Computers Archive

Friday, June 16, 2006

Funny Excerpt from Microsoft Security Essay

I was reading an essay yesterday on the Microsoft technet site about the problems of trying to secure your network by focusing on technical solutions and ignoring the users. It's a serious problem, but it was summed up very succintly and humorously with this passage.

Finally, host-based outbound firewalls are a perfect example of why pure technical solutions can fail. These firewalls ask users intelligent questions, such as the one you see in Figure 1.

Figure 1 What We Show the User
Figure 1 What We Show the User

The problem is that these dialog boxes were not exactly written by people people. They were written by propeller heads, for propeller heads, because the propeller heads typically do not know any real people. When the average user is confronted with this dialog, he does not actually see it at all. What he sees is a lot like Figure 2.

Figure 2  What the User Actually Sees
Figure 2 What the User Actually Sees

That hits the nail right on the head.


Selling Out