Is Computer Security Broken?

The Economist certainly thinks computer security is broken (and it’s hard to argue the contrary).  In its April 8 edition, The Economist’s cover story proclaims, “Why computers will never be safe.”  While that’s good news for some of us (at least in the short run), for most of us it’s a daunting proposition.  So how to address the problem?  Do we need more regulation, as The Economist suggests?  Should programmers be held to a higher standard?  Will cyber insurance enforce norms, with ignorance resulting in higher premiums?  Are computers like automobiles in the 1960s?  Or the food industry at the turn of the century?  Will Congress pass the equivalent of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 or the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and make hacking a thing of the past?  Given that the U.S. government is currently more broken than most computer software, I think we’re still going to struggle with security for the foreseeable future.

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