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Computer network security and cyber ethics

Kizza, Joseph Migga. (2001). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers.
List Price $27.95, 191 Pages

Review by Dave Taylor
Student Affairs Webmaster
Weber State University - Ogden, UT

Computer Network Security and Cyber Ethics, written by Joseph Migga Kizza, seems to be a collection of his lecture notes for his computer science students that focuses far more on the computer than it does cyber ethics.  Overall, the book provides some useful information, but it takes a very technical background to understand much of what is presented.  Few student affairs professionals have the resources, much less the inclination, to become proficient enough in networking essentials to understand much of what this book entails.  The treatment of cyber ethics is nothing more than a brief discussion of pop psychology and does not offer any more insight that what can be gleaned from network engineers surrounding the water cooler. This book is not recommended for use by most student affairs professionals.

Chapter 1 deals with the underpinnings of modern network technology.  If you know nothing about networking, this chapter will leave you baffled, and if you do, you’ll find it to be a simple, if incomplete, treatment of networking basics.  Chapter 2 begins a definition of common network attacks and how they can take place. Once again, the uninitiated will be lost in the technical details.  Chapter 3 discusses how attacks are employed, and begins to offer some valuable insights.  Chapters 4 and 5 discuss the cyber security industry in general and what measures can and should be in place.  Chapter six discusses trends to date of cyber issues, but offers little insight into future discussions.

This book appears to be a handy supplement if you are enrolled in Mr. Kizza’s class.  However, he fails to bridge the gap between technology and its interaction with society, which is fundamental to the issue of cyber ethics.  Read this book if you want a good primer on networking essentials with a security emphasis.  Do not expect it to make you a sage in dealing with issues surrounding cyber ethics.  Deans and directors will generally find this book to be disadvantageous to their efforts to become more informed about cyberspace.

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