5 Best SSL/TLS Books for Network Security in 2021
SSL/TLS protocol is used for securing communication on the network by ensuring data confidentiality, data integrity, and authenticity between the communicating party.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it refers to a protocol for encrypting and securing communications that take place on the Internet. Although SSL was replaced by an updated protocol called TLS (Transport Layer Security) some time ago, "SSL" is still a commonly used term for this technology.
The main use case for SSL/TLS is securing communications between a client and a server, but it can also secure email, VoIP, and other communications over unsecured networks.
In this post, we have put the spotlight on the best books on SSL/TLS through a collection of book reviews. Each book review will highlight the taste of the book, the contents covered, and how it can benefit you.
Why Learn SSL/TLS
Here's why you should learn SSL/TLS:
SSL and TLS are widely deployed security protocols that are used in all kinds of web-based e-commerce and e-business applications. They are part of most contemporary security systems available today.
SSL is essential for protecting your website, even if it doesn't handle sensitive information. It keeps sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted so that only the intended recipient can access it.
SSL makes sure that any data transferred between users and sites, or between two systems remain impossible to read. It uses encryption algorithms to scramble data in transit, preventing hackers from reading it as it is sent over the connection.
What Makes Best SSL/TLS Books?
What makes an SSL/TLS book good? Good question, but there’s no easy answer!
There are a few criteria that make a book worth reading.
The contents are well-organized and well structured.
The book is concise and easy to understand.
Contain exercises, examples, and practice problems for hands-on experience.
Engaging and able to hold the attention of readers.
Best Books on SSL/TLS
It is important to find an outstanding book that can guide your learning. Here, we have reviewed a list of excellent books for SSL/TLS:
1. Best Introductory Book: SSL and TLS
SSL and TLS: Theory and Practice by Rolf Oppliger provide modernized material and a comprehensive overview of the SSL/TLS and DTLS protocols. This practical book provides a complete introduction to SSL/TLS protocols.
This book includes coverage on the advantages and disadvantages of using SSL/TLS protocols compared to other Internet security protocols. It provides the details necessary to correctly implement the protocols while saving time on the security practitioner's side. The book includes the following topics:
Public Key Certificates and Internet PKI
Registered TLS Cipher Suites
Padding Oracle Attacks
The book gives perspective on the many extensions in the latest TLS protocol like cipher suites, certificate management, and alert messages.
2. Best Book for Total Beginners: SSL/TLS Under Lock and Key
SSL/TLS Under Lock and Key by Paul Baka and Jeremy Schatten is a great introduction to SSL/TLS theory and practice. The book is both easy to understand and also technically detailed.
The first half of our book focuses on foundational theory. The second half encourages fledgling administrators to jump in with both feet, outlining the quirks of common tasks.
Chapter 1 introduces you to SSL, TLS, and Cryptography
Chapter 2 talks about Common Protocols
Chapter 3 covers Public Key Infrastructure
Chapter 4 talks about X.509 Certificates
Chapter 5 talks about Vulnerabilities and Flaws
Chapter 6 covers the Implementation
Chapter 7 talks about OpenSSL
Chapter 8 covers HTTP/2 and HTTP
Chapter 9 talks about Quick-Start Configuration
This book is geared towards bridging the gap between the absolute beginner and the expert IT Professional. It combines the theoretical and the practical in equal measure.
3. Best book for completionists: Bulletproof SSL and TLS: Understanding and Deploying SSL/TLS and PKI
Bulletproof SSL and TLS by Ivan Ristic helps you to understand and deploy SSL/TLS and PKI to secure servers and web applications. The book gives comprehensive coverage of the ever-changing field of SSL/TLS and Internet PKI, with updates to the digital version.
It teaches you everything you need to know to protect your systems from eavesdropping and impersonation attacks. In this book, you'll find just the right mix of theory, protocol detail, vulnerability and weakness information, and deployment advice to get your job done.
The book is divided into four parts and twelve chapters.
Part I: SSL/TLS and PKI
Chapter 1 covers SSL, TLS, and Cryptography
Chapter 2 covers TLS 1.3
Chapter 3 covers TLS 1.2
Chapter 4 covers Public Key Infrastructure
Part II: Problems and Attacks
Chapter 5 talks about Attacks against PKI
Chapter 6 covers HTTP and Browser Issues
Chapter 7 talks about implementation issues
Chapter 8 covers Protocol Attacks
Part III: Deployment and Development
Chapter 9 talks about Performance
Chapter 10 covers HSTS, CSP, and Pinning
Chapter 11 talks about TLS Configuration Guide
Part IV: OpenSSL Command-Line
Chapter 11 talks about working with OpenSSL
Chapter 12 talks about Testing TLS servers with OpenSSL
This book is an outstanding resource for understanding the theory and practical use of SSL/TLS! It is in fact the most comprehensive book about deploying TLS in the real world!
Other books you may like:
4. Best Book for a Deep Dive: TLS Mastery: Tux edition
TLS Mastery: Tux edition by Michael W Lucas teaches you how TLS works and gives the appropriate level of detail. The 237-pages book takes you through:
How TLS works
What TLS provides, and what it doesn't
Wrapping unencrypted connections inside TLS
Assessing TLS configurations
The Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME) protocol
Using Let's Encrypt to automatically maintain TLS certificates
Online Certificate Status Protocol
CAA, HSTS, and Certificate Transparency
Why you shouldn't run your own CA, and how to do it anyway
The book gives a breezy, entertaining walk through an extremely complicated technical subject. After reading the book, you will be able to set up your TLS services correctly.
5. Best book for Bloggers on a Budget: Secure Your WordPress Website with HTTPS for free
The book is by Dr. Andy Williams shows you how to get a free certificate and install it so that your site is secure. In the process, you'll also add your website to Cloudflare to help protect your website from hackers and spammers.
Here's what you will learn in the book.
What SSL is and why it is important for a website to have that HTTPS prefix
How HTTPS works and how to set it up on your website
What Cloudflare is and why you should be using it
How to change the DNS at your registrar
Types of SSL offered by Cloudflare
How to create a free origin certificate at Cloudflare and how to install it on your server
How to secure your WordPress dashboard
How to set up redirects
What mixed content is, how to find it, and how to fix it
How to update Google Analytics
This book is filled with practical information and compiled in a step-by-step way. I highly recommend this book to anybody with a website.
More ways to learn SSL/TLS
These books serve as a great resource for those who want to learn best through reading. If you have made it this far then certainly you are willing to learn more from online courses.
Here's a list that can help:
Coursera: Cryptography course is part of the Cybersecurity Specialization. This course teaches the foundations of modern cryptography, with an eye toward practical applications, which includes SSL and TLS.
SSL/TLS Fundamentals, a 2.5 hours high-rated course that helps to learn the fundamentals of SSL/TLS and how it works.
SSL Complete Guide 2021: HTTP to HTTPS is an 11-hour high-rated course that teaches you all about securing websites with SSL/TLS certificates. The course includes tons of practical activities and lifetime-long access to 100 lectures.
Codecademy: Introduction to Cybersecurity is a free, interactive course that teaches how to protect against cyber threats and attacks with network security fundamentals.
That’s not all. If you’re looking for free resources, we also suggest over 70 coding resources that are free online.