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Former Google & Twitter Security Leader Neil Daswani Discusses His New Book on Data Breaches

Former Google & Twitter security leader, Co-Director of Stanford Online’s Advanced Cybersecurity Certificate Program and best-selling author Neil Daswani has released his new book, Big Breaches: Cybersecurity Lessons for Everyone, co-authored together with Moudy Elbayadi, CTO of Shutterfly (Apress Publishing; Currently available for purchase at book retailers worldwide).


The book showcases some of the largest security breaches in history, their impact on economic, social, and political landscapes and what was learned to prevent similar breaches in the future.


We sat down with Neil Daswani to discuss the book, his thoughts on the current security landscape and more in this Q&A:


What is the goal of the book?


The Big Breaches book has a few goals! One of them is to bring more people into the cybersecurity fold. Another is to help enterprises focus on avoiding the root causes of breaches. We also provide advice to both boards of directors and technology executives on what to expect from each other in board-level discussions about cybersecurity.


What do you want readers to take away from it?


There is something in this book for everyone on the topic of cybersecurity. Beyond understanding the root causes of breaches and a roadmap to recovery, the history of the biggest breaches is both entertaining and educational. The case studies in the book on past breaches can help groups discuss how they would approach attacks and defenses differently in their organizations (or in their introductory computer classes). The book also has a chapter on how to keep yourself and your family safe online, especially important for working from home in the midst of the pandemic, and another chapter on how to get a job in the super fast-growing and grossly understaffed cybersecurity field by leveraging one’s existing skills.


In your opinion, what are the biggest threats to cybersecurity?


Put simply, underinvestment in defenses by companies and government agencies.


How does your background help you author something like this?


I have served as both a Chief Information Security Officer of LifeLock, the country’s leading identity protection provider, and a security leader for both Google and Twitter, seeing almost every form of cybercrime. I’m the founder of a Google Ventures backed company that fought malvertising (malicious advertising) and click fraud, where I helped create novel security solutions and brought them to market. Serving as an Executive-In-Residence at Trinity Ventures, I saw firsthand how investors look at making cybersecurity investments. All the different angles from which I have learned about and advanced the field of cybersecurity have come together in this book.


Where can people interested in the book purchase?


The book is available at Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Big-Breaches-Cybersecurity-Lessons-Everyone/dp/1484266544) and most book retailers.


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