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What Should Security Cost?



Isn’t it difficult to put a price tag on digital security? We can compare security budgets across our peers, calculate the cost of a security breach, and even estimate the probability of various threats, but we cannot definitively state that a specific amount of spending will make us perfectly secure.

In this age of seemingly ever-increasing risk, there is a lot of attention on security, as well as pressure to increase security spending. Economist Hal Varian, emeritus professor at UC Berkeley, compared security levels to medieval walls: You can spend more and more to make them taller and thicker, but the gates will always remain your weakest point.

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