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The explosive growth of networking technology continues to redefine the rules for maintaining the privacy and integrity of electronic data. There is a staggering amount of personal, commercial, governmental, and military information in the various networking infrastructures worldwide. Almost anyone can reach out to the network, which often means almost anyone can reach in. In short, network security is an issue that can no longer be postponed. Fortunately, security measures do not have to be expensive or complicated?a reality the networking community has only recently taken to heart. Network security itself, however, must be better understood and embraced, preferably before a compromise occurs. The articles in this issue are intended to alert you to the risks and some solutions and to encourage you to develop and implement security methodologies and strategies before?rather than after?an incident. Strong cryptography is very powerful when it is done right, but it is not a panacea. Building a secure cryptographic system is easy to do badly and very difficult to do well. Unfortunately, most people can't tell the difference. In this article, the author conveys some of the lessons learned in designing, analyzing, and breaking cryptographic systems.

P. W. Dowd and J. T. McHenry, "Guest Editors' Introduction-Network Security: It's Time to Take It Seriously," in Computer, vol. 31, no. , pp. 24-28, 1998.
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