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Security pros have our backs
OK, we've talked a lot about digital security here, but let's come back to where we started: Can security software keep pace with advanced threats?
I believe it can. Sure, having a security policy is important, as is endpoint security and educating users about safe and unsafe practices (something we used to call "practice safe sectors" back in the day). However, at the end of the day, the security industry is populated by clever folks who've been in this industry for decades, and not only do these folks know the digital threat landscape like the back of their hand, they're also right there at the frontline and they see what's coming before the rest of us have to deal with it.
Security pros have had our backs for decades, and I trust them to have out backs for the foreseeable future.
Sure, feel free to think that you're cleverer then the folks behind security software, but in my opinion you take the approach at your peril. Hubris is a dangerous attitude to have when it comes to security, because when things go wrong, they go wrong in a big way, and fast!
You can't program common sense
It's always impressive how smart software can get, but I suspect they'll be planting tomatoes on the moon before it gets smarter than humans.
A big reason for this is that nobody knows how to program common sense. Human attackers can and will learn how to get around the capabilities of software and an alert and diligent human will always be better able to adapt to changes in circumstance than security software.
The other big reason, as I have said, is that people resist the policies that are necessary in order for software to do its job. When convenience is a higher priority than security, no security software can do its job.
A great deal of time and money has been put into making consumer/small business security turnkey, i.e. so that the software could replace people. It's good, but any determined attacker can get around it with some effort. Usually, and ironically, they do this by tricking a human. Humans are smarter than software, but they can still be pretty stupid.
No easy answer
Both debaters did an excellent job of trying to make sense of a complex, rapidly shifting landscape. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes argues, persuasively, that security software developers are an essential first line of defense against advanced threats. Larry Seltzer argues, equally persuasively, that the bad guys will always have an edge and even the most diligent administrator should plan for the proper response when a network attack is successful.
Because both arguments are convincing, I declare this debate a tie.