What is security?
Security makes sure that your stuff remains your stuff, and no one else takes or copies it. Most people feel a little insecure about all that we’re putting up in the “cloud.” Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton thought their photos were secure. News stories tell us about government agencies that use “back doors” in the latest security systems so they can look out for bad guys. It creeps us out that someone might be going through our stuff.
The best security combines something you have with something you know and something you are. If you think of security that way, it’s no wonder that credit cards are insecure. They’re just something we have—no better than cash. And passwords to access our online accounts are pretty insecure. They’re just something we know. Fingerprint authentication? Something we are. Touch-IDs can be hacked.
The best systems use all three. Apple Pay does this: the phone, a fingerprint, a passcode. Good systems use at least two. My Twitter account sends an authentication text to my phone whenever I log in—I have to have my phone. But many cloud systems are just password-based. Only one factor. And if a system requires I change my password monthly it’s just begging me to write things down. Even if I could remember all those random digits, I couldn’t remember them.
Security is getting better. But no system is perfect. We have to remember: there’s always someone out there trying to take our stuff.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all!