Any CEO who reads the newspaper knows that information security is anything but secure. Last week, the headlines were especially ominous, with the Code Red and Sircam worms threatening to gobble up the Internet, and reports that AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless were investigating a security breach that may have exposed the Social Security numbers of hundreds of customers. You'd better believe that CEOs are asking tough questions about security. But who should answer them-the CIO, or an executive focused on security?
A spate of unofficial releases of advance trailers and in-production material - as well as memos, contracts and scripts - has shown how easy it is to penetrate the studios' computer systems. Sinclair, the president and chief technology officer of Global Network Security Services, is assembling a coalition, including Warner Bros, MGM and the William Morris Agency to develop security standards for the film industry.
Hollywood itself could not have dreamed up a better scenario: the infiltration of a multibillion-dollar global enterprise by hackers hellbent on stealing the industry's most prized possessions, films, scripts, corporate memos and more. Each night, the cyber-crackers and their spies penetrate the computer systems of several sprawling conglomerates to download the newest and most sensitive material, making a mockery of expensive security systems.
Shipping giant Federal Express said it suffered isolated server problems Wednesday that it attributed to the Code Red worm. Spokeswoman Pam Roberson said the company has implemented a contingency plan and is working on cleansing its systems of the worm. She said the problems caused delivery delays in isolated areas of the United States on Wednesday but said things were running normally Thursday.
Board members could face criminal proceedings if security systems are inadequate, writes Ian Murphy. For companies that are publicly quoted, poor or non-existent security measures can become a legal issue that could see the board of directors charged with negligence if the company suffers a material loss.