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Most Security Products Fail to Perform

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 4 years ago

Security 1

An anonymous reader writes "Nearly 80 percent of security products fail to perform as intended when first tested and generally require two or more cycles of testing before achieving certification, according to a new ICSA Labs report that details lessons gleaned from testing thousands of security products over 20 years. Across seven product categories core product functionality accounted for 78 percent of initial test failures. For example, an anti-virus product failing to prevent infection and for firewalls or an IPS product not filtering malicious traffic. Rounding out the top three is the startling finding that 44 percent of security products had inherent security problems. Security testing issues range from vulnerabilities that compromise the confidentiality or integrity of the system to random behavior that affects product availability."
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Many physical security products fail, too (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30119882)

As some folks know, a lot of physical security products don't really work, either; they give us a false feeling of safety when in fact there is little or no actual benefit. We've got half of America's cities lit up like Christmas trees at night now, burning who knows how many tons of coal every year to do it, but have all those street lights and backyard security lights really made us safer? Some people got a whole lot richer in that process, though.

Another even more striking example close to home: my city took over a formerly "bad" neighborhood and redeveloped it, and part of that "redevelopment" was the installation of wrought-iron fencing around the entire perimeter of the development. It's only about 7 feet tall, mind you, and the bars can be bent and broken by mere mortals (and routinely are). How effective do you suppose that's been at the claimed purpose? Arguably the gates blocking the streets have served the purpose, but the rest of that fencing is an expensive eyesore that did little but make a few politicians look productive and interdict the movement of children with friends on the other side of it. My city, a state capitol no less, has artificially segregated an entire neighborhood in the name of "security", and it failed completely.

So yeah, security products often aren't what they're cracked up to be. Is this really a shock to anyone? Security devices and methods often just pander to humans' natural tendencies toward self-delusion, and make their providers richer at the expense of those who now think they're safer. "False sense of security" isn't clicheed enough, apparently, because people are still being suckered.

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