Cyberjutsu is an educational technology guide that draws a link between the practices of ninjas and modern cyber security practices.
Ben McCarty’s Cyberjutsu is practical as it explains the basics of contemporary cyber security via ninjutsu analogies.
Inspired by US Army and National Security Agency professionals’ references to ninjas, this guidebook gets a lot of its mileage out of drawing parallels between the practices of secretive martial artists and modern means of protecting networks from hackers and espionage. It also cites The Art of War as it pairs modern information security methods with ancient Japanese traditions, elevating both subjects in order to elucidate elements of the former.
The “tactics, techniques, strategies and mentalities” of cyber security are explained in both technical terms, and with comparisons to ninja scrolls, from which are extracted applicable lessons. Brief introductions to ninja methodologies lead is topical chapters, followed by analogies showing how those concepts apply to cyber security.
The book lists actions to protect against cyber threats, recommended security controls, and risk-mitigating methods, and uses examples as of a ninja infiltrating a fortress through weak points in its fortifications to illustrate these concepts. It covers topics like reducing a cyber network’s attack surfaces, detecting weaknesses in the system that hackers could exploit, and designing safeguards against threats, and it reiterates and reinforces its lessons for maximum understanding.
While some of the book’s ninja analogies are forced, many help to frame concepts like attack vectors, zero-day exploits, and access control measures in a simplified manner. The book often returns to the apt metaphor of a castle that must be defended—a formulation that distills operator tradecraft in a digestible fashion. This creative framework also leads to the minimization of technical jargon; much of the language is clear and direct. The book’s topical arrangement also makes it an easy resource whose reference material flows well.
The book covers considerable ground in a close space, including best practices, supply-chain attacks, insider threats, and authentication protocols. Its insights on these subjects and scenarios are strong, suggesting in-depth industry knowledge. Its familiarity with abstract ideas and the day-to-day realities of the field make it credible, as does its use of helpful charts and graphics. Its recommendations and debriefings are good resources as well.
Explaining its technical subject in an accessible way, Cyberjutsu is an educational technology guide that draws a link between the practices of ninjas and modern cyber security practices.
Joseph S. Pete
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