Robert David Steele

It is impossible to establish corporate security measures in a vacuum. Sound corporate security is unaffordable and unenforceable unless the Nation as a whole provides for the security of the digital environment, unless the Nation itself has a national information strategy with embedded communications and computing security policies and practices. The speaker will discuss emerging concepts of security and trusted systems in a networked environment, and suggest policy and political initiatives meriting the attention of the Chief Executive Officers.

An entire generation of hardware and software engineers has emerged for whom the word "security" has no meaning....with the result that it is virtually impossible to purchase complex systems which support proper security. A few exceptions merit attention, such as ORACLE's recently certified multi-level security database structure.

At the same time, organizations are finding that in an era of distributed information, the old solution for security, isolation and physical security, is simply not a feasible solution. New methods are needed, and underlying these new methods are new concepts and doctrine. In the age of information security comes from speed in handling information, from collection to analysis to dissemination to action. Security comes from knowing what not to protect. Security comes from knowing that, what is worth protecting, is worth protecting very well, to include TEMPEST protection.

The President and Congress both need to support business by establishing a national information strategy, one which provides for connectivity, content, coordination of research & development, and for communications & computing security. The business world needs to recognize the national requirements, and lobby aggressively for national support.

Mr. Steele is a veteran of the clandestine service who has served in three of the four Directorates at CIA, and as a senior civilian in Marine Corps intelligence. He is President of Oakton-based OPEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS, Inc., a non-profit educational corporation.