Chapter 5. Test of a Good Security Product: Would I Use It?

There are way too many security products and companies, and there are far too few good ones. If I see a good product, I will actually run it.

Here are some of the IT security solutions I have used in the past five years:

  • SSH, the ubiquitous remote login utility, which allows me to run commands on remote machines via a text interface.

  • SMTPS and S-IMAP, protocol extensions for SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol), to allow my mail client to talk to my email server with authentication and data security.

  • Plenty of RSA tokens and HID badges (RSA and HID are companies that have lots of products for proving your identity to help you access whatever resource, be it a computer system or a door).

  • Some antispam stuff (including SpamAssassin); none of it has solved my spam problem. For some of my accounts, I get so much spam that I still have to sort through hundreds of messages a day. For all other addresses, I get basically no spam, and the antispam tools just mark a few things that I probably wanted to see, and hide them for me in a junk folder.

  • SiteAdvisor, for when I want to download some software from a site whose reputation I’m unsure of. I would have the plug-in installed, but there’s no public plug-in available for my browser/platform combo (though SiteAdvisor for Safari on OS X will come out shortly after this book goes to print). So I go to and look up site reports manually. ...

Get The Myths of Security now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.