Unsolved Problems

Business technologists often start working on problems before they know what the final answer will look like. In the movie industry, Sony is tackling the early stages of designing a digital film process, from creation to distribution. Big Pharma knows it has a problem with analyzing drugs' side effects once they're out of clinical trials, and it's wrestling with the IT needed to solve it. And the government, which knows by its own grades that its cybersecurity isn't good enough, decides one aven
Feds Opt Out Of Security Group

Karen Evans

Karen Evans
An effort to get government and businesspeople working together to improve cybersecurity is fast losing support because of fund-raising practices. Karen Evans, the Bush administration's top IT official, last week accepted a recommendation by the CIO Council--made up of the most-senior federal IT executives--to withdraw from the recently formed CISO Exchange, a private group led by government IT specialists to find practices to improve security. Evans said she supports its goal of "improving the federal government's security posture," but the CIO Council's best-practices committee is the best format for that.

A week earlier, House Reform Committee chairman Rep. Tom Davis, R.-Va., withdrew from the CISO Exchange because the group solicited fees--as much as $75,000--from IT vendors to support its operations. The CISO Exchange was to hold quarterly education meetings and report on federal IT security. Critics say the fee plan gives the impression vendors could pay to gain access to government officials who decide on IT purchases.

Stephen O'Keefe, whose public-relations firm manages the CISO Exchange, says he doesn't see a problem with the fund raising because government IT officials have participated in IT-industry-financed organizations for years.

-- Eric Chabrow