informa
Commentary

Bridge To Security

How many bridges, overpasses, tunnels do you and your employees drive over, under, through every day?
How many bridges, overpasses, tunnels do you and your employees drive over, under, through every day?

That's been on my mind the last couple of days as the Minneapolis bridge collapse and its physical infrastructure implications for other bridges, overpasses, buildings and everything dominated the news.What's this got to do with computer security? A lot.

Computer security means more than protecting ourselves from viruses, hackers, cybercrooks.

At least it should.

If we do undertake a thorough review and then repair/replacement of the most degraded aspects of the infrastructure -- and for that matter, even the minimally degreaded peices -- let's hope that we undertake a reinvention of them and the materials they're constructed of as well.

The technological convergence Richard Clarke talked about at the Black Hat Conference this week is moving as fast in building materials as anywhere.

Which makes this is as good, if tragic, a time as any to begin insisting that the agencies and administrators and legislators responsible for our physical infrastructure take advantage of the convergence to reinvent as well as reinvigorate it.

Here's a brief piece from Scientific American in 1996 that talked about the potential of the convergence of construction and computers. The article's headline and deck:

"SMART MATERIALS: They will soon be in everything from computers to concrete bridges".

Not soon enough, obviously.

Recommended Reading: