[clug] [OT] What *is* Security?

Robert Edwards bob at cs.anu.edu.au
Wed Sep 10 23:38:10 GMT 2008

steve jenkin wrote:
> Steve McInerney wrote on 11/9/08 1:09 AM:
>> Ok. I can see the key problem we're having in this discussion clearly
>> demonstrated in your quoted statements.
>> You don't actually understand what security is and what it is for.
> This is a question that resonates with me.
> Recently I've been looking for a *formal* definition of 'security'
> and that has led to puzzling over an informal definition.
> If anyone has a *short* description/definition ("25 words or less") of
> security, or can point to one - please send in your entries!

Not so much a definition as much as an operational guideline:

Security is an exercise in risk assessment: working out how much you
are willing to spend to protect something and who is willing to spend
how much to get it.

(30 words - sorry).

  - what are you protecting (freedom, family, some resource, IP etc.)
  - who are you protecting it from
  - how much is it worth to you
  - how much is it worth to them

Bob Edwards.

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