August 15, 2002
A new approach on security

I came across a very decent article on the Daypop Top News listing: The Atlantic: Homeland Insecurity adresses alternative approaches for security: instead of fortifying and trying to cover all possibilities, one should focus on compartmentalizing the essential bits...

To halt attacks once they start, security measures must avoid being subject to single points of failure. Computer networks are particularly vulnerable: once hackers bypass the firewall, the whole system is often open for exploitation. Because every security measure in every system can be broken or gotten around, failure must be incorporated into the design. No single failure should compromise the normal functioning of the entire system or, worse, add to the gravity of the initial breach. Finally, and most important, decisions need to be made by people at close range—and the responsibility needs to be given explicitly to people, not computers.
I didn't finish the entire article (yet), but what I read so far was very true, and I'll bring a printout with me on my Friday flight :-)

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