While many have said we are in danger of drowning in WS-* specs, we may be missing an important one. John S. Quarterman writes about the security implications of Cliff Forts vs. Coordinated Mesas which centers around the particularly resilient Anasazi defense system:
Eventually, at the end of the thirteenth century, the Anasazi abandoned their cliiff faces and moved to mesa tops to the southeast. At least three mesas, each of which could see at least one of the others.
``It was not difficulty of access that protected the settlements (none of the scrambles we performed here began to compare with the climbs we made in the Utah canyons), but an alliance based on visibility. If one village was under attack, it could send signals to its allies on the other mesas.''
The mesas did have perimeter defenses: they were 500 to 1000 feet tall, and they each had only one way in. But their individual perimeter defenses were not as extreme as back on the cliffs, and perimeters were only part of the new mesa defense system. Their descendants the Hopis still live on mesa tops.
With so much attention paid to protection mechanisms in security specs in general, it is still left to the developers and architects to code the detection and response mechanisms which may be the key to survival. Part of this is understandable, becasue specifications typically address structural not behavioral elements where detection and response live. The question on the table is what kind of signal can a service send other services that it is under attack, and how do they recognize and react?