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If you run Solaris, this book is a security necessity.
Secure Shell in the Enterprise by Jason Reid is meant to focus on one topic: secure shell, also known as SSH.
For those who are not too technical about this, SSH at its core is a secure method of remotely logging into a system. When you use the standard TELNET protocol, everything that is typed across the network (including oh-so-trivial things like user IDs and passwords) can be very clearly seen by anyone who is using a network sniffing device. Secure shell encrypts every packet of data before it even hits the network, thus making decrypting the network traffic very difficult for those who are trying to spy on your network.
The short of it is that this is a very good book. Not only does this book cover the technical aspect of secure shell, but as its title states it also covers the methodology of using secure shell in a large environment. It describes what secure shell does and it also goes into very nice information about the logistics of using SSH as well as information that is directly related to SSH, like authentication, public and private keys, and numerous other aspects that help to give you an understanding on how SSH can be used in an enterprise setting.
Unlike many other books that tell you to go to a web site and follow the instructions, Secure Shell in the Enterprise goes through a refreshingly detailed set of steps to compile the software manually. Sure, you can always download the precompiled version from SunFreeware.com, but those versions are often a few revisions behind. If youre very conscious about security, which you apparently are if youre considering using SSH, compiling from the newest source code is always the best method.
The book also is not restricted to the open source version. It covers in good detail the differences between the open source version and the version that is built into Solaris 9. By doing this, the book encompasses all potential SSH administrators rather than being focused to a specific subset of SSH users.
My only real gripe is that it does not have any kind of troubleshooting section, which could be particularly helpful and would fit in well with the wide amount of information that is covered.
Overall, I have to give this book some high praise. Its solid focus and breadth of information as well as background and methodologies involved with SSH and its installation and configuration make this an exceptional book to have at your side if you are considering implementing SSH in your workplace. Because the book also involves the open source version of SSH, I have every reason to believe that it would be just as useful even in non-Solaris environments.
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