The Best Books to Learn Cybersecurity for Beginners

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Cybersecurity skills can protect computers, networks, data, apps, and mobile devices from cyber threats. In a world where everything is done digitally, it’s essential to have guardians of all our important information.

What does a cybersecurity analyst do? 

best books to learn cybersecurity, read in print or on tablet

A cybersecurity analyst is someone who keeps networks, electronic devices, computer infrastructure, and databases safe from unauthorized access. 

Beginners in cybersecurity typically enjoy reading through basic cybersecurity books to get a feel for the field. Fortunately, there are thousands of options to choose from. We’ve highlighted the very best cybersecurity books for beginners, and we hope that we can assist you in finding one worth reading.

The best general cybersecurity books

best general cybersecurity books, according to Flatiron School

Cybersecurity Essentials - Charles J. BrooksRating: 4.6/5 starsThis book is consistently praised by cybersecurity professionals as a solid introduction to cybersecurity, mixing a broad range of concepts with detailed elaborations. It provides a comprehensive view of specific scenarios and hands-on exercises that cybersecurity professionals are using today. The author gives an “outside” view of cybersecurity first, explaining the physical building before diving into networks, data, and security technology.

Big Breaches: Cybersecurity Lessons for Everyone - Neil Daswani and Moudy Elbayadi 

Rating: 5/5 stars 

Big Breaches focuses on real-world lessons and examples of cybersecurity threats, teaching concepts in a connected way that allows novices to build upon their knowledge and review historical breaches in cybersecurity. The writing is consistently used by professionals looking to dabble in cybersecurity, such as lawyers, business professionals, and data scientists. The book is efficient, giving meaningful advice to individuals and organizations facing cybersecurity threats. 

Data-Driven Security: Analysis, Visualization and Dashboards - Jay Jacons and Bob Rudis

Raing: 4.5/5 stars

This book covers two critical tools to help security professionals prevent security breaches and attacks  — data analysis and visualization. This book uses real-world examples to teach you to gather feedback, measure security methods, and make better decisions regarding data. 

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

Rating: 4.8/5 Stars

The Smartest Person in the Room is especially notable for its author, the founder and CEO of Alpine Security. Christian Espinos, a cybersecurity professional and successful entrepreneur, has built a career by solving cybersecurity problems for decades. His understanding of network security, insight from industry experts, and incredible work history make his book meaningful and nuanced—an excellent read for someone looking for deep comprehension of new security threats. 

How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk - Douglas W. Hubbard & Richard Seiersen

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Specializing in practical risk management, this book is more of a how-to guide with quantitative analysis and proven methods. For readers that want to go straight to the details without drawn-out metaphors, this is the choice. You’ll hear from hands-on experiences that prioritize accurate results over memorization and irrelevant information. The authors provide a voice of intelligence and evidence to manage cyber risks. 

Introduction To Cyber Security: Stay Safe Online - The Open University

Rating:4.3/5 Stars 

Although this book doesn’t include many cutting-edge strategies, it’s one of the best foundations for cybersecurity history. If you want to get a firm grasp on where cybersecurity is now, you have to understand how it started. This book does wonders as a basic introduction. 

Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook, 5th edition - By Daniel Regalado, et al

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

This book boasts “cutting-edge techniques for finding and fixing critical security flaws.” Learn about how hackers get in using case studies and testing labs. The 5th edition includes the topic of exploiting the Internet of Things. 

Best cybersecurity books for beginners

best cybersecurity books for beginners

There are many general guides for cybersecurity, and they tend to cram in lots of information for a broad audience. If you’re a beginner, you may not find everything relevant, and a more understandable book might be more suitable. Here are some cybersecurity books written specifically for beginners. 

Cybersecurity For Dummies - Joseph Steinberg

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

If you’ve ever tried to find a beginner-level book on a subject, you’re probably familiar with the “For Dummies” style books. These books tend to have a very relaxed, simple way of presenting the information. For readers that enjoy lists, graphics, and analogies over blocks of text, this is a must-have. We recommend this book for a quick grasp of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity: The Beginner's Guide: A Comprehensive Guide To Getting Started In Cybersecurity - Dr. Erdal Ozkaya

Rating: 4.6/5 Stars

This book, written by a tenured professional, is required material for cybersecurity 101 level classes across many universities. The primary audience for this material is pretty much any major related to computer science, giving a comprehensive overview of cybersecurity as a whole. It also has information for anyone interested in a career in cybersecurity, with descriptions of typical cybersecurity jobs. 

