I published a new book!
The Best of TaoSecurity Blog, Volume 3: Current Events, Law, Wise People, History, and Appendices is the third title in the TaoSecurity Blog series.
It's in the Kindle Store, and if you have an Unlimited account, it's free.
I also published a print edition, which is 485 pages.
The book features the following description on the back cover:
Since 2003, cybersecurity author Richard Bejtlich has been publishing posts on TaoSecurity Blog, a site with 15 million views since 2011. Now, after re-reading over 3,000 stories and approximately one million words, he has selected and republished the very best entries from 17 years of writing, along with commentaries and additional material.
In the third volume of the TaoSecurity Blog series, Mr. Bejtlich addresses the evolution of his security mindset, influenced by current events and advice from his so-called set of "wise people." He talks about why speed is not the key to John Boyd's OODA loop, and why security strategies designed for and by the "security 1%" may be irrelevant at best, or harmful at worst, for the remaining "99%". His history section explores the origins of the terms threat hunting and indicators of compromise, and reveals who really created the quote "there are two types of companies." His chapter on law highlights traps that might catch security teams, with advice to chief information security officers.
This volume contains some of Mr. Bejtlich’s favorite posts, such as Marcus Ranum's answer to what happens when security teams confront professionals, or how the Internet continues to function despite constant challenges, or reactions to comments by Dan Geer, Bruce Schneier, Marty Roesch, and other security leaders. Mr. Bejtlich has written new commentaries to accompany each post, some of which would qualify as blog entries in their own right. Read how the security industry, defensive methodologies, and strategies to improve national security have evolved in this new book, written by one of the authors who has seen it all and survived to blog about it.
Writing the Series
Although I had written and self-published a book in early 2019, I had used Blurb and stayed in print format.
For this new project, I wanted to publish "reflowable" (not print replica) Kindle editions, along with print versions, through Amazon.
I started the project in September 2019 by labelling 300 or so out of the 3,050 blog posts as candidates for inclusion in a "best of" book. I quickly realized that "only" 300 posts, plus new material and commentary, would result in a very large project, so I decided to break it into three volumes.
I created twelve categories and began sorting and commenting on the posts in March 2020. I decided to assign four categories to each volume, with an "appendices" category for the last volume if necessary.
I chose the 5.5 inch by 8.5 inch "statement" print size since it was supported by Google Docs and was a standard print size for Amazon.
Eventually I selected almost 375 posts for the book and began the real work!
I published volume 1 in May 2020. The print edition features 85,030 words in 357 pages, or about 238 words per page.
I published volume 2 in September 2020. The print edition features 96,288 words in 429 pages, or about 224 words per page
Now, volume 3 has arrived in November 2020. The print edition features 90,190 words in 485 pages, or about 185 words per page.
In total, the project resulted in 271,508 words over 1,271 pages, or about 214 words per page.
Originally I wanted to add a few items outside TaoSecurity Blog to the third volume, in a section called "Appendices." As I discovered and collected this material, I realized that adding it would essentially double the size of the third volume. As it was over 400 pages at that time, I decided I would save most of this material for another project.
That other project is Beyond TaoSecurity Blog, Volume 1: Columns, Papers, PhD Work, and Testimonies. At the moment, I believe I have a handle on what to include in that title. I don't expect to have a volume 2, but I thought it best to give this a volume number as I may have more material to publish in the future.
My goal is to publish this "Beyond" book during the next few weeks -- perhaps during or after Thanksgiving.
I wrote this series of books because I fear that this blog has become too unwieldy for its own good. Revisiting 17 years of posts, adding commentaries, and collecting related material has helped me better understand my own journey in security. The new "Beyond" book reaches a bit farther past the three blog volumes and includes material never before published, primarily from my abandoned PhD effort. I'll have more to say when I published that book before the end of the year.
If you've read any of the books in the TaoSecurity Blog series, I would great appreciate a positive review! Thank you.