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July 2004

IT network security: Securing the summer Olympics

Physical security will be highly visible when the summer Olympic games open in Athens Aug. 13, but, behind the scenes, a small army of IT professionals will be working to guard against digital intrusions that could enable or amplify a real-world attack. "It's not like other projects where you can try again after having difficulty the first time," said Jean Chevallier, who is charged with securing the Olympic IT infrastructure. "You can't do a 'redo' here after the start date. And the games cannot happen without your systems in place." As executive VP for the Olympic Games Program at Atos Origin, the French company contracted to run the Olympics' IT infrastructure, Chevallier knows that the entire world will have security on its mind during the Olympic fortnight. "The biggest challenge is speed," said Bruce Schneier, CTO of Counterpane Internet Security. "Security is a process, and the Olympics happen too quickly for a process to develop. The entire network needs to come together quickly, be used extensively and then disappear. ...

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