Thursday, April 10, 2014

Are We Really Secure?

We seem so surprised.  Each time our security efforts are thwarted, we are shocked, think we have fixed the problem, and then find that it happens again and again.  Today it is the news that the Heartbleed bug opens up our secure data on sites previously thought impenetrable.  From banking to to tax returns, the https lock can be picked.  and unfortunately it seems for every piece of security and lock, there is someone able to break it.

Whether it is an internet bug or a teen breaking into the World Trade Center construction site, a closed door is an excuse for someone to try and sneak through it.  Airport security seems to continually find holes that allow guns on board and non-violent objects to be confiscated.  Even the lock on our house is a lame attempt to prevent someone without a key from opening it.  Break-ins happen all too frequently.  We only get upset though when it happens to us.  Unfortunately, even when we try to protect ourselves, the outcome may not justify the means.  Just ask Oscar Pistorius who is claiming in court his use of a gun was to thwart a break in only to discover that he shot his girlfriend instead. 

Our attempt at security, whether through the internet, at the airport, in our home, or at a commercial site mainly stop non-criminal individuals from even considering the possibility of committing a crime.  For those that want to break-in, there always seems that if there is a will, there is a way.  So why all the surprise to learn that the internet continues to attract "hackers" seeking the next challenge to solve.  The discovery of the Heartbleed bug is not shocking, it was only inevitable.  Higher walls will be constructed, more guards will be hired, bigger safes will be built, but no matter what security is created, there will always be folks seeking to undermine the system.  Are we really secure; not so much. 

So why security at all?  Frankly to make it as hard as possible for those seeking to commit such crimes to succeed.  Our hope is that we can keep the numbers as low as possible so that the vast majority of us are safe and secure.  There is no 100% security solution but clearly something is always better than nothing.