inner workings? “Practical Malware Analysis” is your gateway. Beyond just theory, this guide hands you the pros’ tools and tricks for unraveling malicious software. It’s not just about understanding malware, but mastering the craft to counter today’s cyber threats—a distinctive dive in the cybersecurity realm.

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Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker


Authors: Kevin Mitnick and William L. Simon

Date of Publication: 2011

Ever been gripped by a real-life tech thriller? Dive into Kevin Mitnick’s rollercoaster ride, arguably history’s most elusive hacker. Evading the law, he sneaks into elite corporations, melding tech genius with sly tricks. His digital escapades don’t just thrill; they redefine cybersecurity—a must-read saga of wit, chase, and innovation.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

The Code Book


Author: Simon Singh

Date of Publication: 1999

Ever wondered about secret codes? “The Code Book” by Simon Singh is your decoder ring. Spanning from ancient ciphers to futuristic quantum codes, he demystifies enigmatic tools like the Enigma machine and delves into the world of public-key encryption

Singh’s exploration isn’t just historical; it’s a journey through time, revealing the essence of covert communication—a unique blend of history and modern encryption techniques.

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Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World


Author: Joseph Menn

Date of Publication: 2019

Ready for a deep dive into hacktivism? Joseph Menn’s “Cult of the Dead Cow” chronicles the journey of a legendary hacking collective. More than just code-breakers, they championed privacy, democracy, and tech-fueled freedom, leaving an indelible mark on politics and digital rights.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

Threat Modeling: Designing for Security


Author: Adam Shostack

Date of Publication: 2014

Ever heard of the “Cult of the Dead Cow”? Dive into Joseph Menn’s gripping tale. This isn’t just about a hacking group—it’s a chronicle of hacktivism pioneers who didn’t just hack systems but also challenged politics. 

Advocating for privacy and viewing tech as freedom’s torch, this group’s saga is more than bytes—it’s about beliefs and battles in a digital era. It’s an epic tale where hacktivism meets geopolitics.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

Cybersecurity Essentials


Authors: Charles J. Brooks, Christopher Grow, and Donald Short

Date of Publication: 2018

New to cybersecurity? “Cybersecurity Essentials” is your starting line. This isn’t just another technical read—it’s a roadmap. It uses real-life scenarios to ground you, from locking down networks to fortifying perimeters. 

Plus, it’s a stepping stone for those seeking their first certifications. A guide that lays a strong cyber foundation sprinkled with practical insights. Dive in and set your cybersecurity journey in motion.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

Applied Cryptography


Author: Bruce Schneier

Date of Publication: 1993

Diving into cryptography? This guide’s got your back. It doesn’t just stop at explaining algorithms; it shows you how to apply them. From theory to practice, it’s designed for programmers and those in communications. It’s not just a rundown of codes but a playbook for solid security. It’s a must-read to get your cryptography game on point.

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Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide


Authors: David Kennedy, Jim O’Gorman, Devon Kearns, Mati Aharoni

Date of Publication: 2011

Looking to master pen-testing? Start here. This guide journeys from basics to the deep dive of zero-day research. Not only will you learn to exploit vulnerabilities but also protect networks. More than just techniques, it’s the go-to playbook for real-world cybersecurity challenges. Perfect for defenders and testers alike.

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The Hacker Playbook 3: Practical Guide to Penetration Testing


Author: Charles Kim

Date of Publication: 2018

Dive into “The Hacker Playbook 3” by Charles Kim. Ever wonder how real-world attacks play out? This guide takes you deep into the trenches of advanced penetration testing and Red Teaming. Beyond mere theory, it polishes your hacking tactics, zooming in on stealth, exploitation, and evasion. A perfect playbook for mastering modern cybersecurity challenges.

