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Daily News Archive

Monday, September 5th

 The Daily News wasn't published.

Tuesday, September 6th

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it.” – Margaret Thatcher


The Picks of the Day

ITPI Controls Benchmarking Survey Wrapping Up on Sept. 9th

Is there a strong business case for IT controls?  That’s what the IT Process Institute aims to find out.  You can benchmark your organization and learn what top-performers are doing by participating in this free limited time survey.  The last day to participate is September 9th.

Take the Survey online – and you will receive at no cost:

·         Strictly confidential benchmark of your company’s performance compared to the population of survey participants.

·         Analysis of what matters most when designing and implementing controls.

·         Practical guidance on how to use controls to improve efficiency and effectiveness.


It's Audit Time. Do You Know Where Your Private Data Is?

“Where in an enterprise computing infrastructure is private data most vulnerable? Ask any vendor, analyst, or politician, and they'll probably say something about the Internet, or perhaps outsourcing or wireless networks. But ask anyone running an IT department with a large number of laptops, and you'll likely hear a different story.”


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

3 Questions: Do Compliance Measures Help or Hinder IT Security

“With Julian Waits, president and CEO of Brabeion Software, which provides enterprise-class software for creating, managing and deploying IT security policies, with support for a wide range of technologies from leading vendors, including Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle and Red Hat Linux.”


Data Law: Misdirected or Misdirection?

“Economist Paul H. Rubin analyzes the costs and benefits to businesses and consumers of mandating disclosure of data breaches, in a paper for The Progress & Freedom Foundation.”


Security and Risk Management

Are companies prepared for fallout from a security breach?

“There are some very positive trends in corporate privacy and data-protection practices, according to the Ponemon Institute's recently completed 2005 Benchmark Study of Corporate Privacy Practices. However, there are also gaps that could trip up the best-intentioned company when faced with a breach.”,10801,104311,00.html?source=x221


Defying Katrina, New Orleans Paper Takes to Web

“Hurricane Katrina may have literally stopped the presses of New Orleans' newspaper The Times-Picayune, but it couldn't stop the paper from publishing an electronic PDF edition.”,1895,1853922,00.asp

[Thank you Darrin!]


Human Error / Safety

They Knew What to Expect

“Virtually everything that has happened in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck was predicted by experts and in computer models, so emergency management specialists wonder why authorities were so unprepared.”,2782,68738,00.html?tw=rss.TEK


Why FEMA Was Missing in Action

“But the government's stumbling response to the storm that devastated the nation's Gulf Coast reveals that the federal agency singularly most responsible for making good on Washington's expanded promise has been hobbled by cutbacks and a bureaucratic downgrading.”,0,685581.story?track=tothtml


Katrina medical help held up by red tape

“Volunteer physicians are pouring in to care for the sick, but red tape is keeping hundreds of others from caring for Hurricane Katrina survivors while health problems rise.”


Background Sites and Additional Stories Relating to the New Orleans Pumping Stations & Drainage System Plus Expenditure Requests for Improvements,_Louisiana

[ It is dangerous to assess an accident and lay blame after the fact due to hindsight bias – knowing what will happen in the end and weighing decisions made by participants based on that knowledge that they, of course lacked.  What is important to note is that there was a tremendous body of knowledge about the dangers surrounding New Orleans.  With that in mind, look at the political maneuvering and budgeting decisions that were made and assess how lack of historical precedence and over-confidence in technology set a dangerous stage for decisions that were made.  Now, the precedence has been set and future decisions will be made with the knowledge that the current system is inadequate and difficult decisions must be made concerning the tradeoffs surrounding costs, benefits and overall risk mitigation. ]


Outsourcing / Globalization

Caution Marks Outsourcing in China

“When setting up shop in China, establishing trust is essential.”,1759,1853643,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594


Tech companies outsource more development work

“New research indicates that companies providing IT products and services will continue to increase their use of outsourcing agreements in order to lower overhead expenses.”,3800004871,39151781,00.htm


Economics / Business / Misc.

Firms Offer Technology for Katrina Effort

“High-tech companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere are offering money, equipment and expertise to help with the recovery effort and reconnect survivors in areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.”>


Katrina May Curb Economic Growth Into 2006

“The physical and psychological damage caused by Hurricane Katrina is likely to reverberate across the global economy in ways that will curb growth well into 2006, economists say.”>


Wednesday, September 7th

 "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” – Walter Elliott


The Picks of the Day

Risky Business! Using Business Intelligence to Mitigate Operational Risk

“According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), OR is the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems, or from external events.1 It includes failure to comply with laws (legal risk) and the failure to comply with prudent ethical standards and contractual obligations.”


