Category: "Security Policies"

About the Security Policies category

  23:04, by Hagai Bar-El   , 40 words
Categories: Security Policies

This category contains articles that discuss security policy issues, both at the corporate level and at the national and international levels. This domain contains security guidelines and procedures, as well as national policy considerations addressing national security, privacy, and more.

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  2014-04-03

Bitcoin does not provide anonymity

  22:22, by Hagai Bar-El   , 762 words
Categories: Security Engineering, Security Policies, Security, Counter-media

When people discuss Bitcoin, one of its properties that is often considered is its presumable anonymity. In this respect, it is often compared to cash. However, it shall be recognized and understood that Bitcoin is not as anonymous as cash; far from it, actually. Its anonymity relies on the concept of pseudonyms, which delivers some (unjustified) sense of anonymity, but very weak anonymity in practice.

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  2013-12-28

Book review: Little Brother

  11:25, by Hagai Bar-El   , 336 words
Categories: Security Policies, Sources, Security

I have just finished reading Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. This book presents the story of a typical but tech savvy teenager who falls victim to harassment by the Department of Homeland Security and the police state, where every citizen is constantly tracked and monitored as a potential terrorist. The story is fictitious, of course, but those who follow the reaction of some nations to the terrorism threat and the ever increasing amplitude and sophistication of wholesale surveillance, cannot miss that while the story is factually fictitious, it is not at all implausible.

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  2013-09-13

Protecting private data: with law or with technology?

  13:54, by Hagai Bar-El   , 954 words
Categories: Security Policies, Security, Counter-media

There is an ongoing debate on the need for new regulations that protect individuals' personal data. Regulation is said to be required to protect the personal data of citizens, consumers, patients, etc., both against corporate service providers as well as against governments.

There is a growing concern about the implications of the data collection habits of social network operators, such as Facebook, as well as other service providers. Even those individuals who claim to not see any tangible risk behind the massive collection of data on themselves by service providers, still feel unease with the amount of data available on them, and on which they have no control.

On the state side, knowing that your government may monitor every single email and phone call reminds of George Orwell's book "nineteen eighty-four". It is largely agreed that this practice, if not outright eliminated, shall at least be better controlled.

This essay discusses the two possible domains for such better control: technology and regulation, arguing that the former is tremendously more effective than the latter.

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  2013-07-06

The difference between Cyber Security and just Security

  19:24, by Hagai Bar-El   , 637 words
Categories: IT Security, Security Policies, Cyber Security, Counter-media

The concept of "Cyber Security" is surely the attention grabber of the year. All security products and services enjoy a boost in their perception of importance, and sales, by merely prepending the word "cyber" to their description. But how is cyber security different than just security?

It differs, but it is not an entirely different domain, at least not from the technology perspective.

Security protects against malicious attacks. Attacks involve an attacker, an attack target, and the attack method, which exploits one or more vulnerabilities in the target. When speaking of cyber attacks, it is common to refer to a nation state attacking another, or to an organization attacking a state. Referring to unorganized individual hackers as executing "cyber attacks", while being a common trend, is a blunt misuse of the "cyber" term in its common meaning. And still, cyber security is not as dramatically different than traditional security.

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  2012-03-08

Against the collection of private data: The unknown risk factor

  23:48, by Hagai Bar-El   , 734 words
Categories: Security Policies, Counter-media

I bet there are thousands of blog posts advocating privacy and explaining why people should resist governments and companies collecting personal data. I dare to write yet another one because I would like to make a couple of points that I have never seen made before. This post will discuss one of these two points: the unknown risk.

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  2011-02-07

Tips for Submitting Proposals to EU FP7 (now H2020) and Others

  23:09, by Hagai Bar-El   , 994 words
Categories: Security Policies

Among the work I do is the evaluation of research proposals for the Framework Program 7 (FP7), and now H2020, of the European Commission. I review research proposals that are submitted in response to calls that are related to information security. Truthfully, this work is among the more interesting of projects I am involved with.

On account of this occupation of mine, for a few years already, I consider myself authoritative to bring up the following tips to whoever intends to submit a research proposal for European, or other, funding.

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  2011-01-28

Cyber-war Risk Exaggerated?

  23:02, by Hagai Bar-El   , 700 words
Categories: Security Policies, Cyber Security, Counter-media

A ZDNet article, Cyber-war risk is exaggerated, says OECD study, points to what seems as a thorough study that concluded with the stated result. I never read this study, but from the article one can point one point in which it is probably right and one point in which it is probably wrong.

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