Cybersecurity for Beginners - Raef Meeuwisse 

Rating: 4.8/5 Stars

You won’t pass any certification tests by reading this book, but you will get important information and highly technical topics boiled down into bite-sized chunks. The book also includes a handy index and glossary of terms. Meeuwisse manages to use a small number of words to describe massive concepts packed with important cybersecurity information. 

CYBER SECURITY: Ultimate Beginners Guide to Learn the Basics and Effective Methods of Cyber Security (An Essential Guide to Ethical Hacking for Beginners) - Michael Steven 

Rating: 4.9/5 Stars

There’s a lot of information to digest in this field, especially when it comes to the technical aspects of cybersecurity. The author has spent his life researching cybersecurity, and the book is filled with real-world examples of cyber threats. While many beginners’ guides explain how concepts work in a light tone, this book shows the tragedy of cyber threats and reminds readers why cybersecurity is crucial to infrastructure. 

Topic-specific cybersecurity books

According to Maryville University, security analysts must have a background in a wide range of computer science topics to be competitive. Analysts should understand topics like digital systems, computer networking, and information technology. Below is a list of books that complement specific areas of interest in cybersecurity.

Information Technology

best cybersecurity books about information technology

The cybersecurity market has grown 330% since 2010, which means many cybersecurity analysts have a strong background in totally different areas of technical analysis. A lot of times, industry professionals have skills and work experience in the Information Technology field. More importantly, concepts in cybersecurity are typically built from the same foundational concepts as IT, tying the two areas of study together closely. 

Information Technology Essentials Volume 1: Introduction to Information Systems - Eric Frick

Rating: 4.7/5 Stars

Eric Frick gives you a straightforward overview of pretty much every topic there is in the world of IT. Not only will beginners get a great introduction to the field, but IT experts can get a brush-up on concepts as well. If you need to get a quick mastery of IT terminology, IT Essentials is a perfect choice. 

You Are Not Stupid: Computers and Technology Simplified - Jack Stanley

Rating: 4.6/5 Stars 

To dip your toes in the fields of IT, check out this classic. Stanley blends computer science along with information technology to give readers a novice understanding of the digital world. This book is popular among people who just don’t get computing. For many, it has fulfilled its titular promise of making people feel smarter about computers. 

Selling Information Technology: Life in the IT Industry Spanning Five Decades. The Story of My Career - Chuck Cliburn 

Rating: 5/5 Stars

One of the best ways to understand IT is to read about its historical background and then move onto concepts about the modern world. Chuck Cliburn does just that, telling you his professional IT story that goes back to the 1970s. Cliburn has served on numerous IT boards as a business executive and has the experience to back up his perspective. It’s sure to keep you engaged and approach Information Technology in a digestible way. 

Computer Science

Best cybersecurity books about computer science

One of the hottest college degrees on the market right now is computer science. It’s a widespread general area of expertise for cybersecurity analysts, and many people choose to study its basic concepts before exploring nuanced topics in the digital world (including cybersecurity). 

Check out the list below for some of the best computer science books for beginners. 

Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide - Workman Publishing 

Rating: 4/5 Stars

As a part of the “Big Fat Notebooks” book collection, this guide offers elementary lessons in countless computer science concepts. Readers enjoy entertaining graphics, organized lists of information, and a tone that is easy to follow for all skill levels. 

Computer Science Illuminated - Nell Dale & John Lewis

Rating: 4.8/5 Stars 

This read provides a perfect blend of details and illustrated concepts to keep readers interested and focused. We highly recommend this for learners, computer science novices, and young professionals. It goes over solid concepts while providing practical ideas. 

A Programmer's Guide To Computer Science: A Virtual Degree For The Self-taught Developer - Dr. William Springer II

Rating: 4.6/5 Stars

If you want to learn cybersecurity from a programmer’s perspective, you have to read this book. Instead of reciting classroom standards and memorized concepts, Dr. Springer takes you on his journey through computer science, and it will give self-starters precisely what they’re looking for.

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