The Art of War

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather not the fact that we have made our position unassailable”
–The Art of War, Sun Tzu
This quote was at the beginning of Chapter 1 of Cryptography and Network Security by William Stallings. Its an interesting statement to meditate on in the context of computer security. Can a networked computer ever be made unassailable. I would think it is a safe statement to say no.
When I first read the quote, I was afraid this was more fodder for those who warn of a Digital Pearl Harbor. I thought of the U.S.S.R. spending itself into oblivion over fear of the United States. But we dont need to spend ourselves into oblivion in the name of I.T. security. Rather, we need to put up reasonable defenses, and then continue to be vigilant about the sufficiency of those defenses moving into the future.