The floods in Queensland and now further south in Australia are a reminder that natural disasters can strike even in rich, technologically advanced nations. Data backups are essential, but business continuity planning also needs to cover communications links, the computers themselves, documentation, premises and, of course, the human factor.
The Full Tilt
Stilgherrian delivers an undiluted dose of criticism and analysis of the ways digital technology is changing our world and the spin that goes with it.
Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.
What an unhappy New Year for Vodafone! News emerged across the weekend that customers' personal information has been leaked thanks to dealer log-ins on the loose. This comes on top of a planned class action suit against Vodafone alleging poor 3G service quality.
2010 was a huge for IT. The National Broadband Network dominated Australian politics. Wikileaks is dominating the news right now. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was named Person of the Year by Time. The iPad was born. And everything was coming up cloud.
In the social media era, dissatisfied customers seem reluctant to phone a call centre. Instead, they just complain on Facebook or Twitter. Businesses are expected to notice and respond. How will this change the way customer service is done?
WikiLeaks has been hit with denial-of-service attacks. Service providers have pulled the plug, from Amazon Web Services and PayPal to its DNS provider.
At last week's second annual eCrime Symposium in Sydney, the FBI's new assistant legal attaché to Australia for cybercrime issues, Will Blevins, outlined the bureau's worldview, including concerns about the increasing sophistication of targeted phishing attacks conducted by nation-state actors.
On 8 April this year for 18 minutes, 15 per cent of global internet traffic was routed through China, according to news this week. This included sensitive US government and military traffic as well as corporate data, supposedly creating an enormous security risk. Really?
Organisations have been gathering our personal information in remote datacentres for decades. But combine the social web, cloud storage and cheap computing power and it's a whole new ball game.
Australia's new information commissioner, Professor John McMillan, faces a massive challenge: persuading traditionally secretive government departments that the new age of Government 2.0 means openness and citizen engagement. How will he go about it?
The Attorney-General's Department is looking into a data retention regime that would require internet service providers (ISPs) to log all of your communications, including the internet protocol (IP) address at each end, the date, time, duration and location. What, exactly, is on their mind? And how did this come about?
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is Australia's biggest-ever infrastructure project, we're told. So you'd think the government could do a better job of selling its benefits than TV advertising containing little more than vague generalities and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's magic smart dishwasher.
What happens when you monitor the hostile traffic hitting 600 million computers globally, and then get a team of information security analysts to trawl through it? You get a detailed analysis of the world of the botnet, that's what.
If you're giving someone your credit card details, you'd like to think they were being handled securely. But a recent report from Verizon Business has revealed that a mere 22 per cent of organisations surveyed were fully compliant with the relevant security standard, the PCI DSS.
The cloud isn't just about commercial software and enterprise systems. The open-source world has its services too. Linode has been offering virtual Linux servers for years. Now the OpenStack project provides open source, open standards software for building reliable cloud infrastructure.
Two companies have found that when staff work from home they are not only happier, but they're more productive as well. So how can you send your workers home?