Towards proactive security
Source: - Posted by Pax Dickinson   
Security To businesses, security is still not equal to paying your electric bill. It is a nuisance, a distraction, a resource drain, and it is expensive. However, when that worm hits, when that hacker attacks, then blame is quick to be assigned. What most organisations do not yet understand is that improving security is not all about buying the latest and greatest products. It is about changing the corporate culture to make security a realistic priority, and to understand that the upfront investment in security resources and processes will be far less costly than the reactionary efforts after an attack.

We truly have started to reach the climax of a time when information is power. Technology pioneers have always sought the holy grail of information at your fingertips and ubiquitous computing. The one thing that none of these pioneers thought of at the time is the fact that ubiquitous computing really means ubiquitous information. Our lives and businesses are constantly becoming more digital, and that only makes it easier for criminals to further capitalise on the insecurities within software and systems. As things progress the effects of a successful technology hack will grow exponentially more severe. With this exponential increase in the criticality of threats there has never been a time that requires innovation and proactive security solutions more than now.

Proactive security is the only way we will begin to attain trusted computing and take back technology from criminals. The idea of being proactive with security is not something mythical by any means. It starts with attacking the root of the problems we face. The core characteristics of attacks have not changed. Classes of attacks such as buffer overflows have not changed much in twenty years. Nor have other application-layer attacks such as those that affect protocols like HTTP. Security technologies have advanced and will continue to be developed to prevent general classes of attack; but proactive security is not just about advanced security technologies that can generically prevent classes of attacks. We must be proactive on all fronts.

Businesses and consumers need to think proactively about how to protect their systems in the long run. They need to design processes that review security on a regular basis, not just in reaction to attacks. They also need to demand better from software manufactures and force vendors to create more secure software by not continuing to purchase knowingly vulnerable software. Software vendors also need to play their part in being proactive about security by investing in proper security planning before development efforts begin.

Some would say the future of security is doom and gloom, but in reality I think the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter. Through all security discussion there is one theme that binds everything together: vulnerabilities. As I have watched hacking and security change over the years the only thing that has remained constant are the vulnerabilities and the characteristics that shape vulnerabilities. If security vendors and consumers believe in this, then we will reach a point where we can finally say "vulnerability is over".

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