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Cybersecurity coordinator

Week 26, 2009

The objective of the new cybersecurity policy is to deter, prevent, detect and defend against cyberattacks, but also to bar the US federal government from regular monitoring of “private-sector networks” and the Internet traffic.

The Cybersecurity coordinator will be in charge among other things to smoothen the relations between US government bodies such as the Pentagon, the National Security Agency and the Homeland Security Department. All of these Agencies have a strong influence on our industry: they regulate our industry, they place orders, or they just control what we do.

These announcements are very positive news for our secure transactions industry. As the US are ready to have a more coordinated approach to cybersecurity, our small piece of the puzzle is definitely part of the big picture. The secure transactions industry brings solutions that allow to keep the balance between security and privacy. As, with smart cards, smart dongles, or other form factors, data remains in the hands of the user, this guarantees a permanent and total control by the user of the actual destination and use of his personal data.

Of course, using secure portable objects does not totally prevent building large databases containing personal data, that are vulnerable to abuse or theft. But the right combination between data collection and data distribution can provide a balance between security and privacy.

Bruce Schneier, BT Chief Security Officer, wrote: “The human body defends itself through overlapping security systems. It has a complex immune system specifically to fight disease, but disease fighting is also distributed throughout every organ and every cell. The body has all sorts of security systems, ranging from your skin to keep harmful things out of your body, to your liver filtering harmful things from your bloodstream, to the defenses in your digestive system. These systems all do their own thing in their own way. They overlap each other, and to a certain extent one can compensate when another fails. It might seem redundant and inefficient, but it's more robust, reliable, and secure. You're alive and reading this because of it." The secure transactions industry is definitely one of these security systems that allow keeping our world robust, reliable and secure.

Thierry Spanjaard
Chief Editor
Smart Insights