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On the Meaning of Safety and Security

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor John Dobson


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The terms 'safety' and 'security' are often used to characterise computer systems when used in a context where reliance is placed upon them. These terms are normally regarded as representing distinct properties, yet there is considerable ambiguity in the terms. At a linguistic level, the common phrase 'safe and secure' indicates a limited distinction and, in German, no real distinction can be made as the term 'sicherheit' means both safety and security (although some technical terminology has been introduced to make distinctions between the two notions). Further, in many dictionaries, safety is defined in terms of security - and vice versa.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burns A, McDermid JA, Dobson JE

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Computing Laboratory Technical Report Series

Year: 1992

Pages: 32

Print publication date: 01/05/1992

Source Publication Date: May 1992

Report Number: 382

Institution: Computing Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne