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Friday, October 29, 2004

Security from a different angle

By Yvette Dubel

Post September 11th has seen a significant surge of interest in data security. It is logical to deduce that Federal, particularly military, information would under severe scrutiny. Yet, this approach flies in the face of the knowledge brought tragically to bear after the U. S. terrorist attack. While interest in hacker activities is hardly due entirely to this event. There are several lessons to be learned form this portentous impact on the collective psyche. One, the obvious is not the same as the logical. Two, there is priceless value in being able to collect clues and miraculously make the right connections. Three, the importance of knowing ones own weaknesses. And four, community awareness and action can make all the difference in nearly any circumstance. What I see as glaringly conspicuous is that next steps must transcend merely reactionary offensive measures. Exactly does all this mean in regard to IT security? It is not separate from community, and thus the human element. It is, in fact, about them. Therefore, I put forward that this is the critical and largely un-addressed aspect of IT security. Objectification of data, will not provide security in and of itself, data is valued because of its relationship to people. Consider the following in light of that statement. What is the most vulnerable and potentially valuable data? You may consider this an introduction to my slant regarding IT security. In future articles I will take this issue into relatively un-chartered territory. Your discussion and comments are of course welcomed and encouraged. I look forward to hearing from you on the discussion boards.

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