Secure by Design

One of the most underdeveloped areas of security is the art of designing systems that are intrinsically secure, for example by designing in deterrents to attackers and thieves. Classic examples of this are digital rights management, and the design of US Postal Service vans, which are unlikely to be stolen because of their unique shape.

There are many ways to achieve this: designing products that resist attack; reducing the value of stolen assets; least privilege access; visible audit trails; having a tough policy on breaches, etc. But very little effort seems to be focused on this aspect of security.

So I was pleased to read about the Design Against Crime Centre at London fashion college Central Saint Martins which devises innovative gadgets and adapts everyday items to make theft as difficult as possible. They’ve developed things such as a slash-proof backpack, an alarmed laptop case and a pub chair with space to hide a handbag inside.

I loved the quote by the Professor Lorraine Gamman, the Centre’s Director “I personally would like to design a phone that blows up when someone steals it. That would be one way to stop thieves using it.”