Security Wisdom Watch: Summer FUD Edition!

Thumbs down: Booth babes -- Black Hat and other summer security conferences have been somewhat tarnished in recent years by vendors who use so-called booth babes to attract attention to their exhibits. Let’s hope this year’s exhibits are stalked with smart engineers who can answer questions instead.

Thumbs both ways: Leon Panetta -- The U.S. secretary of defense deserves credit for trying to make Congress more aware of cyber threats. But he should be careful about using the “Digital Pearl Harbor” rhetoric. That’ll just scare our elected officials. And when they’re scared, they often rush through terrible legislation.

Thumbs down: Security PR flacks -- I know PR people are under a lot of pressure to get publicity for their security clients. But sending out emails comparing Stuxnet to the atom bomb over Hiroshima is an irresponsible and foolish way to go about it.

Thumbs up: Mark McLaughlin -- Sadly, we recently learned about the passing of McLaughlin, principal security engineer at RSA, at the young age of 41. He had gained a lot of respect in the industry for his work -- and his gentle nature. Our condolences and best wishes to his friends, family and colleagues.

Thumbs up: Dwight D. Eisenhower -- We recently stumbled upon this quote from the 34th president of the United States and five-star general who planned and supervised the D-Day operation during WW II: “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom.” It’s a good quote to remember as we debate what should be allowed in the name of cybersecurity.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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