Home > Blogs > Complexity Kills

"Complexity sucks the life out of users, developers and IT. Complexity makes products difficult to plan, build, test and use. Complexity introduces security challenges. Complexity causes administrator frustration."

Ray Ozzie's memo has a great section on complexity, quoted above.   He certainly nailed it.

As you review the many security issues with PC's, you find it is because of so much complexity.  Whether you run Linux or Windows, too often there is an 'auto-mounter' type service that is making your filesystems accessible.  Few know these exist by default.

Software also supports extended functionality, including programmable interfaces that allow remote attacks.  Keeping the basic computer utility patched is an unending task that never completes.

My slash and burn system design seems to anticipate the proposed world of simplistic devices that consume services, all the while offering very little functionality to the attacker.

Maybe it's not that easy?  Maybe the attacks will evolve.  Maybe the Operating system vendors and utility vendors will realize that we're bumping up against the edge of what is acceptable risk?

And just how much and what kinds of risks are there in today's computer environment?  We'll discuss the new and evolving risks, as discussed in the reports I've mentioned previously.


Become an InformIT Member

Take advantage of special member promotions, everyday discounts, quick access to saved content, and more! Join Today.