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The Myths of Security by John Viega

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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 siteadvisor.com and look up site reports manually. ...

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