Thinking Like a Hacker: Dickie George, Technical Director of Information Assurance, National Security Agency

By , November 23, 2009.
Thinking Like a Hacker: Dickie George, Technical Director of Information Assurance, National Security Agency
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As the government adds new applications to its information systems, the more openings it creates for attackers to gain access, creating a continuing battle between IT security professionals charged with safeguarding the systems and those seeking to cause them damage.

"The more functionality that's there, the more ways there are for an attacker to get it to operate it in way that no one ever conceived," Dickie George, the National Security Agency's Information Assurance Directorate technical director, said in an interview with GovInfoSecurity.com. "The better the system is, the more interesting it is, the more capability it has, the more opportunities there are for an attacker to find the way in. We are notorious for always needing new types of functionality. We want our equipment to do be able to do more things, and every time we increase the functionality, we allow for problems."

In the first of a two-part interview with GovInfoSecurity.com's Eric Chabrow, George discusses:

  • The strength of today's technologies that assure the security of the federal government's civilian, intelligence and military information systems and networks.
  • New information assurance technologies coming down the pipeline.
  • Whether the government is winning the race to adequately secure its systems from those seeking to infiltrate them.

Part two of the interview, George discusses the challenge of recruiting qualified IT security experts for government.

George began at the National Security Agency in August 1970 after graduating from Dartmouth College. He started in the Crypto-Math Intern Program, having tours in Research, the SIGINT Directorate and the Information Assurance Directorate's predecessor organization. Except for a tour in the Signals Intelligence Directorate and one at the Center for Communications Research in Princeton, he has worked in the Information Assurance Directorate's since 1973, and has served as its technical director since 2003.

Follow Eric Chabrow on Twitter: @GovInfoSecurity

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