Physical Security in the Information World

Contributed by Robert Wall

In May 2013, the name Edward Snowden became known throughout the world. He made public highly classified documents that he had stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency. However, Snowden did not hack into a NSA mainframe to do this, nor did he intercept transmissions being sent across the Internet. Snowden had simply walked in and copied the information while doing his job, working as a system administrator on contract to the NSA. The NSA can probably be considered one of the most security-intensive organizations on the planet, but the theft occurred regardless. Laxity and a breakdown in physical security policy are to blame.

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