There was terrible news in Mumbai, India. Terrorists attacked several site and at least 80 people were reported dead. Knowing that I plan to go to India, it didn’t take long before I received a phone call asking if I was aware of the situation and if I would still be going. Both of my answers were yes.
Security is all about managing risk. We cannot eliminate risk in our lives, and using modern technology is part of most of our lives. What we can do is manage our risk and then accept that life is uncertain and go on living.
I reminded my concerned caller that more people in the US were going to die in car accidents today than were killed in Mumbai. Do you give up all unessential car rides to manage your risk, or do you drive as carefully as you can and accept that there is still risk. Do you tell your kids that they can’t go to the movie because there is a risk that in driving them to the movie they could be killed in a car accident or do you choose to live your life and enjoy yourself?
You could give up computers. I know people who will not bank online or use debit cards. Of course they also run the risk of physical theft. They have not eliminated risk. I choose to continue to learn about security and use technologies that make my life more enjoyable, recognizing that there are some risks.
I will not allow terrorists to make me change what my acceptable level of risk is based upon irrational fears, which is the point of terrorism. I will not help the terrorists succeed. If it is acceptable to drive to the movies at a higher risk than being killed by a terrorist, then I can’t see giving up my travel plans for an even lesser risk. That said, I took my typhoid immunization and I’ll be taking my malaria medicine too… I will manage my risk.
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, We Live Security