Too Many People in Nature's Way

“The dead and the desperate of New Orleans now join the farmers of Aceh and the fishermen of Trincomalee, villagers in Iran and the slum dwellers of Haiti in a world being dealt ever more punishing blows by natural disasters. It's a world where Americans can learn from even the poorest nations, experts say, and where they should learn not to build future settlements like the drowned old metropolis on the Mississippi. The levees in New Orleans inspired a false sense of security, says Dennis S. Miletti, a leading scholar on disaster prevention.”,1284,68756,00.html

[This is an excellent must-read article.]


Wal-Mart at Forefront of Hurricane Relief

“Over the next few days, Wal-Mart's response to Katrina -- an unrivaled $20 million in cash donations, 1,500 truckloads of free merchandise, food for 100,000 meals and the promise of a job for every one of its displaced workers -- has turned the chain into an unexpected lifeline for much of the Southeast and earned it near-universal praise at a time when the company is struggling to burnish its image.”


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Analysts: Sarbanes-Oxley moves bar for disclosures

“With Sarbanes-Oxley forcing auto suppliers into unprecedented accounting analysis, the trick for analysts and investors will be sorting out serious issues and restatements from minor ones.”


Sarbanes-Oxley law's possible consequence: Fewer want to be corporate directors

“Holding company directors personally responsible for accounting malfeasance might be having an unintended consequence: fewer people wanting to be directors, according to a survey by Grant Thornton, the large accounting concern.”


Security and Risk Management

Rebuilding, Without Financial Records

“As tens of thousands of families and businesses struggle to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, many of them will find themselves not only without homes, cars and other possessions but also without the paper and perhaps even electronic records and resources fundamental to the working of American life and commerce.”


Fire, Virus & Human Error Are The Three Biggest Threats To Corporate Data According To Hitachi Data Systems’ Storage Index

“The research also highlighted regional differences in attitudes towards business continuity. While fire (57%), computer viruses (55%) and human error (50%) were the three most common perceived threats to data across all countries - followed by criminal attacks/hacking (32%) and downtime (31%) - terrorism, though only polling 11% in total, was a prominent concern for firms in the UK, Spain and Israel.”


Human Error / Safety

Despite Warnings, Washington Failed to Fund Levee Projects

“For years, Washington had been warned that doom lurked just beyond the levees. And for years, the White House and Congress had dickered over how much money to put into shoring up century-old dikes and carrying out newer flood control projects to protect the city of New Orleans.”,0,3450779.story?track=tothtml


Unfamiliar Tasks For an Organization Used to Disaster

“The government is calling on the American Red Cross to take on a technological challenge the dimensions of which it has never before confronted.”


Staff exodus and cutbacks curb disaster management

“While the federal government has spent much of the last 25 years trimming the safety nets it provides to Americans, it has dramatically expanded its promise of protection in one area - disaster.”


Outsourcing / Globalization

A Chinese Banquet For NASDAQ

“The exchange is outpacing major rivals in lining up new listings from the mainland”


Indian IT's "Powerful Message"

“ABN Amro's mega-outsourcing deals awarded to Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys may bring Indian outfits closer to global leadership”


Economics / Business / Misc.

ITSM - From Theory To Reality

“One of the biggest challenges in today's business is turning visions, strategies and ideas into a tangible reality that produces actual results. Many times people cannot effectively bridge the gap between what they desire and what is possible because those people perceive the gap to be too large.”


Thursday, September 8th

 "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford


The Picks of the Day

Delays in Relief Spark Worries Of Holes in Homeland Security

“The federal government's slow response to Hurricane Katrina's devastation of the Gulf Coast is stoking fears that the U.S. is no better prepared to deal with a large-scale terrorist attack than it was four years ago.”,,SB112596888447432324,00.html?mod=djemTMB

[I’m a WSJ subscriber and this article may require a subscription to read, I’m not sure.]


Does IT Improve Business Performance?

“Which came first, the IT chicken or the business egg? When McKinsey Consulting studied 100 manufacturing companies in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, it found that IT investments have little hope of making an impact on a company’s bottom line unless they are accompanied by first-rate management practices.”;jsessionid=N3BNF2UQ4RSEKQSNDBECKH0CJUMEKJVN?articleID=169400776

[This is a great article.  Quote – “For me, the big takeaway is that you have to have the right management practices in place before you invest in IT, rather than investing in IT and then hoping to improve management practice and behaviors.”

Thank you for sending this Ray!]


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

United States: The Impact of Regulatory Compliance Mandates on Business Process and IT Outsourcing

“Even more importantly, organizations must determine how to leverage the investments they are making to meet regulatory demands into gaining greater competitive gain.”


States Lead Congress on Breach Protections

“As Congress holds hearings, press conferences and otherwise wrings its hands over the onslaught of data breaches and resulting identity theft, states are taking action. And California is leading the pack.”

[Thank you Deborah!]


When Auditors Go Astray, What Director Dares Say So?

“Is the big accounting business too important to be left to the accountants? Or, put another way, why should all the safeguards put in place for normal companies not apply to auditors?”


