The (social) construction of information security

  • 9 Citations

Abstract

While the philosophical foundations of information security have been unexamined, there is an implicit philosophy of what protection of information is. This philosophy is based on the notion of containment, taken from analogies with things that offer physical security (e.g., buildings, safes, fences). I argue that this implicit philosophy is unsatisfactory in the current age of increased connectivity, and provide an alternative foundation. I do so from a constructionist point of view, where the coevolution of social and technical mechanisms is seen as the source of the security of an information system, rather than rational design choices only. I employ the concept of causal insulation from system theory in order to give an account of the fundamental characteristics of information security research. This generates definitions that can be used for philosophically informed discussions on the protection of information in new systems.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)326-335
Number of pages10
JournalInformation society
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

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philosophy
Security of data
data security
foundation
security
information
system theory
building
information system
definition
discussion
alternative
age
concept
system
research
Fences
System theory
Insulation
Information systems

Keywords

  • constructionism
  • security perimeters
  • EWI-20646
  • SCS-Cybersecurity
  • Causal insulation
  • System Theory
  • METIS-279196
  • IR-78264
  • Information Security

Cite this

Pieters, Wolter / The (social) construction of information security.

In: Information society, Vol. 27, No. 5, 09.2011, p. 326-335.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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abstract = "While the philosophical foundations of information security have been unexamined, there is an implicit philosophy of what protection of information is. This philosophy is based on the notion of containment, taken from analogies with things that offer physical security (e.g., buildings, safes, fences). I argue that this implicit philosophy is unsatisfactory in the current age of increased connectivity, and provide an alternative foundation. I do so from a constructionist point of view, where the coevolution of social and technical mechanisms is seen as the source of the security of an information system, rather than rational design choices only. I employ the concept of causal insulation from system theory in order to give an account of the fundamental characteristics of information security research. This generates definitions that can be used for philosophically informed discussions on the protection of information in new systems.",
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author = "Wolter Pieters",
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The (social) construction of information security. / Pieters, Wolter.

In: Information society, Vol. 27, No. 5, 09.2011, p. 326-335.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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