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September 2003

Bruce Schneier 'Beyond Fear': Searching for rational security

Bruce Schneier, renowned cryptographer and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security, is a security thought leader with several books to his name, including the cryptographer's bible, Applied Cryptography, and the best-selling primer on infosecurity, Secrets & Lies.  Following Sept. 11, Schneier searched for appropriate ways to describe rational security concepts. Surprisingly, he found himself using terms and paradigms developed by the infosecurity community to describe universal risk assessment and management. His latest book, Beyond Fear, is his attempt to explain how security--from home and personal safety to counterterrorism--works in the real world. Q: In Beyond Fear, you write about security trade-offs, in which the desire for security means sacrificing something. How do trade-offs help or hinder an enterprise? A: You can have as much security as you want, as long as you're willing to accept the trade-offs. Shortly after 9/11, a reporter asked me: "How can we prevent this from happening ever again?" "Easy," I replied. "Simply ...

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