Let us assure you

Steve LeSueur

Even people in the information technology business are occasionally confused about the difference between information security and information assurance. But as companies that specialize in information assurance told Staff Writer Joab Jackson, information security is just one element ? albeit an important one ? of information assurance.

To drive home this point, SRA International Inc. will sometimes send someone to a client's office to sneak in the front door and steal a computer. Or the visitor will find an empty conference room with an open jack to the company's network. The client learns firsthand that physical security is an important part of information assurance.

Companies such as SRA are discovering that government agencies, spurred by Sept. 11 and federal mandates to improve security, are increasing their spending on all aspects of information assurance, such as network security, disaster recovery and public key infrastructure. One report predicts that government spending on information assurance, now an estimated $2 billion to $3 billion, will grow to $9 billion in 2006.

Joab's cover story has the details, including a list of some of the biggest information assurance-related contracts on the horizon.

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