When people feel secure, they’re easier targets

From Bruce Schneier’s “Burglars and “Feeling Secure” (Crypto-Gram: 15 January 2005):

This quote is from “Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief,” by Bill Mason (Villard, 2003): “Nothing works more in a thief’s favor than people feeling secure. That’s why places that are heavily alarmed and guarded can sometimes be the easiest targets. The single most important factor in security — more than locks, alarms, sensors, or armed guards — is attitude. A building protected by nothing more than a cheap combination lock but inhabited by people who are alert and risk-aware is much safer than one with the world’s most sophisticated alarm system whose tenants assume they’re living in an impregnable fortress.”

The author, a burglar, found that luxury condos were an excellent target. Although they had much more security technology than other buildings, they were vulnerable because no one believed a thief could get through the lobby.