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From Adversity, Career Opportunity

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: From Adversity, Career Opportunity
2. Today's Top Story
    - More IT Security Pros Filling Executive Roles
    - Q&A: LJ Johnson, Nike's Global Information Security Officer
3. Breaking News
    - Blogs Buzzing With Google PC Report
    - Hackers Find Security Hole In BlackBerry Enterprise Server
    - White House Says Web Tracking Within Guidelines
    - December IM Attacks Jump 826% Over '04
    - Apple's iPod Designer Gets Royal Honor
    - Mozilla Readies Camino Mac Browser's Second Beta
    - Niche Search Engines Scratch Out An Opportunity
    - Companies Use Online Magazines To Woo Customers
    - NASA Volunteers Honored For Exceptional Bravery During Hurricane
    - Firewire Video Streaming App To Be Unveiled At CES
    - EBay, PayPal Year's Top Phishing Targets
    - Tax Prep Sites Go Live
4. Grab Bag: An iPod Enhancement
5. In Depth: The Holidays And Tech: It's A Wrap
6. Voice Of Authority: A More Secure 2006
7. White Papers: Data Backup
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." -- Anne Bradstreet


1. Editor's Note: From Adversity, Career Opportunity

On the heels of last week's penetrating series of reports--including this analysis from the current issue of InformationWeek--on customer-data losses comes news that indicates corporate America just may be waking up to the severity of the problem it has created and taking steps to focus more intently on IT security issues by bringing those with security expertise into high-level strategic planning.

There are several encouraging data points from a study commissioned by International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. They include:

  • More than 70% of respondents believe they exercised more influence on corporate executives in 2005 than in the previous year.

  • The number of information security professionals has grown to 1.9 million worldwide, a 9% increase over last year.

  • The average salary among those responding to the survey in the Americas is $96,500; in Asia-Pacific it's $46,695, and in the study's broad-stretching region of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, it's $77,975. This finding shows the importance of security is being understood the best in the Americas, including the United States.

    Survey respondents included 4,305 full-time information security professionals in more than 80 countries, so the findings represent a broad swath of corporate thinking on security and the importance of protecting business data.

    In analyzing the results, ISC CEO Rolf Moulton said, "This year, professionals worldwide indicated ... they are increasingly being included in strategic discussions with the most senior levels of management."

    This is obviously nothing but good career news for IT professionals. It's also good news that companies are elevating the role of security experts in their organizations by including them in strategic business discussions. (In a related vein, please don't miss our IT job market outlook for 2006.)

    It remains to be seen, however, whether companies actually will follow through on the advice of their security experts. If they do, that will mean parlaying the increased input of IT security experts into better, more disciplined, more sensible management and protection of data, including private information on customers. The track record of the past year wasn't a good one, but this is a clear sign that could be changing.

    Tom Smith
    tsmith@cmp.com
    www.informationweek.com


    2. Today's Top Story

    More IT Security Pros Filling Executive Roles
    Information security professionals, already experiencing a surge in demand for their badly needed technical skills, may also get a chance this year to flex their business acumen.

    Related Story:

    Q&A: LJ Johnson, Nike's Global Information Security Officer
    LJ Johnson talks about security ROI--how the protection of intellectual property is considered growing the business at the athletic-apparel maker, for instance--and other issues.


    3. Breaking News

    Blogs Buzzing With Google PC Report
    A Los Angeles Times story says the search-engine company has been chatting with Wal-Mart and others to sell a computer that would run a Google-developed operating system, not Microsoft's Windows.

    Hackers Find Security Hole In BlackBerry Enterprise Server
    Research In Motion says it's developed fixes for the vulnerability and can recommend temporary precautions until customers are able to update their software.

    White House Says Web Tracking Within Guidelines
    After an initial investigation, the White House says the WebTrends tracking software it uses is within federal guidelines because no personally identifying information is kept.

    December IM Attacks Jump 826% Over '04
    One of the major December attacks cited by a security vendor was the "Santa" worm, which posed as an invitation to a Santa Web site and hit users of all the major IM networks.

    Apple's iPod Designer Gets Royal Honor
    Queen Elizabeth has bestowed upon London-born Jonathan Ive, chief designer of Apple's iPod, a royal title.

