Open and Closed Systems are Equivalent (that is, in an ideal world)

TitleOpen and Closed Systems are Equivalent (that is, in an ideal world)
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsAnderson, R
Secondary TitlePerspectives on free and open source software
PublisherMIT Press
ISBN Number9780262062466

...In May 2002, I proved a controversial theorem [8]: that, under the standard assumptions of reliability growth theory, it does not matter whether the system is open or closed. Opening a system enables the attacker to discover vulnerabilities more quickly, but it helps the defenders exactly as much.
This caused consternation in some circles, as it was interpreted as a general claim that open systems are no better than closed ones. But that is not what the theorem implies. Most real systems will deviate in important ways from the assumptions of the standard reliability growth model, and it will often be the case that open systems (or closed systems) will be better in some particular application. My theorem lets people concentrate on the differences between open and closed systems that matter in a particular case.

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