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The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Discovering and Exploiting Security Flaws


Authors: Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto

Date of Publication: 2007

Dive into Stuttard and Pinto’s masterpiece, “The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook.” Keen on modern web security? This tome unpacks both offensive and defensive strategies, especially in the realms of HTML5 and cross-domain intricacies. With a knack for addressing those pesky vulnerabilities, it’s a must-read for web app enthusiasts.

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The Cuckoo’s Egg


Author: Clifford Stoll

Date of Publication: 1989

Ever get intrigued by a mere 75-cent anomaly? Clifford Stoll did in “The Cuckoo’s Egg.” He dives deep, unraveling a tale of espionage within Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. What starts as a tiny fiscal hiccup spirals into a riveting chase of a hacker with KGB ties. A gripping narrative awaits.

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The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behaviour Changes Online


Author: Mary Aiken

Date of Publication: 2016

Ever wondered how the digital realm alters us? Dive into “The Cyber Effect” with Dr. Mary Aiken, a pioneer in cyberpsychology. She delves into topics from screen impacts on kids to the hidden depths of the Deep Web. 

Aiken offers alarming stats and real stories, urging us to consider: Where is this digital journey leading? Grab this read and rethink your online life. It’s not just about the web; it’s about its effect on us.

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Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking


Author: Georgia Weidman

Date of Publication: 2014

Dive into the world of ethical hacking with Georgia Weidman’s “Penetration Testing.” This hands-on guide takes you through real-life cyberattacks using Kali Linux and key tools like Wireshark and Metasploit. 

From cracking passwords to mobile hacking, Weidman offers a comprehensive look into today’s cybersecurity threats and defenses. Perfect for aspiring hackers, it’s an essential resource to start your penetration testing journey.

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Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon


Author: Kim Zetter

Date of Publication: 2014

Dive into the thrilling world of cyber warfare with Kim Zetter’s “Countdown to Zero Day.” Explore the gripping tale of Stuxnet, the first digital weapon that went beyond digital chaos to cause physical destruction in an Iranian nuclear facility. 

Zetter, a top cybersecurity journalist, uncovers the weapon’s origins and groundbreaking impact while shedding light on the shadowy realms of digital espionage and vulnerabilities in global infrastructures.

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Enterprise Cybersecurity in Digital Business: Building a Cyber Resilient Organization


Author: Ariel Evans

Date of Publication: 2022

Unlock the secrets of “Enterprise Cybersecurity in Digital Business” with the insightful Ariel Evans. By blending deep dives into Fortune 1000 companies and the nuanced world of cyber insurance, she shifts the narrative from mere tech-speak to the heart of business resilience. 

Let Ariel’s unmatched expertise be your guide if you’ve ever wondered how businesses fortify themselves in the digital age. This isn’t just another cybersecurity book—it’s a business resilience masterclass.

Buy it on Amazon, Routledge

Cybersecurity for Beginners


Author: Raef Meeuwisse

Date of Publication: 2015

Navigating the digital realm? This guide breaks down cybersecurity for the non-techie among us. Discover how swiftly changing tech landscapes can shake up businesses, spotlighting the lurking risks. 

Perfect for those intrigued by the digital dance between technology and business but might feel a bit lost in the tech jargon. It’s not just about tech dangers but their fascinating ripple effects on our businesses.

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The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware


Author: Andrew Huang

Date of Publication: 2017

Hacker extraordinaire Andrew “bunnie” Huang explores open hardware in “The Hardware Hacker,” sharing his journey from Shenzhen’s markets to open-source gadget creation. This book delves deep into the intricate world of open hardware, combining engineering, law, and societal insights.

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Cybersecurity Career Master Plan:

Proven Techniques and Effective Tips to Help You Advance in Your Cybersecurity Career


Authors: Dr. Gerald Auger, Jaclyn Scott, and Jonathan Helmus

Date of Publication: 2021

Guided by leading cybersecurity experts, this book offers comprehensive insights into starting and advancing cybersecurity. From choosing the right career path, certification options, to landing your first job, it demystifies the journey. Perfect for beginners and those contemplating a shift to cybersecurity.

