Keith believes that any appliance that can plug into the internet (e.g. with
an RJ-45 plug) must be able to protect itself against intruders directly and
not rely on some external barrier, such as a firewall. Authentication is an
important part of this protection mechanism.
There are good reasons not to rely on an external barrier to provide
protection. Someone may neglect to install the external barrier or someone
may remove or bypass it. This situation is especially likely in the home or
small business environment. In addition, someone may move the appliance to a
location where an external barrier is no longer present. If the appliance
contains its own authentication, its level of protection remains unchanged
regardless of where it plugs into the network or what changes occur in the
network around it.
A printer has only one kind of network plug. The plug may be connected to an
isolated LAN or it may be plugged into the internet. We, as vendors, cannot
Poor support for security may have been good enough for past products, but
we need to look to the future. Keith wants us to see a world in the near
future where networks are more pervasive than now and consequently, where
security is more important than now.
I think we should listen to Keith and try to understand why his view is