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Book Review: Cybervetting

​CRC Press. 322 pages. $79.95.

In today’s world where Big Data has become much more than a buzzword, security leaders may need a guide to navigate the information available to them. In the second edition of his book, Cybervetting: Internet Searches for Vetting, Investigations, and Open-Source Intelligence, Edward J. Appel provides that guidance. 

Appel brings an impressive pedigree to his work. Since retiring from the FBI where he specialized in counterintelligence and terrorism, he has held executive roles in corporate security and operated his own investigation firm. In this book, he provides a thoughtful tour of the Internet and explains how it can benefit today’s professional investigator. The tour culminates with a guide to the groundwork that a reader needs to build a Web-based intelligence program, including resources, pitfalls, and search methods.

If there is any criticism, it is that readers may find descriptions of concepts such as the Internet, blogs, and Google too basic. Although the work includes basic information for the neophyte, it also offers solid resources, original research, and recent case law, so even seasoned investigators will gain useful nuggets of knowledge. Heavy annotation and comprehensive indexing make this book highly searchable, providing not just a good initial read but also a go-to reference.


Reviewer: Drew Neckar, CPP, CHPA, is a member of the ASIS Healthcare Security Council, and has extensive experience in threat assessment and investigations.