In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Master Your IT Domain
2. Today's Top Story: Operating-System Vulnerabilities
- Linux/Unix Vulnerabilities Outnumber Microsoft Windows' 3 To 1
- Unauthorized Patch For Microsoft WMF Bug Sparks Controversy
- Linux Security: A Good Thing Keeps Getting Better
- Antivirus Gets An Open-Source Boost
- Opinion: Why Third-Party Patching Isn't A Good Solution For
Current Windows Vulnerability
3. Breaking News
- Visual Tour: Windows Vista Begins To Get Real
- Google Kicks Off New Year On High Note
- Job Market Tasted Really Good To Tech Workers Last Month,
- Symantec Acquires IM Security Vendor
- MSN Phisher Pleads Guilty To Crimes
- 10 Ways To Juice Up Your Network
- TI Goes Straight To Gen 2 RFID
- Unix Engineer Takes RFID Implant In Hand
- Wi-Fi Continues Its Extended Coffee Break
- Asset Management To Grow: Study
- Internet Moves Drive M&A Among Media Companies
- European Wi-Fi Provider Plans To Unwire Nine U.K. Cities
4. Grab Bag: News You Need From The Web
- Copyleft Hits A Snag (MIT's Technology Review)
- Hackers Rebel Against Spy Cams (Wirednews.com)
- Inside Intel (BusinessWeek)
5. In Depth: Consumer Electronics Cornucopia
- Annual Gadget Show Is Biggest Ever
- AMD Targets Digital Home With New Computers
- Look Who's Talking At CES
- Sling Media Takes Cable TV To Mobile Phones
- Firewire Video-Streaming App To Be Unveiled At CES
- XM Satellite Radio To Showcase 'Advanced Services'
6. Voice Of Authority: Resist Temptation: Don't Push That Hot Button
7. White Papers: Software Development
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet." -- William Gibson
1. Editor's Note: Master Your IT Domain
It's a new year, and you know what that means--once more into the
breach! Your budget may be set, staffing approved, and key
projects scheduled throughout the months, but you want to make
sure all that political infighting, PowerPoint presentations, and
number crunching pays off. It won't if you let IT basics get away
Social media, Wi-Fi, and VoIP may be all the rage for 2006, but
it's the mundane, behind-the-scenes policies and procedures that
are the keys to providing a solid foundation upon which to offer
those and other new services.
So go ahead--break the seal on your new Day-Timer, update your
battery packs, and stash your mobile gadgets in their
spanking-new holders, but don't forget to pull out those IT
checklists and take stock of where you are, and what you've got,
before the year gets any older. For example:
When is the last time you took stock of your IT assets--hardware, software,
communications, and data? Do you know what you've got, where it
is, and how old it is? Do you know whether you've got competing
standards driving up your maintenance costs, outdated technology
holding up your productivity, or licensing agreements on the
verge of expiration? Start counting. You'll feel much better and
look so much more in the know.
Speaking of data, do you know what your business units are
collecting, whether they are supposed to be collecting
it, or deleting it within a certain time frame? Not knowing
bit more than a few companies on the butt in 2005. How are you
storing, and if applicable, sending this data? Is it encrypted?
Are business units being penny-wise and pound-foolish by shipping
data packs on the slowest route possible? Do you even know where your most sensitive backup
tapes are? If key data is downloadable to laptops, what
happens if those laptops are lost or stolen? Again, there are some sad-sack
stories to tell from 2005, and you don't want be the star example
from 2006, cited in numerous legislative hearings and media
reports every time another stupid incident occurs. Definitely
not where you want to go. Make sure your data is protected, and
stay out of the headlines.
Access--now there's something that ought to be reviewed
every year. Do former employees and contractors know your codes?
Who has access to key financial data? Is everything
Sarbanes-Oxley copasetic? And moving on down to the most basic
levels of access, when is the last time you changed passwords for
key systems and for individuals. Do you need automated password-update software? Do we
really need to tell you for the 1,000th time how key this is?
Asset management, data security, and access updates--all just the
tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to making a sweep of
your IT processes, policies, and products. You can read the rest
of my IT checklist here. It's by no means a comprehensive
list, but you'll get the idea. If you use it, collect it, or
interface with it, you want to stay on top of it and secure it.
Resolve this year to be the master of your IT domain, or risk
facing the often embarrassing and career-damaging consequences of
failing to do so.
Linux Security: A Good Thing Keeps Getting Better
A tech expert explains why Linux has remained a bright spot in an
increasingly grim IT security picture and how businesses can ensure
effective, reliable security for their own Linux-based systems.
Antivirus Gets An Open-Source Boost
The open-source Clam Anti-Virus is a young product, lacking in
key technical features. But users and developers say its
performance is fast, it's updated quickly to respond to new
attacks, and it provides a good alternative, or supplement, to
proprietary antivirus products.
Visual Tour: Windows Vista Begins To Get Real
The December pre-beta 2 release of Windows Vista offers the first
true glimpse of the operating system but is missing key elements.
Don't miss our image gallery for a complete walkthrough of the
current look and feel, features, and functionality.
Google Kicks Off New Year On High Note
The new year finds lofty expectations for the company's stock
price and speculation that Google will reveal a strategic
initiative at the Consumer Electronics Show on Friday. Google
denies reports that it'll sell low-priced PCs through Wal-Mart.
Hackers Rebel Against Spy Cams (Wirednews.com)
As video surveillance creeps into public spaces around the world,
tech-savvy activists develop techniques to turn the cameras
against their masters. A report from the Chaos Communication
Congress in Berlin.
Inside Intel (BusinessWeek)
Paul Otellini's plan will send the chipmaker into uncharted
territory. And founder Andy Grove applauds the shift.
----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----
Learn how more than 600 network-equipment customers rated four
vendors in InformationWeek Research's Analyzing The Networking
Vendors report. Vendor profiles cover Cisco, Hewlett-Packard,
3Com, and Nortel. Use this report to evaluate current and future
network-equipment providers and to benchmark your organization's
networking plans for 2006.
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.
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: Consumer Electronics Cornucopia
Annual Gadget Show Is Biggest Ever
At this week's Consumer Electronics Show, attendees will be able
to check out the latest wares from 2,800 vendors and will consume
28 football fields worth of space. Yahoo and Google will be
there, as will others vying to be the most popular portal for
video and other new types of content.
AMD Targets Digital Home With New Computers
New desktops and notebooks will work with cable-TV set-top boxes
and provide computing capabilities needed to enjoy digital photography,
audio, and video on a television set using a remote control.
Look Who's Talking At CES
Intel and Dell, both of whose CEOs are keynote speakers, intend
major home- and entertainment-oriented announcements at the
Consumer Electronics Show.
Sling Media Takes Cable TV To Mobile Phones
New software, due to be launched at the Consumer Electronics
Show, lets people access their cable-TV service from mobile
phones based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile Platform.
Resist Temptation: Don't Push That Hot Button
Our country's political discourse is interesting in a perverse
sort of way, says Secret CIO Herbert W. Lovelace. The dialogue is
reminiscent of what happens during his company's executive
committee budget-review meetings. In both processes, participants
spend a huge amount of time on arguments aimed at fixing the
blame for what went wrong while concurrently trying to grab the
credit for what little has gone right.
7. White Papers
Harnessing Change In Software Development
Intensifying demand to quickly and accurately achieve corporate
objectives means IT organizations must cope with a continuous
barrage of changes. This white paper explores strategies for
dealing with change using the best combination of people,
process, and technology.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.