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Did you mean Security or Safety?

Security and Safety…

Ever notice the similarity between these words? Capitalists have been banking on the similarities, there are products and services offered for years that provide for security what they’ve provided under the umbrella of safety for years, insurance. Now average folks can purchase Security Insurance. Policy makers didn’t miss the boat either, they often interchange these words when addressing the public. Let’s take a closer look at these words and their contextual use.

Google security and you’ll likely end up at Wikipedia reading:

Security is the condition of being protected against danger or loss.

That’s funny, I tend to think of insurance when I read that statement, but that’s probably because of the implications associated with the word loss. Insurance helps to insulate the insured from loss by providing a means to recover, substitute, or recompense what has been lost or damaged. What about danger, that word seems more appropriate in physical security than logical security, yet in the physical security sense it draws in the word safety.

While you’re over at Wikipedia, click on safety and see what happens:

Safety is the state of being “safe” (from French sauf), the condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types or consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm, or any other event which could be considered non-desirable. 

Undesirable events or effects is one of the things I think of when I think about what security is trying to manage or constrain, curious that it is part of the definition / description of safety. The various failures of safety lead to similar consequences when security fails, if you disagree consider what’s going on in Iraq. You have a “security” issue and a “safety” issue. 

Just something to consider the next time a “Security Issue” crops up.