Living Security

The fine line between being suspicious and getting paranoid is a hard to find balance.

Several years ago I helped a client to secure his internal network. After the installation of numerous virus scanners, firewalls and other security tools we came into a discussion about the updates. I told him that luckily most of the modern software is able to update itself so that he should not be overly concerned.

After we implemented backup strategies and I told him to check regularly if the updates of all security software and the backup is working he came up with the statement that now he is all around secured.

This was the moment when I unfortunately had to destroy his illusions.

Security is nothing which you can install !
Security is not a fixed process either !

What you are doing is to install security measures to higher the threshold for someone who is interested in your data or systems to break in. It is the attempt to reach a balance between your requirements for safety and the usability of your computers and internet connection. You can and should review and check these measures on a regular base but there is no guarantee that you will be safe.

You should always keep the following facts in mind:

  • The technological progress in IT is much faster then your software can be updated.
  • There will always be bugs in software which enable a professional Hacker to break into your systems.
  • There is always someone who is interested in getting your data or access to your computers.

Time to get paranoid?

Not at all. Its just the way it is. When you close the door behind you when you leave your house there will never be a 100% safety that nobody is able to break in. With computer security is just the same. Try to lock up your systems without making it impossible to use them. There might always be someone around who wants to break into your house, alarm system installed or not. Just be suspicious! Don’t open attachments when you are not sure about their origin, run system scans when the system seems to be reacting strange and call for help when you really think someone broke into your system. The same as in real life holds true for the electronic life. Don’t Panic!

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