Magna Turris · Security

Why a castle?

“Magna Turris” literally means “Great Tower”. It’s the medieval Latin term for the great keep at the center of the castle. So why did I pick an obscure term in a dead language for my domain name? Castles are pretty symbolic for me. I deal with perimeters and ingress/egress points, etc. when dealing with security. When I first wanted to understand how to better control the flow of network traffic, I looked at the physical world to provide metaphors for the logical. Since my father had been in the military, I was familiar with the gates and guards and such that exist on military bases but it piqued my interest so I started digging into their history. That led me straight to castles.

Barbicans and baileys. Motts and moats and murder holes. These were some of our earliest attempts to build structures that were meant to withstand a sustained attack by a determined attacker (a.k.a. an advanced persistent threat). I was always interested in the ways in which they failed and the reasons for their success when they did not. Many of these battles have their own more modern counterparts. A shake down is still a shake down. The means and methods may have changed but many of the motivations and results have not. The Mongol hordes camping outside of a city, chasing away all the trade until the town pays up sounds a bit like encrypting your drive until you shell out some bitcoin.

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