Saturday, January 19, 2008

Security Anecdote Theatre, episode 4

Imagine you are the king of a maritime nation, a nation at war with other maritime powers. And most goods and materials which aren't local must be shipped by sea. And, your navy is pretty well bogged down fighting wars and trying to protect your maritime trade in it's spare time. Meanwhile, your rival's slow, fat merchant vessels come and go in safety because you simply cannot spare the men and ships to disrupt trade in a meaningful way.Letter of Marque

You could raise taxes and conscript more men, build more ships and train more sailors and soldiers. But, that would be an enormous burden to an already burdened kingdom, possibly leading to bankruptcy

Or, you could devise a scheme where others would assume the burden of raising and manning the fleet to disrupt your enemy's trade- in exchange for a cut of the proceeds and the blessing of the Crown. Thus was devised one of the most famous (and/or infamous) traditions in naval history, sailing under a letter of marque- more commonly known as privateering.

So what's the security angle? Risk, of course. Risk Analysis, Risk Avoidance, and Risk Transference. Of course, if you don't know what your risks are, you can't make informed decisions. Then you can ask yourself: Do you need all that risk, or can you avoid some it by making changes in your operations? Can't afford to build another navy or properly secure your data? Maybe you can find someone to do it for you for a reasonable price.

Risk Analysis, Risk Avoidance, and Risk Transference- without the risk of scurvy.