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Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters


Author: Justin Seitz

Date of Publication: 2014

Dive deep into Python’s darker capabilities with Justin Seitz’s Black Hat Python. Explore creating potent hacking tools, from network sniffers to stealthy trojans. Packed with insider techniques and challenges, this book equips readers to craft powerful, adaptable tools for offensive security tasks.

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Cybersecurity: The Beginner’s Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting Started in Cybersecurity


Author: Erdal Ozkaya

Date of Publication: 2019

Navigate the complex world of cybersecurity with Dr. Erdal Ozkaya’s comprehensive guide. From understanding the industry’s needs to exploring AI’s role in securing systems, this book offers a deep dive into essential tools and methodologies. Ideal for IT professionals and cybersecurity experts looking to bolster their knowledge and transition into the field.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay

How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk


Authors: Douglas W. Hubbard and Richard Seiersen

Date of Publication: 2016

Hubbard and Seiersen challenge traditional cyber risk management methods in “How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk.” The book reveals the pitfalls of prevalent practices, suggesting transformative techniques for enhanced security. Aimed at robust data protection, it offers a fresh perspective on improving quantitative risk management strategies in cybersecurity.

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Click Here to Kill Everybody


Author: Bruce Schneier

Date of Publication: 2018

Bruce Schneier tackles the formidable challenges of IoT security head-on, shedding light on its vulnerabilities and proposing strategies for society to address them. His advocacy for more intelligent tech regulation makes his work an essential read in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

Confident Cyber Security: How to Get Started in Cyber Security and Futureproof Your Career


Author: Jessica Barker

Date of Publication: 2020

“Confident Cyber Security” by Dr. Jessica Barker is your ticket to the fascinating world of cybersecurity. With a friendly and professional tone, it offers a concise yet comprehensive exploration of this dynamic field, weaving together both human and technical aspects, all brought to life with real-world examples.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

How Cybersecurity Really Works: A Hands-On Guide for Total Beginners


Author: Sam Grubb

Date of Publication: 2021

Unravel the mysteries of cybersecurity with Sam Grubb’s “How Cybersecurity Really Works.” Tailored for beginners, this engaging guide demystifies online attacks and their defenses. Grubb delivers a jargon-free exploration, transforming intricate concepts into actionable skills. If you’re curious about online safety or eager to bolster your digital defenses, this book is your guide.

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The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics


Author: Ben Buchanan

Date of Publication: 2020

Ben Buchanan’s “The Hacker and the State” explores cyber attacks’ influence on geopolitics, revealing the hidden digital wars among global powers. The book emphasizes that today, cyber expertise defines dominance.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

The Smartest Person in the Room: The Root Cause and New Solution for Cybersecurity


Author: Christian Espinosa

Date of Publication: 2021

“The Smartest Person in the Room” by Christian Espinosa underscores the limits of technical brilliance in cybersecurity. Espinosa offers a seven-step guide, emphasizing communication and leadership, to transform technical expertise into holistic defense strategies.

Buy it on Amazon, eBay, Barnes & Noble

How to Choose the Right Cyber Security Book

Selecting the right cybersecurity book depends on your goals, technical level, and industry needs. Always prioritize books with updated content, real-world applications, and positive reviews. Remember, as cyber threats evolve, your knowledge should too.

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Is cybersecurity tough to learn? 
While cybersecurity can be intricate due to evolving threats, a genuine interest in technology can make the learning curve smoother. Passion and consistent effort play crucial roles in simplifying complex topics.
Can I learn cyber security in 3 months? 
Three months can offer a foundational grasp on cybersecurity, but its depth and vastness mean true proficiency requires more time. Factors like chosen educational routes and prior knowledge can influence the learning duration.
Is 1 year enough to learn cyber security?
A year can provide a comprehensive understanding of core cybersecurity principles. However, mastery depends on the chosen specialization and an individual’s prior technical expertise.