Fast and Secured: Perspective on Performance and Security in IT

Performance and security are like brothers in IT. They are similar and yet they fight each other at times.

Both performance and security are important inherent qualities in IT systems. Who would not want a fast and secured IT system? You want your home computer to be fast and secured. The bank CEO wants his Internet banking system to be fast and secured for his customers.

Being fast and being secured are two of the most wanted qualities in IT systems. End users expect these qualities. They work hand in hand. Good performance best practices can make sure denial of service never happens in security.

Yet performance and security sometimes seem incompatible. An extra security feature tends to make the system do extra work and thus the system becomes slower. Extra performance tuning tends to make the system faster and the hacker may be able to brute force the system. The most notable conflict is in cryptography. Performance is to make the system fast for the end user. Security is to make the system difficult for the hacker to achieve his goals. For example, if the CPU’s power increase 1000 times over night, most encryption schemes in the world would break because the hacker can use brute force to decrypt information overnight.

Performance and security are like brothers in IT. They can work together and they can fight each other. The important thing is to do the right things in performance and security to make sure these brothers work together for you instead of against you.

Performance Technologist

Edmund Wong