November | 2011 | InfoSec Perception

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Ira Winkler, a respected information assurance professional – and a long-time colleague starting in the early 1990s, when we were both involved with the National Computer Security Association – recently wrote, “Let’s scuttle cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs.” (November 9, 2011, Computerworld). Since I was responsible for creating the original Bachelor of Science in Computer Security and information Assurance (BSCSIA) program at Norwich University, I’m well suited to present a friendly rebuttal of his analysis.

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All of us involved in any kind of business may have to confer with our colleagues in real time, as opposed to the asynchronous communications supported by e-mail. However, it seems to me that traveling to professional meetings has become a burden, especially if the locations are far enough to warrant air travel. Airport security measures have increasingly approached Bruce Schneier’s definition of security theatre, with recent complaints such as that of Jean Weber, whose 95-year-old, wheelchair-bound, incontinent mother “was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search.” Combined with the faltering world economy, the number of premium air travel (first class & last-minute bookings) declined sharply in 2011; but even ordinary air travel has continued to decline in recent years, leaving increasing numbers of empty seats and pushing airlines to increase their fares for even stronger disincentives for business travel.

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As readers know from the introduction to this column, I published two articles a week for 11½ years as the Network World Security Strategies (NWSS) newsletter. As I have written elsewhere, the column was never intended to be a source of news; I’m an educator, not a journalist. Some of the articles are dated: they no longer refer to current issues or they have broken links and outdated references. However, many (I hope) are still useful in explaining principles of information assurance, offering guidance in practical matters of security and security management, or to help present security issues more amusingly than usual.

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