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In an article on March 3, 2014, Dark Reading quoted Venable partner and retired Navy Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett – from a presentation he gave at the RSA Conference in San Francisco last week – on threats posed to global IT supply chains. In a global economy where product development often spans multiple countries, the level of protection for hardware and devices can fluctuate. Concurrently, adept national intelligence agencies can breach the security of these products.

Barnett said, Securing against national intelligence agencies and other actors is difficult, but each company needs to start with an analysis of its risk. “The main thing with risk management is making sure that you understand this risk,” he added.

Customers and companies also worry that perpetrators will intercept their products and put their communication systems and data under surveillance. Barnett said that while the actual threat remains unclear, nations should not seek to block technology because that does not solve the problem. “There is a role for government in dealing with this issue, but we need to make sure that we don't clamp down on trade. There should be a national investment in finding a solution,” he said.