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Book Review: We Have Root

By Bruce Schneier. John Wiley & Sons;; 304 pages; $19.99.

Book-Review-We-Have-Root.pngBruce Schneier has been one of the most recognized authorities on cybersecurity for more than two decades. He has a talent for explaining the complexities of the cyber world to the layman without resorting to intimidating technical discourse. While sharing his extensive knowledge, he admits that he too continues to learn the ways of the cyber world.

A compilation of Schneier’s essays, We Have Root describes the heightened risk of cyber activity due to public policy and other timely issues, including election interference, privacy and surveillance, access to encrypted information, and leaks. Not surprisingly, the collection of separately published articles involves the frequent repetition of particular themes, which may be seen as a waste of time by some or a useful emphasis of key points by others. The single most useful piece, addressing a number of emerging potential threats, may be “Security and the Internet of Things,” which explains how some simple, everyday actions could result in death and destruction.

There are no grounds to say why We Have Root is a better choice than any of the dozen or so books Schneier has published, except that it is among the most recent and a great starting point. This reader’s next stop is Schneier’s Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World, reviewed in the July 2019 issue of Security Management.

Reviewer: James T. Dunne, CPP, is a member of the steering committees for the ASIS Communities for Extremism & Political Instability and Information Technology Security. He is a senior analyst in the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The views expressed are those of the reviewer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.