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20 Best Cyber Security Books for Beginners and Professionals

25th Apr, 2024
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    20 Best Cyber Security Books for Beginners and Professionals

    A tremendous amount of progress is being made in the field of cybersecurity today, opening up new job opportunities. If you are planning to pursue a career in cybersecurity, you must strongly consider reading some of the most authentic books. This article will guide you through the best book on cyber security. Enrolling in IT Security Certifications is also advisable as it will help you Upskill and attract more lucrative job opportunities.

    What is Cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity involves protecting sensitive information and critical systems from digital attacks. A cybersecurity measure is designed to combat threats against networked systems and applications, regardless of whether they originate internally or externally. 

    Due to the growing number of users, devices, and programs in modern enterprises and the influx of sensitive or confidential data, cybersecurity continues to be an increasingly important topic. The security challenges become even more complex as cyber-attacks and attack techniques become more sophisticated and numerous.

    Below are a few cybersecurity books for beginners and professionals that will help you better understand cybersecurity and ethical hacking. Check out the best course for Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security and begin your career path. 

    List of Cyber Security Books for Beginners in 2023

    Some of the best books for cyber security beginners are as follows- 

    1. Cybersecurity For Beginners- Raef Meeuwisse 

    • Every chapter of this book discusses a different aspect of Cybersecurity. 
    • It is unnecessary to know anything about the earlier chapters to understand the later ones, so it is possible to read them in any order. 
    • Throughout the book, Meeuwisse defines every important term a reader needs to be aware of. 
    • Published: May 14, 2015 by Lulu Publishing Services

    2. Social Engineering: The Science Of Human Hacking - Christopher Hadnagy 

    • Hadnagy explains various social engineering techniques in this book. 
    • He also provides real-world examples to help make each technique easier to understand. It is one of the most interesting books on cyber warfare. 
    • Published: June 25, 2018 by Wiley

    3. The Art Of Invisibility - Kevin Mitnick

    • He provides online and real-life tactics and inexpensive methods to protect you and your family in an easy step-by-step format. 
    • You can learn about various privacy protection tactics and what you can do to avoid leaving a digital footprint
    • PublishedFebruary 14, 2017 by Little, Brown and Company 

    4. Hacking for Beginners: A Step By Step Guide For You To Learn the Basics of Cybersecurity And Hacking - Ramon Nastase 

    • By reading this book, readers will learn how hackers think, why they hack computer systems, and how they do it.
    • In this book, which is geared toward those interested in penetration testing, there are a variety of attacks that can be used to hack into a system. 
    • Published: August 6, 2018 by Independently Published

    5. Blue Team Handbook: Incident Response Edition - Don Murdoch

    • This book is a good place to start if you're interested in Blue Teams, SOCs, incident response, etc. Murdoch describes what it is like to respond to a cybersecurity incident.
    • He explains in detail why and how each tool is used. Having an inside-out perspective on an organization is what it means to be part of the blue team.
    • Published: August 3, 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

    6. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation - Jon Erickson

    • This cyber security textbook not only explains how hacking works but also explores the topic from the point of view of a hacker. 
    • A comprehensive look at current programming and hacking techniques is presented in the book. Even better, the second edition includes a Live CD with a complete Linux environment.
    • Published: October 8, 2004 by No Starch Press

    7. Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World - Joseph Menn

    • It refers to one of the earliest and most revered hacking groups ever formed in the United States.
    • In this book, the author discusses how the group developed TOR and how they compelled many US corporations to improve their security protocols. 
    • Published: June 4, 2019 by PublicAffairs

    8. Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker - Kevin Mitnick and William L. Simon 

    • This is a true story that feels stranger than fiction. He describes his experience hacking into some of the world's most prestigious corporations, including Motorola, Pacific Bell, and Sun Microsystems. 
    • It is the memoir of a hacker at the top of his game who, as a novice IT worker, went on to become the world's most notorious hacker with the FBI.  
    • Published: August 15, 2011 by Little, Brown and Company

    9. The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography - Simon Singh

    • In this fascinating book, Simon Singh traces the history of encryption back to ancient Egypt.
    • A detailed account of how encryption has shaped the world we live in is provided in the book. Encryption can be credited with everything from the creation of e-commerce to ending the Nazi regime. 
    • It connects the word encryption with many famous historical events and individuals. 
    • Published: August 29, 2000 by Anchor

    10. Practical Malware Analysis - Andrew Honig and Michael Sikorski

    • Today, Malware and Viruses are a real threat to the modern world. Security experts and IT professionals are always looking for ways to combat new malware lurking around the corner. 
    • Malware attacks are a constant threat to companies.
    • In addition to providing valuable insight on dealing with such threats, this book also provides cyber security tools to help companies fight and eliminate virus attacks. 
    • Published: February 29, 2012 by No Starch Press

    List of Cyber Security Books for Professionals in 2023

    Some of the information security books are as follows:

    1. Metasploit: The Penetration Tester's Guide - David Kennedy, Jim O'Gorman, Devon Kearns, and Mati Aharoni 

    • The book describes the framework's interfaces, module system, and advanced penetration testing techniques, including network reconnaissance, client-side attacks, wireless attacks, and targeted social engineering attacks
    • You will also learn how to integrate NeXpose, Nmap, and Nessus with Metasploit to automate discovery. This book remains one of the most popular computer security books available on the market. 
    • Published: July 22, 2011 by No Starch Press

