Ranum's rants: The anatomy of security disasters

Friday, 27 March 2009, 8:44 AM EST

Our challenge, as security practitioners, has always been to balance risk – the tradeoff between the danger of doing something and the opportunity it presents. Since we’re not working in a field where the probabilities are simple, like they are on a roulette wheel, we’ve had to resort to making guesses, and trying to answer unanswerable questions. I don’t know a single senior security practitioner who has not, at some point or other, had to defend an estimated likelihood of a bad thing happening against an estimated business benefit. In those cases, the result has less to do with security and more to do with whose meeting-organizational skills are superior, or who’s better at explaining their viewpoint. I’ve seen major security-critical business decisions get made based on whose golf buddy runs what business unit – I’m very skeptical of the notion that "Risk Management" has any value beyond the butt-covering obviousness of having made an attempt.

At the Tenable blog.

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