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High Five: Meet John Stewart, VP And Chief Security Officer At Cisco SystemsHigh Five: Meet John Stewart, VP And Chief Security Officer At Cisco Systems

John Stewart makes the calls when it comes to Cisco's security infrastructure and oversees the company's e-discovery efforts. He's seen the future, and it's a chip the size of a fingertip.

Larry Greenemeier

July 6, 2007

2 Min Read

John Stewart
VP And Chief Security Officer At Cisco Systems
Interview by Larry Greenemeier

John Stewart, VP And Chief Security Officer At Cisco Systems


Stewart recently joined the board of KoolSpan, maker of the TrustChip, which can run encryption and mutual authentication software on a variety of devices, including cell phones. "If you take the Web 2.0 thinking about collaboration and are comfortable that's where communication is going, I can see where [TrustChip] can be used in so many places."


Cisco's Network Admission Control could benefit greatly from KoolSpan's TrustChip. "Part of Network Admission Control is having proof of the identity of the device that's connecting into the network, leading to increased trust of that device."


Dumb phones won't cut it in the future. "My phone has no knowledge of your phone's identity, other than the phone number, and that's not the strongest of identifiers." Instead, if a phone comes with a pluggable chip that ties it to its owner, "you can take your identity with you to any other communication device."


Stewart's been an advocate of alternative energy sources since he was a kid. "I grew up in a household where my father was active in the use of wind and solar energy, so it's been embedded in my mind from the beginning of time." He has solar panels on his roof and no air conditioning, which he says he doesn't need in Northern California anyway.


A diehard San Francisco Giants fan, Stewart will be watching Barry Bonds' controversial pursuit of the home run record with great interest. "I will make sure I see it and my kids see it for the history of the game. No matter which way you look at it, it's a rare event in history."

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