IT: Getting Ready to Fight the Next War - Page 2

Was the real attack on IT the reaction to Enron and SarbOx?

Brown: I think the tools for collaboration and knowledge capture are exciting, but theyre locked down, and Im not sure where thats going to go.

Does this get any additional flavor in the wake of the current controversy over Hewlett-Packards aggressive internal investigation of employees and board members, and even journalists, in its effort to get control of sensitive internal discussions? Do employees understand the nature of their communications at work and the fact that those are enterprise property?

/zimages/4/28571.gifThe ouster of HPs board chair illuminates enterprise information security issues. Click here to read more.

Rosen: As much as we tell people, and put it on the log-on banners and send it out every six months, people still dont realize that [investigations] may go through e-mail. I have been involved in investigations, and its amazing what people will put on their computers. They just dont think about it. People have that sense of privacy, even though its not true.

Brown: Under open-records laws, we have to provide that kind of information. Theres training, theres audits of how youre handling records collection and storage.

Does that include instant messaging, for example?

Brown: Yes.

Five years after 9/11, we have a tremendous response to specific threats against air travel and enormous time and cost consequences to businesses. Are there any initiatives that you think youll be undertaking as we start to deal with the fact that this is "the new normal," whether were talking about terrorists or SarbOx? Now that were past the startup issues, is there anything that you think youll be doing to move that to a more sustainable steady-state level of readiness and response?

Rosen: There are still more surprises coming down the line. People tend to prepare for the last disaster, or set of disasters, as opposed to the future. What I think will bite people is how to deal with the people issue: A lot of people ran into that problem after 9/11, and they certainly did after Katrina. …

And in a possible pandemic situation?

Rosen: Thats what were looking at right now. How do you keep things running? We had an interesting discussion—we were talking about people working from home, but we discussed the assumption that the ISPs will be up and the communications will be up.

Theres a lot of hand-waving going on about that, but nothing that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Kevin, I suspect that Duke doesnt make naive assumptions about other infrastructure being up when youre having problems yourselves. Do you have microwave, satellite …?

Wilson: We have our own radio network, and theres some low-data-rate capability there. Weve got a lot of experience because our people help out when other areas have problems.

Say each of you ran into a senior manager in the elevator who asked you, "What have we learned from 9/11 that makes us more ready for the next thing that happens?" Is there anything you could say that youd feel good about?

Rosen: Were better than we ever were before.

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