Protecting Information Requires Common Sense
By Sandra I. Erwin and Grace Jean
Developers of military information systems face a daunting dilemma. They are told to design networks for easy sharing of information among services and foreign allies, but they also have to protect the network as if it were Fort Knox.
“I think that’s the wrong philosophy for network security,” said Navy Vice Adm. Nancy Brown, director of information systems for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“How can we ensure confidentiality of our information without reducing the effectiveness of the network?” Brown asked an audience of defense contractors. The United States needs to be able to share information with allies, but that will not be possible until networks cease to be treated as facilities that can be locked up like fortresses. “We have to think about this very differently. We use the wrong model,” she said. “We are guarding everything like the king’s jewels. But not everything is the king’s jewels.”