Commercial Information Technology Companies Focus on Security

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Proprietary information must be protected against competitors and even nation-state spies.

Private sector high-technology firms are taking considerable measures to ensure the security of data, knowing that industrial espionage or foreign sabotage could cost a company its competitive edge or even put it out of business. These security processes must be weighed against the need to share information internally, which is equally important to commercial success in the dynamic information technology field.

A panel of industry representatives discussed these issues on the second day of AFCEA’s three-day Joint Information Environment (JIE) Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14. “Cyber is kind of the dark side of the moon in terms of everything connected,” said Lars Buttler, managing director, Madison Sandhill Global LLC. “Connect everything, and a breach affects everything and spreads quickly.”

Kim Stevenson, corporate vice president and chief information officer, Intel Corporation, described how her company is addressing security by saying, “It’s about enabling people to consume things in a safe and secure environment.

“Our entire business is intellectual property,” she pointed out. “We protect data instead of technology."

As an example, Stevenson related that the company has a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy that has security as its cornerstone. “We allow BYOD, but we control that device. If you leave Intel, we swipe that device clean. If you lose it, we remote swipe it.”

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