Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Users Confess Security Fears

SAN DIEGO -- Storage Networking World -- Maverick staff, portable media, and stolen laptops are just some of the issues keeping CIOs and IT managers up at night, according to a panel discussion here this week.

Execs agreed that their data protection strategies are coming under greater scrutiny in the aftermath of high-profile security snafus at the Department of Veterans' Affairs, ChoicePoint, and Time Warner (See On the Brink of Storage Disaster, ChoicePoint Fined $15M, Time Warner Talks About Lost Tapes, and The Year in Insecurity.) "There's a lot more visibility on the breaches and compromises," said Michael Cole, deputy CIO of defense contractor SAIC. (See SAIC Stretches Database Limits.)

The exec admitted that he received a serious wakeup call soon after joining SAIC two years ago. "Shortly after I came on board we had an experience where some burglars broke into one of our buildings and stole about eight laptops," he said, explaining that the laptops contained personal information on employees. "It was very shocking for the company to go through an experience like that."

Since the theft, SAIC has developed a comprehensive strategy for dealing with both physical and cyber security. "As good as we're getting at this thing, this is the one thing that keeps me awake at night," said Cole.

Another panelist, Richard Villars, the vice president of storage systems at IDC, highlighted the emerging risk posed by maverick, yet influential, members of staff. To illustrate his point, Villars used the example of a Wall Street trader he encountered who was bringing in $600 million a year to his employer.

  • 1