Fear Not, Security Tyros

Security Transformation: Digital Defense Strategies To Protect Your Company's Reputation & Market Share

If you think a "Smurf" is a three-inch-tall blue character or that an e-mail attachment headed "ILoveYou" is a note from your husband, Security Transformation may be of value to you. If youre a security guru, however, you can skip this one.

The book, co-authored by the global chair of KPMGs Information, Communications and Entertainment Practice, Mary Pat McCarthy, and KPMGs Information Risk Management Practices national partner-in-charge, Stuart Campbell, takes on security issues from a business standpoint. While it does explain techno necessities like firewalls and PKIs, most of the ink is dedicated to presenting a case for security as it relates to the loyalty of customers and employees.

Best suited for a security newbie, Security Transformation provides real-world examples with commentary from the likes of Exodus Communications CEO Ellen Hancock and Microsoft chief security officer Howard Schmidt that can be applied to small and midsize businesses. But in doing so, the recently published book resorts to scare tactics, citing such realities as Y2K and IBMs Deep Blue, the supercomputer that defeated chess master Garry Kasparov in 1997.

"Since that event, engineers have gone on to design computers that are a thousand times more powerful than Deep Blue and run a hundred times faster. … How do you manage information security in this context? What would happen if a virus spread in this environment?" the authors ask in one of the books final chapters, "Taking Back Control."

To be fair, security issues are mounting. Still, fear should not inspire this 200-page manageable read. What should is the information the book presents regarding value assessing, security in relation to activities, and security as culture and values among your employees, customers and partners.