Security Theatre

Security Theatre: The Show’s About to Begin

Security TheatreNow that you’ve paid several thousand dollars for your ticket, it’s time to be ushered to your seat because the show’s about to begin. No, you’re not in the front row for Hamilton on Broadway. You’re watching a dramatic comedy about your very own business unfold in Security Theatre.

Wikipedia defines “Security Theatre” as: the practice of investing in countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to achieve it. And at Avid, we’ve been running across more and more businesses who’ve been duped into it. (More on Wikipedia)

Not so Next-Gen

A common situation is where a security consultant or IT vendor has sold someone a “next-gen” firewall. The firewall itself is legitimate, but none of the “next-gen” functionality has ever been turned on. The device is just for show; it’s serving no purpose beyond what could be delivered by a $50 standard device. It’s Security Theatre.

Why would anyone sell a client an expensive box but not set it up properly? Probably because it isn’t easy to configure a next-gen firewall in a way that balances business protection and business function. It requires a great deal of experience and expertise, and it requires solid ongoing support. But without all this, the promised protection is a sham.

Airport Security

Security TheatreSecurity experts recognize a benefit to “security theatre”, but only when the perception of security is more important than the security itself. A commonly cited example is airport security. Airport security is generally seen to be nothing but Security Theatre. But it does encourage people to go about their activities normally and just might dissuade potential attackers.

But with a business’s firewall, neither of these benefits apply. In your business, whatever is showing in Security Theatre deserves to get panned by the critics.

Working with a trusted provider is one way of avoiding this. Receiving periodic reporting on your firewall’s performance is another way of knowing that you’re not falling for Security Theatre. Avid can help you with a true assessment of your level of protection and can make simple, effective recommendations that you can trust. Give us a call!

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