Sun's McNealy: Open Source Key To Security

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Speaking Tuesday at the RSA conference in San Jose, Calif., McNealy said the world is becoming less private, with people's personal information flowing on all levels of day-to-day life.

A digital world creates opportunities for everyone, but all that data created as a result of it needs to be secure, he said.

"The most important asset we all have is obviously the data on people, our customers and our employees and our partners," McNealy said. "And if we can't protect them, then people aren't going to go online. And if they don't go online, we don't solve the big problems out there."

McNealy said that open source development at the core of Sun technology is the key to its security strategy. "Open interface, open implementation and community development is the way were going to address this huge security challenge," he said.

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The multivendor environments of today also have created security issues, McNealy said. "You have 87 suppliers, half of whom have been bought by Oracle recently, and you wonder why you have security problems."