In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: A Privacy Imperative For 2006
2. Today's Top Story: Microsoft Security
- 'Leaked' E-Mail About Windows Live Messenger Really A Trojan
- Vista's Metadata Poses Security Risk, Analysts Say
3. Breaking News
- Florida Strengthens State Personnel System's Security After Complaint
- Cell Phone Lodges In Woman's Throat
- Google's Investment May Lead To IPO For AOL
- More Women Are Tuning In To Podcasts
- Go Daddy's New Super Bowl Ad Stalled By Censors
- Yahoo Streams Two CBS Comedies
- Chip Firm Wins DoD Contract Extension
- Nortel Acquires Router Maker Tasman
- Solar Hot In Venture-Capital Circles
- Oregon Nanotech Group Gains Funding
- Computer Visionary John Diebold Dies At 79
4. Grab Bag: Intel-Apple, Portable Video, And Leap Second
5. In Depth: The Latest In Security
6. Voice Of Authority: Podcasting
7. White Papers: Outsourcing
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Better be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by
too confident security." -- Edmund Burke
1. Editor's Note: A Privacy Imperative For 2006
One of my lasting impressions of 2005 will be the seemingly
endless parade of breaches, missteps, and other blunders in
handling customer data.
Now, to punctuate a year filled with failures by companies and
academic institutions alike (those failures partially represented
here), we have two new security and privacy
incidents involving government entities. InformationWeek's
Larry Greenemeier reported last week that the
U.S. Department of Justice had certain individuals' Social
Security numbers publicly available on some of its Web
pages--a veritable invitation to identity theft. This week
there's a report of an allegation inside the company handling
personnel data for the state of Florida that information on top
state officials including the governor was accessed repeatedly and, presumably,
While an investigation of the potential Florida data exposure
found issues that were "not necessarily weaknesses," according to
an official involved with the system, details of the enhancements
contained enough doublespeak to undermine any attempt to
represent the system as one that state employees should trust. "I
would say that we took the opportunity to search for continual
improvement," the official said.
Several features that should have been baked in from day one were
added as part of the drive for "continual improvement." These
include an automated tracking system of who accesses what
information, random computer audits to make sure sensitive data
hasn't been downloaded, and limits so that confidential
information can only be accessed by those who need it to do their
Coupled with the breaches of earlier this year, these latest
incidents drive home once again the need for CEO-level
commitments to the discipline of protecting customers' private
information, more stringent data handling and access policies,
and, finally, greater attention to the IT component of the
When it comes to the handling of confidential personal data, 2005
has been a year many organizations would like to forget. Here's
hoping all companies have learned from the miserable failures of
the past year and are prepared to be far more vigilant in the
If you'd like to weigh in on this issue, feel free to respond to
my blog entry or answer our Web
poll asking about the level of accountability that should
apply to government entities.
Vista's Metadata Poses Security Risk, Analysts Say
Microsoft could have used some form of digital-rights-management
technology to control who sees metadata, Gartner analysts said.
Instead, the company chose not to use any, meaning that
unsophisticated users can inadvertently disclose private
information while using Vista's search tool.
Chip Firm Wins DoD Contract Extension
The contract, now extended through February, is to help run the
Department of Defense's semiconductor foundry, established to
make sure weapons systems keep up with the newest technology.
Oregon Nanotech Group Gains Funding
The group, called Onami, is focused on research and
commercialization of nanoscience and microtechnologies to help
create products, companies, and jobs in the Pacific Northwest.
Timekeeper To Add 'Leap Second' To Clocks (Voice of America News)
Timekeepers are planning to delay the start of the new year for
an instant later this week, when they add one second to official
clocks. The U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, which is part
of an international agreement that sets Coordinated Universal Time
or UTC, says the addition of a so-called "leap second" is needed
to synchronize official atomic clocks with the earth's rotation.
----- 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.
Motel 6's Jump Into Podcasting: The Light May Be On, But The Download Is Still Hard To Find
One of the numerous attributes of podcasting is its
accessibility. It's the rare example of a technology that
everybody can understand--The News Show's hilarious report about
how few people on the street can tell you what podcasting is
notwithstanding. That's one of the big reasons it's growing so
fast. The media (InformationWeek being a clear example) has
picked up on how easy it is to do and how simple it is for users
to make use of. And increasingly, nonmedia companies are testing
the waters, too, discovering a low-cost creative channel that
just might help them tighten their bonds with customers. Case in
point: Motel 6's recently unveiled first foray into podcasting.
7. White Papers: Outsourcing
Rightsourcing: Making Benefit-Based Decisions On Where HR Processes Should Reside
Kronos has developed a methodology to help you reach the right
outsourcing decisions. Rightsourcing seeks to find the right
balance between which (if any) functions should be outsourced and
which (if any) should be kept in-house. This white paper will
show you how to use the methodology to assess if making a change
will deliver significant benefits.
Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.
Keep Getting This Newsletter
Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list:
If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
Digital Transformation Myths & TruthsTransformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.