Monday, July 8

computer security

This is a reduced form of my earlier (dense, and rambling) "endpoint security" post.

* * * * *

A computer is secure when the person responsible for it understands what it is doing.

* * * * *

Here's how I think that looks when integrated with the fundamental design principles of the internet (the "internet golden rules"), derived from --

Rule 1: You SHOULD be liberal in what you accept, and be conservative
        in what you produce.

Rule 2: You SHOULD NOT use potentially harmful constructs (even
        if they are allowed in the restricted case you are using them

Rule 3: You SHOULD NOT munge (do not change protocol you get and
        resend, in particular do not try to correct incorrect protocol

Rule 4: Systems SHOULD be designed to educate the user about their function,
        and about how they are operating.

The above rules are "SHOULD" instead of "MUST" because they require judgement calls. (capitalizing these words, like this, carries a specific meaning in the context of internet rfcs).

These rules are useful in design meetings, to help distinguish between good and bad design decisions.

These rules were not adequate to prevent spam, and there is a very interesting lesson to be learned from how that went down. But note, also, that spam arose without the "educate the user" rule.

I am not linking to my earlier post on endpoint security because anyone needing the link (without the patience to search for it  themselves) will not have the patience to read the thing.

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