Cyber-Security Tactics Need to Be Hashed Out

It would be easier if all data passed through one facility. But easier doesn't mean better.

Does our desire for security mean well be passing all our data through some big federal cyber network operations center? The cyber NOC is one proposal in a still-to-be-announced cyber-security project under consideration by the Bush administration. Thanks to some enterprising reporting by Caron Carlson and Dennis Fisher, were reporting on some of the details of the cyber-security proposal in this weeks story "Bush to Call for Fed NOC."

Security and freedom dont have to be in contention. You can increase a buildings physical security and increase the freedom of the people inside at the same time. The forces of security and freedom can become contentious when policies are put in place without full discussion. Sure, it would be easier to initially address the cyber-security issue if all data had to be passed through one central facility, if all security breaches had to be reported and if companies reported their IT security practices. But easier does not mean better. When the developers of the Internet thought about security, they could have opted for one big data line, heavily guarded. Instead, they thought about defeating an attack on the physical Net by dispersing the data.

The current proposals reported in this weeks issue should be just a starting point of discussion rather than an end result to be desired. Kudos to Caron and Dennis for breaking this story.

On the eWeek Labs side of our editorial operations, Jim Rapoza has been busy testing Web analytics tools—which have come a long way from being simple hit counters—but there is still a long way to go. However, the current service offerings seem to be making strides in the right directions. In "Web Site Checkup," Jim examines log-based analysis applications such as WebTrends Reporting Center and service-based systems such as SiteCatalyst. Those interested in getting a better picture of how their Web sites are running and what areas could be improved will be helped by Jims article.

We received hundreds of responses from Labs Director John Tascheks article, in the July 29 issue, on LCD monitors and their energy-saving characteristics. Those responses led us to look at energy consumption and justification in a new light. For Johns update on the LCD debate, see "Monitoring LCDs Savings Is Elusive."

Ready for a laptop powered by a fuel cell? You might be, but the fuel cell industry, laptop manufacturers and airlines arent yet. To find out when they will be, see Carmen Nobels report on fuel cell innovation.

More security doesnt have to mean less freedom. Write to me at