Origin of fail-safefail, verb + safe, adjective
- Capable of compensating automatically and safely for a failure, as of a mechanism or power source.
- Acting to discontinue a military attack on the occurrence of any of various predetermined conditions.
- Guaranteed not to fail: “There is no fail-safe mechanism guaranteed either to contain or to restore presidential authority” ( Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. )
- Alternative form of fail-safe.
- That doesn't cause undue damage, in the event of failure.
- The system is failsafe, because everything is backed up automatically.
- A fail-safe device or mechanism.
fail-safe - Computer Definition
Fail-safe is to security what circuit breakers are to home safety. If a problem is detected with security or with safety, actions are put into place to prevent a potential disaster from occurring. If an electrical fault causes a short, the circuit breaker halts the flow of electricity, preventing a fire from starting. Similarly, if a firewall crashes, the system architect must decide whether to disable all network connectivity or let network connectivity continue, despite the risk to security.
Today, a number of fail-safe products are on the market, such as FailSafe®, a professional liability product line designed for the diverse risks facing small and mid-sized technology companies. This product is produced by Hartford Financial Products.
See Also: Firewall.
Graham, R. 2001. Hacking Lexicon. [Online, 2001.] Robert Graham Website. http://www.linuxsecurity.com/resource_files/documentation/hacking-dict.html; Hartford Financial Products. Technology (FailSafe®). [Online, 2002.] Hartford Financial Products Website. http://www.hfpinsurance.com/tech/tech.htm.