Cost of Information Security

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The Cost of Information Security Mechanisms

Security mechanisms for digital information systems represent a cost. Often, a clear tradeoff between performance and security efficacy exists: the better the protection, the more costly (in terms of time, space, energy, money, support, false alarms, proof infrastructure, etc.) the mechanism.

In this wiki page, we ask and attempt to answer the question: how much does security actually cost on a modern operating system?

Furthermore, what implications does this have for data center design, cloud computing, and sustainability of security-centric computations?

Where is Security?

  • Where is the security code in your system? Let's enumerate the locations:
    • one
    • two
    • ...
  • In the questions below, when we say "code", we mean "security interpreter": the piece of code responsible for reading, parsing, loading, and interpreting security policy.
    • What does the kernel firewall code look like?
    • What does kernel crypto code look like?
    • What does SELinux code look like?