    Mozilla Readies Camino Mac Browser's Second Beta
    Mozilla released the second beta version of Camino, the native Mac OS X browser, Monday. The new version boasts improved rendering accuracy and speed.

    Niche Search Engines Scratch Out An Opportunity
    Smaller search engines have surfaced to reduce the combined market share of the big boys of search.

    Companies Use Online Magazines To Woo Customers
    Businesses including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and Burger King are venturing beyond the early model of company Web sites heavy on product promotion and coupons, emphasizing "news you can use"--or at least fun stuff to do.

    NASA Volunteers Honored For Exceptional Bravery During Hurricane
    The volunteer workers stayed and pumped more than 1 billion gallons of water out of the Michoud Assembly Facility, preventing significant delays in the shuttle program.

    Firewire Video Streaming App To Be Unveiled At CES
    The Consumer Electronics Show will debut a product that can deliver gigabit data rates over wireless, coax, and electrical power lines, an industry first, the vendor says.

    EBay, PayPal Year's Top Phishing Targets
    Of the more than 41,000 phishing URLs that a security firm confirmed in 2005, 62% targeted eBay and PayPal.

    Tax Prep Sites Go Live
    The IRS won't accept electronically filed returns until Jan. 13, but two online services are ready to roll.

    All our latest news

    Watch More News

    In the current episode of The News Show:

    John Soat With 'Orbiting Planet IT'

    Paul Kapustka With 'Return To The Garage'
    Is the bubble back? Are startups taking off again? Visit the famous garage that is Hewlett-Packard's 1938 birthplace, and hear an interview with Drew Lanza, partner, Morgenthaler Ventures.


    4. Grab Bag: News You Need From The Web

    EyeBud Can Turn Video iPod Into Big-Screen TV For One (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
    It's scheduled to debut this year for as much as $599

    Sony Settles Over Dodgy DRM Fallout (PC Pro)
    Sony BMG has agreed to settle a New York state lawsuit arising from its controversial deployment of digital-rights-management technologies on CDs released in the United States.

    Moto Blasts iRadio (Red Herring)
    Despite its ROKR iTunes failure, Motorola is convinced its second attempt at portable music will be a hit. Motorola on Tuesday unveiled more details of its plan to take on two hot industries with one product: its iRadio cell phone-based radio service.


    ----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

    New From InformationWeek: Get Your News In A Flash--Literally
    InformationWeek.com's latest service is automated E-mail news flashes. You pick the topic and the frequency (real time, daily, or weekly) and we'll do the rest. Sign up by following the link below and be one of the first to take advantage of this latest service.

    Outlook For 2006
    Assess business-technology managers' outlook on the economy and business prospects with InformationWeek Research's Outlook for 2006 report, part of our Priorities series.

    Win A Dell Flat-Screen 32-inch LCD TV!
    Play The Great Scavenger Hunt contest! Here's how it works: Every week in January, we'll post five tech-related questions. Answer at least two correctly, and you'll enter the drawing for an Apple 4-Gbyte iPod nano as well as the grand-prize drawing for the Dell flat-screen 32-inch LCD TV! Don't miss out on the fun, the prizes, and the cheap laughs that come with The Great Scavenger Hunt!

    -----------------------------------------


    5. In Depth: The Holidays And Tech: It's A Wrap

    Gift Buying Drove November Chip Sales
    Consumer electronics including cell phones, digital cameras, and MP3 players drove record sales of semiconductors in November, a trade group says.

    Online Holiday Sales Soar By 25%
    Though the busiest online shopping days were Dec. 12 and 13, the sales momentum continued till Christmas, ComScore Networks report.

    Beware Post-Holiday Phishing
    Consumers should be especially watchful for bogus "get out of debt" phishing pitches, a security firm warned.


    6. Voice Of Authority: A More Secure 2006

    Editor's Note: New Year's Resolution: Be More Secure
    Is it possible that some companies still haven't learned their security lessons? Stephanie Stahl looks forward to a more-secure 2006.


    7. White Papers: Data Backup

    D2D Backup is Not Enough: The Case for D2D2T
    Disk-to-disk backup technology has gained an aura as a magic bullet that can cure all backup issues in a single shot. This white paper explains its strengths and weaknesses, and highlights D2D2T technology.


    8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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