rambling on security: physical vs ephemeral

Ever see one of those armored cars at the store or local mall that is picking up money? Ever check out those guards? Yeah, the ones that look like they’re 65, can run all of 100 feet before tripping over themselves and being winded. Same with those contracted overnight building security guards who likely can’t speak English beyond “private property.” The guy who picks up our backup tapes every day at work looks like he’s got great grandkids.

So why don’t we get more punk kids knocking over these security guards? I would expect that such brazen attacks would be successful, and there is no more liquid a product as actual monies. I surmise that many such thefts and crimes are easy to commit and even get away with.

Social stigmas of right and wrong are, in my opinion, what stops such actions. It’s also why once you do one theft or murder, you go on to more as you’ve stepped over the line of what is wrong, either for your own moral compass or that of the culture at large.

On the Internet? We lack those sorts of social pressures of right and wrong. Like an old experiment I regularly mention, we act differently when we don’t have personal stake in the situation. Put 50 people into a room and they tend to act normally; with some flirting and conversation. Put 50 people into a completely dark room, and actions take a turn for the naughty. Put 50 people on the Internet and we’re likely to have a far, far lower moral consciousness. This carries through not just sexually, but also in how badly we can treat others, and cybercrime.

So, we have this history of only doing just enough security to get by, and to make people feel better, like those armored car guards. And now we have the social stigma-stripping Internet, paired with a media that will report on every single failure no matter how impossible they are to 100% prevent. That equals a lot of turmoil right now…and we get to swirl around deep in the middle of that maelstrom. Surf’s up!
Likewise, I’m also not surprised at how bad our own coworkers and everyone else is in valuing their cyber security. Tremendous (and even asshole-like) risks are taken daily on the road by multitudes of drivers who clearly know the consequences of those taken risks. And we expect them to visualize and adhere to policies protecting ephemeral risks? Pah.

One thought on “rambling on security: physical vs ephemeral

  1. 2 things:
    1) although i’d agree that some people certainly do seem to lose track of their moral compass when they’re online, others don’t (and some will even stand up on a soapbox about such things – or so i’ve heard, y’know, hypothetically)…
    2) your post just reminded me of this comic http://loss4words.com/~pics/gift.jpg

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