Worth Reading: Magical Thinking in Internet Security

Someone pointed me to this article by dr. Paul Vixie (of the DNS fame). The best part (as I’m not a security person):

The TCO of new technology products and services, including security-related products and services, should be fudge-factored by at least 3X to account for the cost of reduced understanding. That extra 2X is a source of new spending: on training, on auditing, on staff growth and retention, on in-house integration.

In case you didn’t get it: figure out how much you think the magic unicorn-based software-defined solution will cost, then multiply it by three. Of course nobody wants to admit that.


  1. Proper vendor documentation is essential for even a basic understanding of how a solution works. Most security-related product documentation is limited to configuration and trouble-shooting. Getting the information required for an understanding of how security is architected and implemented is quite a challenge.
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