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Los Alamos Lessons Loom Large

Recent security problems at Los Alamos National Lab should serve as a lesson for data center managers, analysts warn.

The top secret New Mexico research site has hardly been out of the headlines during the last few weeks, after two disks containing classified material were reported missing (see Los Alamos Searches for Lost Media).

Cue red faces all around on Friday, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham ordered that all Department of Energy operations using classified hard drives or computer disks be stood down until procedures are improved (see Abraham Orders CREM Stand Down).

Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. analyst Pete Gerr was not at all surprised by the problems at Los Alamos. ”Research labs and commercial businesses face these types of threats every day, and, in many cases, are not aware of all these threats,” he says.

To make matters worse, Gerr believes that many firms already have gaping holes in their security strategies, particularly when it comes to removable media, such as zip disks and hard drives. "It’s time for them to take a serious, honest look at their data security policies and procedures – I am sure that they [will] find areas where they are weak."

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