Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Wanted: Cybersecurity expert

The job of a cybersecurity administrator is unrewarding, to say the least. You get absolutely no credit for your successes (who'd know anyway?), whereas the slightest slip-up often gets magnified to epic proportion.

In the aftermath of September 11, the tech industry jumped at the chance to marshal its strongest ideas in the war against terrorism. High-tech scanners would detect concealed weapons terrorists try to smuggle into airports, nifty facial recognition software would help secret agents spot the bad guys, and impenetrable security systems would thwart cyber-attacks.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out quite as well as hoped. No matter how advanced technology is, the onus lies with the people using it. Technology is, after all, a double-edged sword.

Like everything else that's available for use, it's open for abuse. One only needs to read about security breaches almost every other week to be convinced of this fact.

But that is not to say security is a hopeless endeavour.

As Gary Bronson puts it, "security is more than just technology". Companies have to do their due diligence in implementing best practices and confronting social engineering threats through changes in individual and group behaviour.

Meanwhile, security experts from the Organisation for Internet Safety are tightening the grip on handling vulnerability disclosures. Yet this voluntary plan has its fair share of criticisms.

Will all these efforts stem the tide of security intrusions? Your guess is as good as mine.

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