The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security
There’s lots of innovation going on in security – we’re inundated with a steady stream of new stuff and it all sounds like it works just great. Every couple of months I’m invited to a new computer security conference, or I’m asked to write a foreword for a new computer security book. And, thanks to the fact that it’s a topic of public concern and a “safe issue” for politicians, we can expect a flood of computer security-related legislation from lawmakers. So: computer security is definitely still a “hot topic.” But why are we spending all this time and money and still having problems?
Let me introduce you to the six dumbest ideas in computer security. What are they? They’re the anti-good ideas. They’re the braindamage that makes your $100,000 ASIC-based turbo-stateful packet-mulching firewall transparent to hackers. Where do anti-good ideas come from? They come from misguided attempts to do the impossible – which is another way of saying “trying to ignore reality.” Frequently those misguided attempts are sincere efforts by well-meaning people or companies who just don’t fully understand the situation, but other times it’s just a bunch of savvy entrepreneurs with a well-marketed piece of junk they’re selling to make a fast buck. In either case, these dumb ideas are the fundamental reason(s) why all that money you spend on information security is going to be wasted, unless you somehow manage to avoid them.
I think that a lot of us have been guilty of several of these.
Unless specifically compelled otherwise for legitimate and extenuating reasons, all new computer users should buy a Mac. It makes all of our lives easier. (Read: less customer support from geeks to users.)
–Winn Schwartau Get a better blog! Blogger? Come On! :)
Macs are not the panacea that so many think. Right now they are far far more secure then win-tel, and I think that they will be more secure for the foreseeable future. That does not mean that they are invincible. Macs can get hacked just like any other machine. However, since they have more security in mind when they were coded, I will bet my $$ on them and Linux for the time being. But – if Macs turn to crap and Linux implodes, you will see me gritting my teeth and going Windows.