Security Solution Accelerators Top SA's
As a member of the Solution Accelerators - Security and Compliance (SA-SC) team, I’d like to share an observation and ask for some feedback from our readers.
The current top 10 SAs (Solution Accelerators) are:
Business Desktop Deployment 2007
Windows Vista Hardware Assessment
Windows Server 2003 Security Guide
Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)
Windows XP Security Guide
Malware Removal Starter Kit: How to Combat Malware Using Windows PE v1.0
Windows Server System Reference Architecture
Threats and Countermeasures Guide
Data Encryption Toolkit for Mobile PCs
Microsoft Identity and Access Management Series
I think this list is a testament that security knowledge is highly sought after in our community of experts! However, the list includes a number of SAs that have been out for several years, on issues such as hardening Windows XP and Windows 2003. This poses a question: What makes these SAs valuable to you? Are there specific reading styles that make technical guidance better than others?
I think it's fair to categorize technical libraries into the following broad categories:
White papers, which dive into a single technology topic (technical periodicals would also be in this class).
User guides, which provide detailed instruction about using or operating technology.
Reference guides, which provide some details (like user guides) but provide additional details about a select technology.
Curriculum guides, which provide the ins and outs of a topic area to help the reader become proficient with a specific technology. Often refer to user guides and reference guides.
(If you think I’ve omitted any categories, please let me know.)
To me, it seems that only a couple of categories in this list are really worth reading.
When I see technical documentation about a topic I’m interested in, it will end up on my shelf and receive very little attention if it's more than a white paper and not referential. However, there are some gems in the wild.
Recently I've been spending some time learning PowerShell, and I came across a book that fits my definition of a white paper (good dive into technology) in a book and is also great reference material. What makes this book successful is its attention to providing good quality reference information while threading the material together with a clear intention of teaching a technology.
If you had to classify your best technical reading material, what criteria would you use, and why?
I'd love to hear back from you.
Oh BTW—the book I referred to was "Windows Powershell in Action" by Bruce Payette.