Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase taken from the Roman poet Juvenal, normally translated as, "Who will guard the guards themselves?" It is usually said A "who watches the watchmen?".

Often the art of managing system security is not in how powerful your system is, how elaborate your defence and mighty the weapons you use (in countermeasures). Instead, it tends to be reliant on the trustworthy state of those protecting your system.

No one is perfect, nor is anyone incorruptible, the most reliable of colleagues will make mistakes, some may not care.

In managing the security of any system you have a conundrum ...

Do I continually vet my workforce personally and professionally and create a culture of fear and distrust


Do I create a culture of collaboration, where all decisions are peered and reviewed, therefore reducing errors and encouraging innovative solutions to given issues.

Ok, so its a no brainer, get the ‘custodes custodiet ipsos custodes’, having the ‘guards guarding the guards’. Not by suspicion, but in a peer based environ may reduce the cost of securing a network whilst increasing the resilience.

Andrew Smith


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