Cybersecurity, E-Commerce On Front Burner

Cybersecurity, E-Commerce On Front Burner<@VM>TechToon

Trish Williams, Editor

It's fitting that the last issue of 1998 contains several compelling electronic commerce stories and the most comprehensive report you'll read anywhere on U.S. government cybersecurity planning. Security and e-commerce are sure bets to steal the IT show in the coming year.

Our editorial supplement, "Cybersecurity: Defense in Depth," bypasses the usual media tour of infrastructure issues and leads you to the front door of leading experts in academia and industry who will influence the new security model.

This special report is keyed to a seminal study by the National Research Council that "has a troubling message," in the words of Fred Schneider, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell who chaired the panel that produced the NRC report, "Trust in Cyberspace."

That message, Schneider tells Senior Writer John Makulowich, is that our society is becoming more and more dependent on networked computing systems that are not trustworthy. What's worse is that although they could be made more trustworthy, Schneider says, that's not being done. Perhaps most ominous is Schneider's remark that the United States lacks the science and technology base to solve many of the problems.

In an in-depth interview in our supplement, Schneider discusses a new doctrine based on moving vulnerabilities around ? one that would allow people to justify defense in depth ? where each level of defense is not perfect.

Also featured in this special report are the views of security experts from AT&T Labs, Microsoft Corp., Secure Computing Corp. and TriStrata Inc., who address President Clinton's cybersecurity directive of last May and the national effort under way to assure the security of critical U.S. infrastructures.

Along with our cutting-edge security coverage are three noteworthy front-page pieces showcasing the huge stakes of electronic commerce and the companies and governments scrambling to cash in on the rewards.

Finally, I am delighted to welcome our newest columnist, Bill Loomis, to the Washington Technology team. Loomis, who was just named managing director of the Technology Research Group at Legg Mason, shares street insights with you in our Market Share column. It can be found in the Business section, opposite the TechTicker chart.

Happy Holidays!

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