Security in any form or purpose is inextricably connected to time – that the success or failure of it is relative to time passed, time left and time increased.
Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential harm or other unwanted coercive change from external forces.
Security is the protection of a person, organization or property from attack. The kind of protection, the entities involved and the types of attacks are infinitely ranging but share one commonality: preservation.
Preservation is not a fixed solid state, however. It’s a state of varying condition that can only be maintained for more time. Security in effect is to control time.
Any security measure, no matter how extensive, complex and seemingly flawless, can be breached – given time. Time to plan, time to execute the plan and most relevantly how much time the security measure can withstand before it fails. It can only be so long.
The most effective security is the one that extends the state of preservation for as long as possible from any given attack. Security = Time.
“There is no such thing as perfect security, only varying levels of insecurity.”– Salman Rushdie
To oversimplify while still being precise, the formula is “Effort + Time = Security Breach”. This math is often subconsciously calculated by a subject examining a security system or measure that is of interest to them. The answer to that math will help the subject decide whether the effort to put into and the time it will take to breach the security is worth it.
In most cases, security works as a deterrent. That the time and effort would be too great to attempt.
Nothing is safe if you poke at it long enough. There are always imperfections, workarounds, gaps and anything can be broken – all that can be done is increase how long a breach would take in an attack. The better the security, the longer that time is.
Even “flawless” and “impenetrable” security can be compromised, if not with effort, then with more time.
– A fence takes time to surmount but it can be climbed
– A firearm (or other weapon) creates time distance from an aggressor or more processing time to execute a strategic maneuver
– An encryption can be cracked given extended periods of time, always
– A locked door can be bypassed by picking with time
– A security alarm shortens the aggressor’s available time to operate and therefore their own security
– A hazard alarm increases an individual’s level of preservation by extending the time to get to safety
– A bodyguard adds a layer of space and fractional time between their client and an attack
– An implementation of financial security offers safety in moneys for the future
– A digital password can be hacked or eventually determined accurately with time
Even when regarding something purely psychological such as “a sense of security”, time is relative and directly correlated. More Time = Sense of Security.
Time may “heal all wounds”, but it also breaches all security. Time is security but time is also insecurity.
[The featured photo includes a titanium “brass knuckles” tool and a Rolex Submariner watch.]
That brings me to a theoretical discussion I had about robbing Fort Knox. Although considered one of most fortified places in the world, with enough time and effort, it can certainly be overtaken.
This theory also works in pure physics, meaning that anything physical must and will erode over time. Security measures is no different.