Placebos, Dogs, Burglars and Security

A. Braunberg
A. Braunberg

Summary Bullets:

  • Let’s try to avoid a security strategy that relies on a placebo effect.
  • Assuming the worst is a good way to start the new year.

The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article this week called “Why placebos work wonders.” It seems there is much more to the “placebo effect” than simply tricking someone into thinking they are getting a “real” drug. Research has shown that it doesn’t seem to matter whether patients know they are getting “real” treatment or a sugar pill. The body can benefit. I used to think about the placebo effect when I would take my very old dog in for acupuncture treatments. I assume that if they worked for him (and they did) then there must be more to acupuncture than just a placebo effect. Dogs need “real” treatments, while humans can benefit from both “real” and “fake” treatments. Some of the check box security products that enterprises spend their money on seem like fake treatments. This might be ok, if computers and networks were more like humans and less like dogs. Continue reading “Placebos, Dogs, Burglars and Security”