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TED Talk: Bruce Schneier on the "Security Mirage"

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Over 10 years ago, Bruce Schneier gave this talk at Penn State about the difference between the perception and reality of security. A decade later, many of the concepts on which he touches are still relevant today.

Piggybacking off the premises of evolutionary psychology, Schneier reminds us that humans still process threats pretty much the same way we’ve done since we lived in caves: We tend to downplay common risks (such as finding food or driving to the store) and fear more spectacular ones (being eaten by a tiger or dying in car crash).

While the talk itself is now nearly a decade old, Schneier has been talking about "security theatre" for many years now, always sharpening and developing his theories based on current cyberthreat trends. This video provides basis for his 10-year old discourse.

Part of understanding your own corporate "theatrical enactment" is in evaluating how we tend to trade off security for money, time, and convenience. What’s your security trade-off?

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