Slaying Dragons #11 – Computer and Network Security

John Watkinson wonders about computer and network security

A long time ago when Pontius was still training to be a pilot, it was possible to consider audio as a separate topic. Today such a separation is impossible. Audio is just another form of information that can be conveyed over some network or other and we all use networks in some way and reap the benefits as well as suffering abuse.

The growth of the Internet has provided many bonuses, but like any other human endeavour it also has a dark side where actions of questionable integrity lurk. The Internet reflects society, which includes responsible people as well as those who do harm for its own sake or as a by-product of greed for wealth, power or both. There are two weaknesses that are exploited by these questionable activities, one of them is the hardware that we use; the other is within ourselves.

Safe Internet use requires both to be addressed. Society as a whole has evolved security systems and legislation to give some measure of protection against malice, whereas information technology has not and remains somewhat like the Wild West. How appropriate that California is the home of IT?

One of society’s problems today is that it has become increasingly dependent on technology yet it is in the hands of politicians who have no…

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