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The New School of Information Security by Adam Shostack, Andrew Stewart

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Chapter 4. The Rise of the Security Breach

In 1854, London was in the grip of a cholera epidemic. Disease spreads faster and affects more people in the hothouse of a city, and an understanding of the causes of cholera was hard to come by. Physician John Snow had published a theory that cholera was waterborne, but that was only one theory among many about the causes of the disease. In the epidemic of 1854, Snow plotted cholera deaths on a map and determined that one public water pump was the source of the outbreak. That work is considered a pioneering event in the science of epidemiology, and it led to the creation of public health as a discipline.

We have argued that objective data that would enable good security decisions is in short supply. John ...

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