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What: In January 2002 Bill Gates coined this term giving it a necessary (and universal) definition: “Trustworthy Computing is computing that is as available, reliable and secure as electricity, water services, and telephony.” (R1)

The four pillars of trustworthy computing systems (TCS) are risks associated with: Security, Privacy, Reliability, and Strong Business Practices.

Why: TCS requires IT leaders to account for the entire IT stack (as Apple’s Steve Jobs did) from hardware to software to the end-user experience – essentially owning as much of the end-to-end ecosystem as possible. As technology takes on an ever increasing economic, social, and political role, TCS leadership will have to account for these non-IT realities or fail.

Examples: To date the Bitcoin has done well in the areas of security and privacy but not others – such as inconsistent development, inconsistent business practices, and poor customer experiences. In July 2001, the Code Red worm was one of the first malicious attacks to make world news as it infected thousands of IIS web servers globally. Two months later, the September 11th attacks closed the NYSE for five days, in part because its’ IT systems were down. The many events that followed have continued to raise TCS’ profile -even if the name is not used overtly.

“Trustworthy Computing Systems” Dr. Joseph Sifakis (PECCS and SENSORNETS 2012) from INSTICC on Vimeo.

(R1) https://www.wired.com/2002/01/bill-gates-trustworthy-computing/
(R2) Trustworthy Computing Next White Paper, Microsoft (2012)

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