Security and Risk Management

Sustaining Military Capabilities in the 21st Century: Rethinking the Utility of the Principles of War

“Forging, deploying, and maintaining fighting forces have been--and remain--the lifeblood of war. Yet remarkably, the principles of war do not reflect the imperative of creating and maintaining military power, particularly the role of the private sector.”

[Great article.  The economic base upon which the military complex rides must be managed / nurtured or else as the economic base erodes, so to will military capabilities.]


US losing battle against identity theft

“There have been at least 104 serious ‘data incidents’ in the US since 1 January which represent just the "tip of an iceberg" in serious systemic computer security problems.”


Human Error / Safety

Katrina hits Washington

“Americans will demand to have dozens of questions answered once this emergency has passed. If the Homeland Security Department was so ill prepared for a natural disaster that everyone knew was coming, how is it equipped to handle other kinds of crises?”


Chernobyl toll 'less than feared'

“Fewer than 50 deaths have been directly attributed to radiation released in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, and the final toll could be thousands fewer than originally feared, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Monday.”


Outsourcing / Globalization

Globalization: Numerous Federal Activities Complement U.S. Business's Global Corporate Social Responsibility Efforts

GAO-05-744, August 8

Highlights -


US firms may outsource process change

“The demand for outsourcing process change/re-engineering work has recorded the biggest growth among the services that US-based companies plan to outsource in the current year, a survey by Forrester has found.”


Economics / Business / Misc.

Canadians favour of nationalizing gas resources, companies, new poll suggests

“Almost half of Canadians wanted to see petroleum resources and oil companies nationalized as fuel prices hit record levels, a new poll suggests.”

[Well, this will pretty much blow rational market distribution based on history.]


Fixing the Disconnect Between IT and Business

“IT must aid the business in the attainment of these objectives by adding value or mitigating risks. If it isn't assisting in the creation of value or the mitigation of risks, then there is no reason for IT to exist.”

Friday, September 9th

"Everyone lives by selling something.” – R L Stevenson


The Picks of the Day

Short-Term Focus Can Be Riskier: Report

“Between 1995 and 2005, the companies in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indexes that experienced the largest one-day drops in share price were the companies that focused on short-term risk management, a new report has found.”


Data recovery firms slog through the post-Katrina Gulf Coast

“Hewlett-Packard, IBM, SunGard Data Systems and other companies have been working with dozens of Gulf Coast businesses to keep their computer systems running in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but the service companies say many were unprepared for the disaster. “


Redefining the "72-Hour Rule"

“For years, local, state, and federal agencies have preached the "72-hour Rule," which requires citizens to be self-sustaining for 3 days after a disaster.”


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Another fine mess Sarbox has gotten us into

“Today’s W$J reports that these companies ‘are in a legal bind: If they set up whistle-blower hot lines in subsidiaries in France, and possibly elsewhere in Europe, they might run afoul of local laws. If they don't, they might violate Sarbanes-Oxley.’”


Regulation scares groups from public markets

“Leading figures in the financial world have warned that there could be a mass exodus from public if the burden of regulation does not ease”


Security and Risk Management

EU: Security Concerns Edge Out Rights In Fight Against Terrorism

Britain is urging EU governments to reassess the balance between individual rights and security in the wake of the 7 July bomb attacks in London. British Home Secretary Charles Clarke, representing the current EU presidency, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg today that the way that human rights standards are applied must be reviewed.”


Gulf Coast storm and floods challenge IT

“At 2 a.m. on Aug. 27, two days before Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Tim Babco grabbed a red binder containing the latest version of SCP Pool Corp.'s disaster recovery plan, put his dog and cat in the car, locked up his house and drove 500 miles from Covington, La., to the company's emergency operations center in Dallas.”


Human Error / Safety

Shaken by Gulf Coast debacle, city to audit disaster readiness

“With images of a devastated Gulf Coast reminding Californians they live on the edge of disaster, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin called Tuesday for a top-to-bottom audit of the city's Office of Emergency Services.”


Environmentally Bankrupt?

“Companies that file for bankruptcy protection should be held to account for their cleanup responsibilities, say critics.”


Outsourcing / Globalization

Trouble source

“But research by accountants Deloitte suggests around 70pc of companies have suffered negative experiences with outsourcing.”


Indians face offshoring competition from multinationals

“Offshore outsourcing companies in India are up against competition from multinational services companies that have an edge both on price and the ability to offer services from multiple offshore locations, according to sourcing consultancy Technology Partners International Inc. (TPI) in Houston.”,10801,104435,00.html?source=x2625


Economics / Business / Misc.

It's Not You, It's Your Technology

“Once an afterthought in M&A, a target's IT systems may be a potential deal-breaker.”


Six-Sigma Pitfalls

“Developing Six-Sigma programs for business process improvement has become the latest craze for many companies, having evolved into full-fledged programs with unique training regimens and belt-based hierarchies. But are these programs delivering on their promise? Are differences in implementation creating different results?”



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