Last updated at Wed, 22 Apr 2020 17:04:49 GMT

Staying at home is our new normal, which means many of us have wound up with a little more free time than usual on our hands to spend doing puzzles, working out (or not), or reading. Whether you’re looking to brush up on your security skills, dive into the history of the field, or merely curl up with a thrilling page-turner, here are our team’s top book picks to quell your quarantine boredom:

The Infinite Game’ by Simon Sinek

Recommended by: Glenn Thorpe, Lead Customer Advisor

Given our field and our global pandemic, this book was a great read. It focuses on rethinking how we approach “winning.” We’re involved in an industry that has no traditional rules nor a true end, which means we need to change how we measure ourselves, our business, and our success.

Because they are playing with an endpoint in mind, Carse tells us, finite-minded players do not like surprises and fear any kind of disruption. Things they cannot predict or control could upset their plans and increase their chances of losing. The infinite-minded player, in contrast, expects surprises (and even revels in them), and is prepared to be transformed by them. They embrace the freedom of play and are open to any possibility that keeps them in the game. Instead of looking for ways to react to what has already happened, they look for ways to do something new. An infinite perspective frees us from fixating on what other companies are doing, which allows us to focus on a larger vision. Instead of reacting to how new technology will challenge our business model, for example, those with infinite mindsets are better able to foresee the applications of new technology.

The Puzzle Palace: Inside the National Security Agency, America's Most Secret Intelligence Organization,’ by James Bamford

Recommended by: Scott King, Senior Director, Security Advisory Services

This book gives a history lesson on where the need for this profession came from (i.e., the origination of the NSA).

Network Security Through Data Analysis,’ by Michael Collins

Recommended by: Bob Rudis, Chief Data Scientist

Michael Collins provides a comprehensive blueprint for where to look, what to look for, and how to process a diverse array of data to help defend your organization and detect/deter attackers. It is a must-have for any data-driven cybersecurity program.

The Little Black Book of Computer Viruses,’ by Mark Ludwig

Recommended by: Brent Cook, Senior Manager, Software Engineering

This book is really good. Even though it covers malware techniques from the ‘80s and ‘90s, the attacker philosophy it discusses still applies today. It's deeply philosophical.

Code Breaking: A History and Exploration,’ by Rudolf Kippenhahn

Recommended by: Tod Beardsley,  Research Director

Kippenhahn's often-overlooked history of cryptography and was published in 2000, 18 years after the seminal “Puzzle Palace.” Also, unlike “Puzzle Palace,” it does not center on the NSA, but covers a lot of German and Russian work up through the turn of the century, which I was largely unfamiliar with when I first read it.

Spy the Lie,’ by Philip Houston

Recommended by: Rachel Chapman, Senior Manager, Marketing

This is not directly security-related, but “Spy the Lie” is a cool book by former CIA agents on how to recognize deceptive behavior. I found it really interesting!

Ghost in the Wires,’ by Kevin Mitnick (with William L. Simon)

Recommended by: Mark Hamill, Manager, Product Development

I was a huge fan of this one. It’s a lot about the mindset of security, whether that is physical, behavioral, or digital. “Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon” is also on my list, but is as yet unread.

The Phoenix Project,’ by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford

Recommended by: Justin Buchanan, Offering Manager

This is considered one of the leading ways to explain the motivations and dynamics that led to the DevOps movement in 2010+. Although the book does not paint security professionals in the most flattering light, it’s a great read to help us develop empathy for our counterparts in IT operations and development.

The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage,’ by Cliff Stoll

Recommended by: Price McDonald, Senior Manager, Penetration Testing

“The Cuckoo's Egg” is one of my favorites.

Customer Picks:

We also asked our customers in our Voice program to recommend some of their favorite books. Here’s what they recommended!

Have any favorite picks of your own? Let us know on Twitter, @rapid7.