Is Network Security an Oxymoron?

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By Ron Royston

Originally Published 1/1/2018
Updated 7/26/2019

Network Security

For most of us, strong passwords, encryption, and keeping software updated delivers adequate computer network security. Extraordinary security measures demanded by kings, presidents, celebrities, dissidents, etc acknowledge that there is no privacy and no guarantee that digital property will be available, or private. Known sources of eavesdropping include automobiles, cell phones, computers, and considering the Internet of Things (IoT), the days of privacy are numbered. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, recently commented that he is unwilling to use phones, cell phones, televisions, and computers when in his office.

Avoid AAA For A Serious Attempt at Private Communications

Telecommunications security uses the concepts of Authorization, Authentication, and Accounting (AAA). Who are you, what access do you have, and logs of your access; but, privacy requires plausible deniability. Belief that one could not have been party to the communication must exist. In other words, AAA must be avoided. The message must be anonymously placed offsite in an unremarkable location, i.e., in plain sight. For example, a "safe" in your bedroom closet is not a highly secure location for private content and neither is a bank vault as you are accountable for both.

Who put this thing together? Me, that's who! Who do I trust? Me! -Tony Montana, Scarface (1983)

Implement a Data Retention Policy

Implementing a data retention policy enables you to properly store and delete files. Make copies of any documents or files that you wish to keep, and delete any files that you no longer require.

Conclusion

As a professional computer network engineer I recommend that you wholeheartedly believe that anything you digitize can and will be viewed by others. Implementing a data retention policy, and masking participants can reduce risk.

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