Puzzle for January 16, 2002

The following is a passage from Sun Tsu's book The Art of War:

There are three ways in which a sovereign can bring misfortune upon his army:

By commanding the army to advance or retreat, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army.

By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant if the conditions that obtain in an army. This causes restlessness in the soldiers' minds. Humanity and justice are the principles on which to govern a state, but not an army; opportunism and flexibility, on the other hand, are military rather than civic virtues.

By employing the officers of his army without discrimination, through ignorance of the military principle of adaptation to circumstances. This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.1

Does this apply to an organization with computers that are under attack, or are expected to be attacked? How?

  1. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Delta Publishing, New York, NY 10036 (1983) pp. 16-17

ECS 153, Introduction to Computer Security
Winter Quarter 2002
Email: cs153@cs.ucdavis.edu