Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? worries the classical Roman maxim: “Who watches the watchmen?” But the security vendors who stand guard over today’s networked information systems are under considerable scrutiny from their competitors, their customers, hackers and, increasingly often, governments concerned about national security. Scientific American’s editor in chief John Rennie sat down in Palo Alto, Calif., this past May with representatives from the security industry—and from some of the industries that will rely on the protections they provide—to discuss the challenges they will confront. What follows is an edited transcript of some highlights of those proceedings; a more complete version is available here.
—The Editors