Security engineering

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Security engineering is a specialized field of engineering that deals with the development of detailed engineering plans and designs for security features, controls and systems. It is similar to other systems engineering activities in that its primary motivation is to support the delivery of engineering solutions that satisfy pre-defined functional and user requirements, but with the added dimension of preventing misuse and malicious behavior. These constraints and restrictions are often asserted as a security policy.

In one form or another, Security Engineering has existed as an informal field of study for several centuries. For example, the fields of locksmithing and security printing have been around for many years.

Due to recent catastrophic events, most notably 9/11, Security Engineering has quickly become a rapidly growing field. In fact, in a recent report completed in 2006, it was estimated that the global security industry was valued at US$150 billion.[1]

Security engineering involves aspects of social science, psychology (such as designing a system to 'fail well' instead of trying to eliminate all sources of error) and economics, as well as physics, chemistry, mathematics, architecture and landscaping.[1] Some of the techniques used, such as fault tree analysis, are derived from safety engineering.

Other techniques such as cryptography were previously restricted to military applications. One of the pioneers of security engineering as a formal field of study is Ross Anderson.


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