Encryption? Give it a rest

Monday, 8 September 2003, 2:09 PM EST

Any hacker can tell you that data 'at rest' is much easier to access, but security efforts are being targeted in the wrong place, using complex, costly encryption schemes for data in motion.

I recently watched a popular technology TV show that explained how Ethernet broadcasts all communications between two computers to all of the nearby computers, allowing a hacker with a sniffer (software that captures network traffic) to see other users' data.

This was true in the old shared-loop days prior to 1994, but today most enterprises transfer data on switched networks. Data is transferred from point to point with no visibility of that data by other network-attached devices.

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