The Business-Technology Weave

Jan 8 2011   11:15AM GMT

Systems Security – Service, Success, Longevity

David Scott David Scott Profile: David Scott


In discussing security of systems, the emphasis is usually on physical security and an overall guarding of systems (and related content/process) from breach, damage and corruption. 


There is another important aspect to “systems security” –that is, any specific system’s longevity and robust service to your organization. 


Goal:  Procure systems that will serve well into the future – perhaps “forever.”


I was rather surprised to discover that the FBI’s case management system, Sentinel, was yet experiencing problems.  This is a critical post-9/11 project to automate and tie together important content, in leveraging it for successful prosecution of the war on terror.


Sentinel itself replaces a failed system that never really got off the ground:  VCF; the Virtual Case File tracking system.  Not much longevity; not much security, either for the system’s health, nor its anticipated service to our security.


Business stakeholders don’t like frequent system changes (nor do effective IT folks):  churn represents whole new interfaces, steep learning curves, and expense.  Did I mention expense? 

Effective ongoing service and related deliveries is a part of any system’s security – and its longevity supports an effective part of overall business security. 


Inevitably you must shop for new systems from time-to-time:  this may be engendered by new lines of business, expansions of business that dwarf present systems’ capacity for upgrade or affordable  modification, perhaps new applications that can consolidate processes – thus removing several systems and providing an attractive ROI in time.  Of course, “systems” also means infrastructure, hardware, and related mechanisms.


When evaluating new systems of any kind, evaluate maximizations for use, scalability, costs vs. performance (ROI and TCO).  Also evaluate the vendor and their track record in making best progressions and correct turns.  Will their systems, and the one you’re looking at specifically, integrate readily to new technologies and upcoming changes to the total swim we’re in?


In other words, fight obsolescence right out of the gate, in securing your systems.


NP:  Rough Trade, (for those who think young), vinyl.  Side 1 not bad; Side 2 later.

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