Let’s be perfectly honest. There are a lot of half-assed and, frankly, crap books on security out there. Some are a little better than crap, and then there are the passable ones. We’ve had to wade through mires of inane and silly “expert” opinions to get to these three, so we hope you’ve come prepared – these are the absolute essentials that any security professional and anyone just interested in home and personal security need within arm’s length.

Sifting through the outdated and the uninformed, the ignorant and the self-proclaimed (cough*Bruce Schneier*cough) security gurus can be as informative as anything, but we don’t recommend it. Skip the BS and go straight for the gold. Here they are.

1. Introduction to Security, 9th Edition

New editions of this one crops up often, and that, friends, is a good thing. Yes, it might get frustrating to see that there’s a new edition just as you think you’ve got the last one under control, but don’t despair. The new editions are necessary – if they hadn’t shown up, this book most certainly wouldn’t have made the list, just as a lot of other once good security texts got cut because they simply aren’t up to speed. Who would have thought biometrics would be a thing fifteen years ago? Sci-Fi writers, perhaps. Security writers? Not so much.

Introduction to Security is an essential text for anyone with half a mind to learn about security, and even if you’ve been in the biz for a couple of decades, this one needs to be right there on your desk, be it at home or at work. Available as a Kindle version (meaning you can use your whatever kind of Pad to read it), or hardcover – take your pick. From bouncer to security officer, security manager or law enforcement – you should all read this one. We have (and the 7th and the 8th editions…) and this thing just keep topping out all our lists.

  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann; 9 edition (November 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009II9038

2. Effective Physical Security, 4th Edition

This one is a little more specific than our no.1. This is tailor made for anyone working with physical security, which basically means it’s tailor made for the absolute majority of people in the security business. We’ve all had our run-ins with various security setups, plans, assessments, risks and so on, and “Effective Physical Security” makes for the near perfect foundation to deal with all of that.

Security managers and risk assessors everywhere have their own ways of seeing things, and this book makes it possible for a replacement to wade through what the last one did, or for a brand new manager or operator or officer to understand the process and the requirements, and see straight through any bullshit that might have clogged the system. From a basic understanding of physical security through to the advanced lessons that we all need from time to time – “Effective Physical Security” has everything a new, or seasoned security professional needs to know about the physical aspects and the physical moves that can, should or must be made in a security plan.

  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann; 4 edition (November 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009PL8PAM

3. Protection of Assets

This has been described as the bible of security by almost everyone. It must certainly deserve the number one spot, right? No… not really. While this is the most comprehensive security texts out there, both price, availability and the forbidding volume of it in itself drags it down to no.3. Any security professional on his or her way up the ladder should eventually get their hands on the “Protection of Assets” from ASIS International, the number one and number two bullets on this little list is far more important to get through. Once you’re done with those, the “Protection of Assets” can be considered.

Eight books, covering everything in security is what you get when you purchase this monster publication, and you absolutely get what you pay for. That’s not the issue at all. Anyone who has ever considered getting a security certification or want to move up to security management needs this series, but until you’re at that point, skip the 750 bucks most of us have to shell out for it and stick with “Introduction to Security” and “Effective Physical Security”. Just our 2 cents.

Share your thoughts on security texts in the comments, why don’t you! We’re always keen to hear your opinions.

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