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IT Pros Tackle Complex Homeland Security Scenarios

The network sophistication required to support prevention and recovery scenarios for nuclear and radiological attacks, biological and chemical weapon detonations, municipal sabotage and digital assaults from cyberspace can leave IT professionals mired in--or paralyzed by--unnecessary complexity.

That was the consensus of industry representatives speaking on Tuesday at the Association of Information Technology Professionals' (AITP) meeting, which addressed homeland security and other issues.

Speakers at the AITP event said that instead of being intimidated by such challenges, IT professionals must step up to post-Sept. 11 security requirements by pushing for integrated solutions, common standards, reliable data backup, and more simplicity in implementation and management.

For example, deploying a technology solution for purposes related to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should be done in the same way that an IT administrator would add a server to a remote office, reflecting current practices within a company's IT infrastructure, said Dr. Ronald Pirich, director of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological warfare defense at Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems Technology Development Center in Los Angeles.

"You have to intelligently integrate solutions into the existing environment. If you just keep using point solutions, it will bankrupt you," Pirich said.

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