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Executive Summary
Pages 1-6

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From page 1...
... Many factors support this assessment, including the proliferation of computer systems into ever more applications, especially applications involving networking; the changing nature of the technology base; the increase in computer system expertise within the population, which increases the potential for system abuse; the increasingly global environment for business and research; and the global reach and interconnection of computer networks, which multiply system vulnerabilities. Also relevant are new efforts in Europe to promote and even mandate more trustworthy computer systems; European countries are strengthening their involvement in this arena, while the United States seems caught in a policy quagmire.
From page 2...
... From a technical perspective, making computer system technology more secure and trustworthy involves assessing what is at risk, articulating objectives and requirements for systems, researching and developing technology to satisfy system requirements, and prosriding for independent evaluation of the key features (to assess functionality) and their strength (to provide assurance)
From page 3...
... The reorganization of and perceived withdrawal from relevant computer security-related activities at the National Security Agency and the repeated appropriations of minimal funding for relevant activities at the National Institute of Standards and Technology are strong indications of a weak U.S. posture in this area.
From page 4...
... The committee urges that its recommendations be considered together as integral to a coherent national effort to encourage the widespread development and deployment of security features in computer systems, increase public awareness of the risks that accompany the benefits of computer systems, and promote responsible use and management of computer systems. Toward the end of increasing the levels of security in new and existing computer and communications systems, the committee developecl recommendations in six areas.
From page 5...
... formation of security policy frameworks and emergency response teams, and (for vendors) universal implementation of specific minimal acceptable protections for discretionary and mandatory control of access to computing resources, broader use of modern software development methodology, implementation of security standards and participation in their further development, and procedures to prevent or anticipate the consequences of inadvisable actions by users (e.g., systems should be shipped with security features turned on, so that explicit action is needed to disable them)
From page 6...
... The ISF would need the highest level of governmental support; the strongest expression of such support would be a congressional charter. Although the System Security Study Committee focused on computer and communications security, its recommendations would also support efforts to enhance other aspects of systems such as reliability and safety.

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