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CyberSecurity

The TSA and “security”

If you want an example of the worst security in the world, look no further than the TSA. This isn’t a statement out of spite or malice, they do actually have the worst security of any large organization I’ve ever seen.

Consider if you will what the TSA is known for, securing airports. What kind of job have they done? Well, there are a few factors we need to look at.

First, how intrusive is their security, how much more difficult does it make normal business. I think we can agree there are few public security measures which are more intrusive than going to the airport. The Atlanta airport suggests arriving 2 hours early just to get through security. Consider a flight to Orlando is about 450 miles and take an hour and a half. Any trip you take less than 500 miles (which is most flights) the airport is suggesting you spend more time going through security than the flight itself.

Next consider the number of false positives. How many times does the TSA stop people who just want to get from one place to another? They stop people with bottles even though none of them have anything dangerous in them. The rate of false positives, or the TSA restricting something which has no intention of being used for anything dangerous is 100%.

But they’ve caught terrorist, right? They have not; not even one. Since 911 every person who has been caught trying to do something nefarious on a place was done so by airport staff or passengers.

The TSA gives us zero security. They focus on restricting actual passengers as a show, not for anything useful. In the industry, we call this “security theatre.” It makes people feel better without providing any actual protection.

Something most of you didn’t know, the TSA is the group in charge of the cyber security for the US gas pipelines. For example, the Colonial pipeline. It seems like they were in the news recently…

The truth is, if you ever need an example of what security should not look like, the TSA is that example. The one thing they have done right is showing us how not to do our jobs.

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