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Opportunity Knocks

When the workaround becomes more work than it's worth, it's time for us to demand or develop a real solution. Have we finally reached that point? Will the next round of the Sobig virus force us get off our butts and solve the underlying problem? What is that problem? And what is the solution?

Ultimately, most IT problems stem from a combination of technical and social issues, and so do the potential solutions.

Quality Counts

On the technology side, it comes down to quality. How good is our hardware at handling a significant power surge or excessive environmental factors, such as heat and humidity. Is our software buggy? Are the vendors releasing patches faster than we can test and implement them?

Often the answers to these questions come down to specific decisions vendors made during product design and development. Netgear hardcoded a University of Wisconsin SNTP server address into several hundred thousand of its routers, for instance, effectively creating a DDoS on the school's network this summer--see for details. (If you bought a Netgear router recently, please update your firmware now to advance the bug-removal effort for my alma mater!)

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