Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips…

…straining upon the start. The game’s afoot!
Follow your spirit; and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

So closes the speech before battle which Shakespeare wrote for Henry V. You know, the one which opens, ““Once more into the breach:” (Thoughts on the cumulative effects of notification letters).” [link to http:// no longer works] I seem to recall Henry talking about the proper ownership of the French Crown and Harfleur, and not breaches. Only because the French crown is long settled, I’d like to follow Dissent and talk about breaches. She’s responding to an article by Scott Berinato, “The United States of TMI.” [link to no longer works] Both are worth reading. Quoting Dissent:

While their comments are thought-provoking, I don’t agree that learned helplessness is the appropriate paradigm to apply here, although I agree what the individual tells himself or herself upon reading a disclosure is key to how they respond.

Henry spoke to fire his men up for real battle. I think that we, like Henry’s men, are fired up and straining at the start. We’re aware of the danger in front of us, and the power which we have. We have today the ability to follow our spirit. We can agree that “in peace there’s nothing so becomes a man, as modest stillness and humility.” We can also see that our security measures are not working as well as we’d like, and actively engage with the problem.

There are two greyhounds straining. The first is the truth about the state of affairs, and the second is those of us sifting at start of the data, trying to make sense of it.

I don’t believe we must learn helplessness. To the contrary, I believe that we must not. The landscape has changed dramatically since ChoicePoint. Talking about breaches has transformed the landscape, and will do so further. There’s more embarrassment over coverups than over the breaches. Companies have emerged to address consumer and business concerns. We will see more.

So indeed. Once more into the breach, dear friends.

5 comments on "I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips…"

  • allan says:

    I’m actually not as worried about notification overload as I am about the idea that the current disclosure paradigm is seen as good enough. It’s not that consumers may stop caring, its that data custodians might.

  • Walt says:

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred.

  • Bob Blakley says:

    Just to ease old William’s sleep in the grave:
    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead.

  • Adam says:

    What can I say? ’twas my second best spelling.

  • beri says:

    This must be the most literate security blog going!
    See, geeks do read stuff besides science fiction!

Comments are closed.