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An Introduction To Modern Technical Security Issues

by Professor Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright © By RDFollendoreIII

February 15, 2005


Mans philosophy of security technologies has traditionally been oriented around notions of absolute secrecy and isolation of data. One problem with the model is that isolation and secrecy affects the value of knowledge. The impacts of the economics of the management of secrecy fail us more often than the fact that we keep secrets. To understand this we need only to look around us.  Look at the substance from which all life is defined.

The sequences of natural DNA can be described in terms of a coded secrecy management process which through evolution assures the survival of the fittest. DNA is essentially a governed search engine that must operate at an appropriate niche coordinated rate. More often than not, the rapid evolution of a species is not a good thing because a successful species must be able to resist change. However, when a species is unable to evolve fast enough to survive environmental change, an underlying reason is that the code of DNA is not conducive to adapting to critical problems fast enough. It should obvious that there is a cost to way that life protects its secrets for the number of species that have become extinct is far larger than those that currently thrive. DNA therefore operates as both a protected identity code for cellular communication and a means for self defined optimization. 

Communication security is fundamentally a natural process. Species communicate among themselves in order to achieve organized performance and therefore we human beings communicate for the same reasons. There is a survival instinct to organize and organized communication can be made more effective when security measures are overlaid to match organizational structures. We can see communication security issues within innate biological problems such as cancer and HIV and we can also see it within macro scale of our interpersonal interactions. We also see communication security issues within the context of our social and globally strategic interactions. We know that with respect to all of these structures, communication revolves around the notion of appropriately managing the impact of transactions.  

What this all means is that technical security is a metric model of what we are doing at many levels. If humanity is to effectively predict the implications of applied technical security then we must understand the context of communication in terms of both discrete and aggregated transactions. To do this, security engineers should train as ‘Communicologists’ (students of communication) whose solutions must be invested in the management of content as well as the conduit. They do not.  

There are all kinds of ways to define security. As students of technical security communication we both can and should willing to consider the complete impact of transactions, both independently and as a whole, before we choose the kind of security that is most appropriate to meet our needs. For instance as security experts we must consider the transaction of ideas and even the emotions that occurs between people. We must consider the transaction of logic and rationality that also occurs. We must also consider the notion of the transaction of data, information and knowledge. We must constantly maintain the realization that as communicated transactions occur, the performance of individuals and their groups change and that this is impacted by the security measures that we implement. Furthermore, the future of engineered technical communication security means that we must find ways to maintain the notion that the formation of true and accurate communicated knowledge does not just imply a positive impact on performance.

The existence and presence of information and knowledge affects individual and group performance in both positive and negative ways.  This means that from a transactional performance perspective, a modern perspective of security is not really about secrecy as much as it is about the process of of measuring dynamic informational control.  

At its heart the traditional notion of technical security represents a kind of performance metric. It involves a measurement of the isolation of human activities in association with the measure of the modified individual and organized behavior. In doing this technical security changes the availability of information and knowledge. Telecommunications security therefore plays the essential role of enforcing the process of organized communication that in turn affects the potential of organized outcomes.  From an organizational management perspective it is possible to manipulate the performance characteristics of an organization through the management of data, information and knowledge security transactions.

The act of considering the power and authority of technical security over the future of human organization is an immense undertaking. Technical security is a two edged sword that can be used to solve the inevitable problems that we face in the future and it can also become the source of our problems. Technical security measures and manages knowledge. The more knowledge that humanity acquires and places at our disposal, the more critical responsibilities we must load upon ourselves and must therefore respond to.  Humanity does not know how to best organize ourselves to maximize the benefits of knowledge. What we know is how to dominate each other. What we know best is how to force our will upon others. Humanity largely organizes itself in order to conflict with others who think differently.

In George Orwell’s ‘1984’ perhaps the most basic question was asked, ‘How does one man gain power over another?’ The answer that Orwell gave to this question were invasive examples of technical security which were able to destroy the concept of humanity and human rights as we understand it. “By making him suffer… Power is tearing human minds apart and putting them back together in shapes of your own choosing." “The thing that is room 101 is the worst thing in the world.”  As security professionals we must be aware of the fact that it may be true that through the use of technical security, humanity may find itself knocking at the door of ‘room 101.’

Man can technically engineer certain brands of security and of that there can be little doubt. What we can not do is to change the fundamental nature of security itself. We somehow feel that we must constantly maintain a true and rational accounting of what is worth protecting and why. We must embed technical security in ways that protect our individual opinions as much and as well as our organized ability to reason. But the proper philosophy of technical security is a strategic concern for all of humanity, and not just our national security. We therefore must begin to ask ourselves how to use technical security to create the kind of world that we would want to live in.

With all of this said, it becomes critical to realize that the appropriate design model of modern organized technical security is therefore not one of hermetically sealed information bubbles or impervious pipelines of data. The problem that modern telecommunications security must face is the fact that security has never actually had an appropriate philosophical foundation.  The conventional paradigm which is the basis of the traditional notion of technical security has been systematically failing humanity.  In order to thrive in the modern age we will have to modify our thinking and adapt to the rational truth of realities.  



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