Hard Drive Encryption Software: Not Only Wall Street That Doesn’t Get It.

When I write that “they” don’t get “it,” I don’t necessarily mean the need for hard drive encryption software like AlertBoot.  No, rather, the “it” here refers to that slightly paranoid feeling one gets when he’s not doing anything remotely close to securing electronic data.  Indeed, studies reveal that people start heavily investing in data encryption and other information security products after they’ve experienced a breach.

And that feeling of paranoia is what was seriously lacking with the wizards of Wall Street–they thought their models were up to snuff, that good times would last forever, or at least, that they’d be able to pull out in time before anything serious would happen (note to hormonal teens: don’t bet on it).

Now, it looks like the bug might be biting (or not biting, as it were) those that are not in Wall Street, but have similar bragging rights because they’re captains of industry.  I’m reading in this article at computerworld.com where the writer states his company has decided to “stop funding the extra cost of [disaster recovery] systems” because “in [the executive management team’s] minds, duplicating our systems in a data center that may never get used essentially doubles the cost of any implementation.”

You’ve Got To Ask Yourself One Question: Do I Feel Lucky? Well, Do Ya, Punk?

It’s hard to understand management when they come to conclusions like the one above.  (What they’re managing to do is dig themselves into a hole…from which they may not be able to get out.)  Yes, it’s a terrible economy.  Yes, resources should be optimized for maximum efficiency.  Yes, sometimes it doesn’t hit the fans.  But aren’t redundant and security systems an acknowledgement, and a logical one at that, that no one knows what the future portends?

By this management’s logic, here’d be other stuff that can be gotten rid of:

  • Seatbelts, airbags, the spare tire, the emergency toolkit, and mirrors on a car–if you drive carefully enough–a drunk driver or a guy yapping on a cell will never ram into ya.

  • All forms of insurance and retainers (consultants, lawyers, etc.)–’cause there’s always that real chance that you won’t get sued or get into accidents or crises of any sort.

  • The tamper-proof boxes for medicine because that Tylenol scare won’t happen again–the number of psychos in the world has actually decreased.

  • Enough life rafts on big ships–what are the chances of a second Titanic?

Yes, I’m being sarcastic.  And, by the way, in the Dirty Harry series, the punk in the title above opts not to reach for the shotgun.  He gets to live. (In jail, sure, if you can call that living.  But that’s beside the point.)

The Job Of Executives Is To Navigate Calm Waters

I forgot where I read it, but I agree with the statement that, a true captain, spotting ahead the dark clouds and brewing tempest, will navigate around the storm.  The reckless leader will sail into the storm and possibly come out unscathed–but probably not.  If unscathed, he gets bragging rights, possibly Fortune magazine covers, a book deal, and other ego-boosting perks.  If not, he goes down like the Titanic.

The Titanic too dated and cliched for you?  OK, of the Big Three automakers (make that the Big Three American automakers), only Ford is not asking for a government bailout to date?  Why? 

Because Ford Motors looked at what was happening to the economy, didn’t like what it saw, and decided it needed to lower its risks of a liquidity crunch.  They hocked everything including their logo to get themselves a cash cushion.  When you see a storm, you navigate around it.  You work to decrease your odds of a disaster.

This is the opposite of what the bosses to the computeworld.com columnist is doing.  It’s, in a manner of speaking, the same kind of high-leverage risk that companies like Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers took: counting on an unprecedented amount of luck and blindness.

It applies to security software as well: theft tends to increase when times get rough, and with identity theft being the crime du jour, it only makes sense that incidents of information security breaches will increase.

In fact, such reports are already making their rounds: according a survey, 80% of respondents said they would steal information from the company if they knew they were about to be sacked.  Yet, depending on who you ask, more and more companies are making the decision to not invest in data security software like file encryption or computer disk encryption.

I generally find that paranoia increases when the going gets rougher.  The only time when the fear ebbs away as the going gets rougher is when I’ve given up and don’t care anymore…

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