Security

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Security is the degree of protection against danger, damage, loss, and criminal activity. Security as a form of protection are structures and processes that provide or improve security as a condition. The Institute for Security and Open Methodologies (ISECOM) in the OSSTMM 3 defines security as "a form of protection where a separation is created between the assets and the threat". This includes but is not limited to the elimination of either the asset or the threat. Security as a national condition was defined in a United Nations study (1986)[citation needed], so that countries can develop and progress freely.

Security has to be compared to related concepts: safety, continuity, reliability. The key difference between security and reliability is that security must take into account the actions of people attempting to cause destruction.

Different scenarios also give rise to the context in which security is maintained:

  • With respect to classified matter, the condition that prevents unauthorized persons from having access to official information that is safeguarded in the interests of national security.
  • Measures taken by a military unit, an activity or installation to protect itself against all acts designed to, or which may,

Contents

Perceived security compared to real security

Perception of security is sometimes poorly mapped to measureable objective security. The perceived effectiveness of security measures is sometimes different from the actual security provided by those measures. The presence of security protections may even be taken for security itself. For example, two computer security programs could be interfering with each other and even cancelling each other's effect, while the owner believes s/he is getting double the protection.

Security theater is a critical term for deployment of measures primarily aimed at raising subjective security in a population without a genuine or commensurate concern for the effects of that measure on—and possibly decreasing—objective security. For example, some consider the screening of airline passengers based on static databases to have been Security Theater and Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System to have created a decrease in objective security.

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