Acceptable Losses (was Re: Whoops! (re: WH network monitoring plan response))

Steven M. Bellovin smb at
Wed Dec 25 01:07:27 UTC 2002

In message <Pine.GSO.4.44.0212241538270.9020-100000 at>, Sean 
Donelan writes:
>On Tue, 24 Dec 2002, Richard Forno wrote:
>> In my last post when I said this:
>> > If something's deemed 'critical' to a large segment of the population, the
>> > security must NEVER outweigh conveinience. Period. Non-negotiable.
>> I meant to say that security must ALWAYS outweigh convienience.
>Sigh, people are playing games with words to force false choices. Of
>course its negotiable because the act of defining something "critical"
>is a negotiation.
Not only that -- security is not 0/1, all or nothing.  It is possible 
to be more or less secure; building a security system -- like a 
firewall -- that has only the two states of "wide open" and "absolutely 
impenetrable" is a bad idea.

Security is about risk management -- see Schneier's book "Secrets and 

		--Steve Bellovin, (me) (2nd edition of "Firewalls" book)

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