Security vs. Simplicity



Hello list,



In a design process of a critical infrastructure system there is always a
tension between two tenets:

The "simplicity tenet" - keep it simple as much as possible.

And

The "security tenet" - make it secure as much as possible.

I am perfectly aware of all risk evaluation and assessment, TCO calculations
etc, that suppose to

help us all to reach a decision about "how much security" and "how much
simplicity".

But, we all know that gathering all relevant information and getting overall
agreement

about them and about the calculations of the risk\tco calculations is not
"optimal" to say the least.

I am also aware to the statement : "simple design is also a secured design".

But, we all know that in real life the security folks wants to add "just
this extra layer (for security in depth)

And\or "just this vlan (for yet another communication separation)" etc.

Don't get me wrong, I do understand that it's a valid concern,
I just say that it's not always will be in line with the "simple" design
tenet.



Now, let's say that after all the technical discussions the two inflamed
opponents are in front of us
(kind of real life situation.).



I would like to ask your opinion in the following way:

Let say that you are the manager who have to say one statement (kind of a
bottom line):
"Design that system according to the simplicity principal"
or

"Design that system according to the security principal"

I would humbly ask for an answer in a "managerial style":
first : what will be that bottom line.
second: (kind of appendix.) any explanation that you wish to add.



Than you all for your kind attention,

Avi






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