April 24, 2010    /    by

Enforcing Enterprise Standards: Who, What, When, Where and How?

Since posting a blog on the Apple iPad's effect on government standards a few weeks back, I've received several questions from around the country regarding ...

Since posting a blog on the Apple iPad's effect on government standards a few weeks back, I've received several questions from around the country regarding Michigan Government's processes surrounding the enforcement of enterprise standards. This topic seems to have generated a lot of interest from readers. Here's a quick overview of some of our controls.

Almost all state and local governments have laws, policies, rules and regulations regarding purchasing various hardware and software products and developing technology standards. But enquiring minds want to know how we control purchases, enforce policies, provide guidance, and manage the product standards once they are determined. Are there any "best practices" that I can share from Michigan on policy and standards governance? Beyond credit card limits and purchasing work flow approvals, how do we manage the formal approval process for requests and get to "yes" for our business customers? When do we bend and who gives in when business areas come to us with genuine (essential) requirements and real needs - and not just wants? READ MORE

April 12, 2010    /    by

Tough Press Lately for Cloud Computing

There's been some tough press lately for cloud computing. Recent conferences on the topic have turned more negative as very high expectations are slow to ...

There's been some tough press lately for cloud computing. Recent conferences on the topic have turned more negative as very high expectations are slow to be met.

Computerworld Magazine described this rising frustration in a recent article which highlighted comments from the recent SaaScon conference . Here's a short excerpt: READ MORE

April 4, 2010    /    by

iPad versus Enterprise Standards: Who Wins?

iPad fever is here! On a weekend that celebrates Easter, the NCAA Final Four and record warm temperatures over half the country, everyone seems to ...

iPad fever is here! On a weekend that celebrates Easter, the NCAA Final Four and record warm temperatures over half the country, everyone seems to be talking about the latest must-have, cool-tool the Apple iPad .

Just in case, you haven't seen it on TV or noticed any long lines out in front of Apple stores, the iPad has been covered by news outlets and technology magazines for several months. So if you can't beat them, join them. (Hence this blog on what it means for technology staff who need to adjust to this new normal.) READ MORE

April 2, 2010    /    by

Redefining Enemies: 21st Century Crime Knows No Borders

I was jogging on my treadmill when I saw the breaking news on ABC - Moscow subway bombing just occurred. It was Monday morning, March 29, ...

I was jogging on my treadmill when I saw the breaking news on ABC - Moscow subway bombing just occurred. It was Monday morning, March 29, and I stared at my television in disbelief. My wife walked in the room as I pointed to the TV, "That's the same metro station that we were in four weeks ago. That's just a few blocks from Red Square."

After I watched the horrible scenes , I felt the same shock that I've felt several times since 9/11/2001. Those feelings hit me when I watched the coverage of the bombs going off on the London underground and after the trains were bombed in Spain. "That could have easily been us. We were just there!" READ MORE

March 24, 2010    /    by

Headlines from Google to Cybercrime take Center Stage

 In my twenty-five years as a security and technology professional, I have never seen so many hot headlines around technology issues. Whether you are ...

 In my twenty-five years as a security and technology professional, I have never seen so many hot headlines around technology issues. Whether you are reading the papers, watching TV or surfing the web, the tech headlines are almost rivaling March Madness and the Health Care stories. Let's jump right in:

Google Pulls Out of China :  Of course, this is the hottest story out there right now, with daily updates. The stakes are high on so many fronts, and all aspects of this story are being reported by many sources. Here are a few perspectives:  READ MORE

March 13, 2010    /    by

What's Next for Privacy?

 I read a very interesting CNET article yesterday entitled, "Why no one cares about privacy anymore." I urge you to take five ...

 I read a very interesting CNET article yesterday entitled, "Why no one cares about privacy anymore." I urge you to take five minutes and read it. If you have ten minutes more, continue on and read the comments.

 Here's an interesting excerpt: READ MORE

March 1, 2010    /    by

Action Required: End Coming for Windows 2000

Microsoft is warning that the extended support phase is ending for Windows 2000 (server and client), on July 13, 2010 .  In addition, other products with lapsing service ...

Microsoft is warning that the extended support phase is ending for Windows 2000 (server and client), on July 13, 2010 .  In addition, other products with lapsing service include: Windows XP Service Pack 2, Vista RTM, and Windows Server 2003.

Here's what GCN was reporting : " On Wednesday, a Microsoft lifecycle support blog post hinted at grim prospects for those who don't upgrade before that time. Simply put, the end of extended support for those products means that no more security updates will be delivered to patch vulnerabilities in those operating systems. Support articles will remain online, but just for a year. READ MORE

February 21, 2010    /    by

Pa School Laptops: Reasonable Security or a Privacy Violation?

Many schools around the nation issue student laptops. But what activities are allowed with those laptops by students or family members? What policies apply? What ...

Many schools around the nation issue student laptops. But what activities are allowed with those laptops by students or family members? What policies apply? What happens if a laptop gets lost or stolen? Equally important, what can be done if policies are broken?  How are policies enforced? What privacy rights do students have? What if network or security staff use these tools inappropriately?

These are just a few of the questions being asked by students, parents, lawyers and school administrators around the nation after a student claimed that his school spied on him with a webcam . In case you're not familiar with the case, here's an excerpt from philly.com : READ MORE

February 15, 2010    /    by

A New Buzz in the Air

 What's all the Buzz about? No, I'm not referring to the Olympics, an uptick in the economy or even springtime bees. Google ...

 What's all the Buzz about? No, I'm not referring to the Olympics, an uptick in the economy or even springtime bees. Google has a new social network service called Buzz. What makes this a bit different is the linkage with Gmail and other Google products. The Internet is full of analysis of Buzz -v- Facebook, so I won't go there.

 I haven't tried the product yet, although I have seen it pop up within my personal Gmail account. In fact, I wasn't even going to blog about this topic, until some interesting developments around privacy emerged last week. My view is that state and local IT officials can learn from this rollout. READ MORE

February 2, 2010    /    by

Vancouver Olympics: New Technology, Security & Infrastructure

 This is not your grandfather's winter games. Every Olympic city makes major investments in technology, security and infrastructure in the 21st Century, and ...

 This is not your grandfather's winter games. Every Olympic city makes major investments in technology, security and infrastructure in the 21st Century, and the Vancouver Winter Games are no exception.  The Olympic Cauldron will be lit on February 12, 2010. And yet, the hard work began immediately after Canada was selected to host the 2010 Winter Olympics back in 2004.

Want some examples? READ MORE