Should businesses respond to terrorism threat levels?

After the shootings on Parliament Hill businesses may consider if they have a role protecting information in our country. When the terrorism threat level is higher, perhaps there are databases that need to be locked down?

Most companies protect their information based on what it means to the business. Anything that does not need to be protected because of laws or as a proprietary secret does not get much security. The extra security would be seen as red tape that would slow down employees trying to do their job.

The information about how to move around on Parliament Hill is easily accessible with an Internet search. In fact, it is on a government Web page.  The Hall of Honour is not considered a state secret. You will note it does not list where the members meet for caucus. In fact, it state that committees could be anywhere with sufficient translating and recording facilities.

Perhaps national security folks thought about how such information might be used?

After 911, organizations such as telephone companies were mandated to add security – both physical and on the network. It would be a very unique business or organization that changed its computer room security based on the terrorism threat level. Canada’s level was increased to moderate this week, but it may be increased even more.

Even if a business does not implement changing levels of security in its data centre, it might want to re-evaluate what data should be secured. Consider all the data and how it could be combined with other data to be useful to people wanting to create chaos. It might be time we move permanently to a higher level of protection.

Information ethics groups, such as CIPS, and government will then have to debate if data should continue to be available to everyone or go back to being a protected secret only available to a few.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Donna Lindskog
Donna Lindskog
Donna Lindskog is an Information Systems Professional (retired) and has her Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Regina. She has worked in the IT industry since 1978. Most of those years were at SaskTel where she progressed from Programmer, to Business Analyst, to Manager. At one point she had over 48 IT positions reporting to her and she has experience outside of IT managing Engineers. As a Relationship Manager, Donna worked with executive to define the IT Principles so departmental roles were defined. As the Resource Manager in the Corporate Program/Project Management Office, she introduced processes to get resources for corporate priorities. In 2003 she was given the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Technology.

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