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Conclusion

Computer security is a vast topic that is becoming more important because the world is becoming highly interconnected, with networks being used to carry out critical transactions. The environment in which machines must survive has changed radically since the popularization of the Internet. Deciding to connect a local area network (LAN) to the Internet is a security-critical decision. The root of most security problems is software that fails in unexpected ways. Although software security as a field has much maturing to do, it has much to offer to those practitioners interested in striking at the heart of security problems. The goal of this book is to familiarize you with the current best practices for keeping security flaws out of your software.

Good software security practices can help ensure that software behaves properly. Safety-critical and high-assurance system designers have always taken great pains to analyze and to track software behavior. Security-critical system designers must follow suit. We can avoid the Band-Aid-like penetrate-and-patch approach to security only by considering security as a crucial system property. This requires integrating software security into your entire software engineering process—a topic that we take up in the next chapter.

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