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The World of Security Has Changed a Great Deal Since 1985so has the National Security Institute

The National Security Institute (NSI) was founded in 1985 by Stephen Burns and David Marston, two leading-edge security practitioners experienced with both government and corporate security environments. David and Steve were responsible for designing key programs that protected some of the nation’s most sensitive technology and business secrets. 

The National Security Institute quickly became the leading organization dedicated to assisting cleared defense contractors in understanding the threats to national security and in training the average employee to keep sensitive information and proprietary data safe from outside and inside threats. 

The world has changed a great deal since 1985 and so has the National Security Institute. While NSI maintains its respected flagship information services for government and defense contractor security executives, our employee security awareness programs are now widely used by America’s top corporations of all sizes and across all industries.

Born out of years of developing best practices that persuade the average employee to take security seriously, these continuous, enterprise-wide cybersecurity awareness programs are helping companies of all sizes and industries avoid costly security breaches. 

NSI continues to evolve and develop solutions to support corporate and government security professionals everywhere.

important milestones

NSI Timeline 

With thousands of clients, NSI’s roots in protecting the nation’s defense technologies from corporate and nationstate espionage has evolved into enterprise-wide services that help all industries reduce the risk that cybercriminals will be able to exploit the average employee

Two Security Pros Take A Risk
Seeing the critical need that security teams at the nation's defense contractors had for better information and best practices, Steve and Dave struck out on their own to found the National Security Institute. A passion for supporting often under funded and under appreciated security professionals (and the 1984 birth of Apple's Macintosh personal computer!) fueled these two entrepreneurs on a 35 year journey
First of Its Kind - The Advisory
In those days figuring out what the DoD required of you as a cleared contractor was like having an extra job in addition to the actual administration and development of security programs. NSI's Advisory newsletter was the first publication that brought together everything a security leader needed to know to keep his program effective and in compliance
First of Its Kind - IMPACT Seminar
30 years later this annual event is still the gold standard for bringing together security policy makers and cybersecurity experts from across multiple government agencies and military branches to connect directly with corporate security leaders and their teams. Inter-agency and inter-military exchange of information is also a key outcome from this one of a kind yearly event
Security Awareness for Defense Industry
Persuading the average employee that it's not just the security team's job to protect sensitive data and the technology being developed for U.S. government agencies is critical for defense contractors who must stay in compliance. Another first of its kind the Employee Security Connection newsletter makes it easy to effectively train all employees and stay in regulatory compliance
CyberSecurity Awareness for All Industries
Rapid growth of global interconnectivity and the acceleration of digital transformation has made the average employee of every company a potential target for cybercriminals. With SecuritySense, years of experience persuasively and effectively engaging employees in the defense industry is now applied to any company of any size. Employees learn to protect their company from inside and outside cyberthreats

President & co-founder

Stephen S. Burns 

Stephen S. Burns is co-founder and President of the National Security Institute.  Mr. Burns has more than 40 years of experience designing government and corporate security programs that protect some of the nation’s most sensitive technology and business secrets. 

Since 1985 he has been a primary architect in the development of NSI’s awareness programs and seminars. Before co-founding NSI, Mr. Burns spent 15 years in the defense industry at GTE Government Systems Corp. where he was responsible for managing Communication Security, Special Access Programs, and all aspects of the company’s industrial security program.  Prior that, he served in the United States Marine Corps in intelligence and security. Mr. Burns is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and holds a B.S. degree in Management.

Chairman & co-founder

David A. Marston 

David A. Marston is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the National Security Institute. Since its inception, Mr. Marston has served in a variety of marketing, financial, and editorial capacities at NSI and is responsible for creating many of its core product lines. 

He has also acquired extensive security related experience in both government and the private sector through his affiliation with GTE Government Systems Corp. where he managed classified government security programs. He also served as an intelligence analyst while on active duty with the U.S. Air Force. Prior to his involvement in the security and publishing arenas, Mr. Marston was employed as a business analyst for Dun & Bradstreet in Boston, MA. He is a graduate of Bentley University and holds a B.S. degree in Business Management.