    2. The Hacker Playbook 3: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing - Peter Kim

    • There are new strategies, attacks, exploits, and tips in this book. It highlights a few techniques from previous versions in addition to all the new concepts.
    • To test your organization's defensive teams, it simulates real-world, advanced attacks.
    • By reading this, you will improve your offensive hacking skills and attack paths. Additionally, it covers real-world attacks, exploitation, custom malware, and persistence.
    • Published: May 1, 2018 by Secure Planet

    3. Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C

    • An overview of modern cryptography is provided in this cyber security book. 
    • Cryptography is used to encrypt and decrypt messages by professionals. 
    • Security problems are solved using several cryptography algorithms. 
    • Published: November 2, 1995 by Wiley

    4. Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking - Georgia Weidman

    • An insight into penetration testing is provided in this cyber security book. Security vulnerabilities are discovered by penetration testers in operating systems, networks, and applications.
    • In this book, you will learn the skills and techniques that are required by a penetration tester.
    • Published: May 22, 2014 by No Starch Press

    5. Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking - Christopher Hadnagy- Christopher Hadnagy

    • Various social engineering techniques are explained by Hadnagy in this book. 
    • To help make each technique easier to understand, he also provides real-world examples. 
    • Published: June 25, 2018 by Wiley

    6. The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws- Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto

    • Describes how to expose updated Web applications to attacks and execute fraudulent transactions in the second edition of this book.
    • This book discusses the latest methods for attacking and defending ever-evolving Web applications. To name a few, it discusses new remoting frameworks, HTML5, UI redress, and hybrid file attacks.

    7. Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas From The Computer Age-Paul Graham

    • The author explains the technological world and people's motivations by using thoughtful prose and historical examples.
    • Learn why hackers hack, what motivates them, and why you should care.
    • Published: May 25, 2004 by O'Reilly Media

    8. BackTrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing Beginner's Guide - Vivek Ramachandran 

    • Beginners can easily understand the concepts and techniques of wireless attacks in this book. 
    • The lab exercises describe each attack with rich illustrations and detailed steps. A basic understanding of wireless concepts and Backtrack is assumed in this book. 
    • Published: September 9, 2011 by Packt Publishing

    9. Mastering Hacking (The Art of Information Gathering & Scanning) - Harsh Bothra

    • Designed for both technical and non-technical readers, this book simplifies hacking.
    • It also contains in-depth, real-life applications of various hacking techniques and serves as a guide for your concrete steps in information security. 
    • Published: August 28, 2019

    10. The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware - Andrew Bunnie Huang

    • The book contains essays and interviews on topics such as reverse engineering, law, intellectual property practices between China and the United States, and more. The book provides a comprehensive look at the issues associated with open-source hardware and contains highly detailed passages on manufacturing.
    • Published: No Starch Press

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    Comparison of Top Cybersecurity Books 

    Book title  



    Release Date 


    Hacking, The Art of Exploitation 

    Jon Erickson 


    Feb 4, 2008 

    Rs 1760 

    Cult of The Dead Cow 

    Joseph Menn 


    June 4, 19 

    Rs 1600 

    Ghost in the wires 

    Kevin Mitnick 


    April 24, 2012 

    Rs 920 

    The Code Book 

    Simon Singh 


    Aug 20, 2000 

    Rs 1031 

    Bottom Line

    An overview of the best cybersecurity books has been presented in this article. There are more books out there that can assist you in your cybersecurity learning journey. This will provide you with all the skills you need to become a cybersecurity expert. Getting Knowledgehut’s IT Security Certifications can help you gather knowledge directly from experts and learn about modern-day Information System Security Technologies. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Which subject is best for cyber security?

    To succeed as a cyber security professional, you should consider one of the following subjects:

    • IT 
    • Cyber security 
    • Computer science 
    • Forensic computing 
    • Network engineering 
    • Networks and security 
    • Mathematics, physics, or other STEM subjects 
    2How do I train for cyber security?

    To Identify what you want to learn about cyber security, locate learning resources, and create a learning plan. Daily, systematically study that material. You can supplement your study with home labs and hands-on experience. 

    3Is coding required for cyber security?

    Coding skills are often not required for entry-level cybersecurity positions. Coding, however, may be necessary for cybersecurity professionals seeking mid or upper-level positions. Reading some of the best cybersecurity books can give you better clarity. 

    4How do I start learning cyber security?

    When it comes to cybersecurity, you need to understand the basics of IT systems and networks, such as the different types of networks and protocols available. When you understand the fundamentals, you can explore networking traffic, security, and communication. Create a learning plan that identifies what you are interested in learning about cyber security. Make sure you study the material daily in a systematic manner.

    5What books should I read to become a hacker?
    • Metasploit: The Penetration Tester's Guide 
    • The Hacker Playbook 3: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing 
    • Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C 
    • Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking
    • Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking by Christopher Hadnagy 
    • The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws

    Vitesh Sharma

    Blog Author

    Vitesh Sharma, a distinguished Cyber Security expert with a wealth of experience exceeding 6 years in the Telecom & Networking Industry. Armed with a CCIE and CISA certification, Vitesh possesses expertise in MPLS, Wi-Fi Planning & Designing, High Availability, QoS, IPv6, and IP KPIs. With a robust background in evaluating and optimizing MPLS security for telecom giants, Vitesh has been instrumental in driving large service provider engagements, emphasizing planning, designing, assessment, and optimization. His experience spans prestigious organizations like Barclays, Protiviti, EY, PwC India, Tata Consultancy Services, and more. With a unique blend of technical prowess and management acumen, Vitesh remains at the forefront of ensuring secure and efficient networking solutions, solidifying his position as a notable figure in the cybersecurity landscape.

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