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Integrity - use of values or principles to guide action in the situation at hand.

Below are links and discussion related to the values of freedom, hope, trust, privacy, responsibility, safety, and well-being, within business and government situations arising in the areas of security, privacy, technology, corporate governance, sustainability, and CSR.

Security is not technology: CEO, 22.3.05

Security is not technology: CEO: "Because security is so tied to brand, Kirwan said security professionals must move away from talking about security as a function of technology. "

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Strategies to Restore Your Customer's Trust in E-Commerce, 15.3.05


[...] By the way, security itself is a big marketing opportunity --you stand to gain a competitive advantage by marketing your site's security the same way that cars, for example, are marketed for safety features like anti-lock brakes and side airbags, according to the report. [...]

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Phear of Pharming - Can your car be attacked?, 14.3.05


[...] Sunday's New York Times did report, however, that the tools are falling into place for computer viruses to start affecting our lives in another seat where we spend much of our time -- the car.

'That frightening prospect has had Internet message boards buzzing this year, amid rumors that a virus had infected Lexus cars and S.U.V.'s. The virus supposedly entered the cars over the Bluetooth wireless link that lets drivers use their cellphones to carry on hands-free conversations through the cars' microphones and speakers,' the New York Times reported. 'The prospect is not so implausible. A handful of real if fairly benign cellphone viruses have already been observed, in antivirus industry parlance, 'in the wild.''

The Lexus rumor doesn't appear to hold up, the Times said, but it built a plausible case for how we could find ourselves 'at the wheel of two tons of rolling steel that has malevolent code coursing through its electronic veins.'

And why not? As a Washington Post story explained a couple weeks ago, 'Guys who would have been banging under the hood with oily wrenches a generation ago are now more likely to work their magic with lines of software and a serial cable...It's still possible to spend a Sunday afternoon tinkering on your Lexus in the driveway, if by tinkering you mean changing the oil. Otherwise, most home mechanics are restricted to cosmetic changes, such as installing a new sound system or putting light-up dragon heads on the wiper fluid nozzles. Almost anything that makes a car perform better is going to involve electronics.'

Among the other portions of our vehicles now controlled or supported by computers, according to the Times: engine, transmission, brakes, air bags, entertainment systems, antiskid systems, steering, throttle. Then there are the telematics, the diagnostic systems that find problems in the car, not to mention General Motors's OnStar system for diagnosing problems remotely. Microsoft, as the Times notes, will provide its telematics services to Fiat for a real marriage made in heaven.

When you consider that these systems talk together in a big network, all you need to do is introduce a link to the outside computer world, i.e., the Internet. "In a car with a stand-alone cellphone installation there would be no pathway for pernicious computer code to enter the vital electronic systems. But as automakers work to take advantage of linked processors, ready exchanges of data -- and malware -- become possible," the Times said.

The article listed a number of ways that this could happen in the near future, but quickly added that it wouldn't be all that easy: "Getting a virus to propagate from one system to another would be akin to designing malware that could pass from a Windows environment to a Macintosh system and on to a Linux machine -- infecting them all ... Whether virus writers can overcome the hurdles remains an open question, but evidence from the PC world suggests that as on-board networking becomes more widespread and standardized, they will certainly try."

Yes, leave the driving to us, as Greyhound says.


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Corporate boards flexing muscles,


Two star chief executives get fired by their boards. Three directors of a cable TV company get ousted in a spat with the chairman, who happens to be the largest shareholder.

Why does it seems so many people in corporate America are itching for a fight? Because in a post- Enron world, boards of directors are pushing their CEOs hard. And some CEOs are pushing back.

'We've seen a real sea-change in the proactivity of boards since the corporate scandals' of a few years ago, Lance Jon Kimmel, an expert on corporate law at SEC Law Firm in Los Angeles, said. 'Some boards are scared that if they don't act, they could face liability from regulators or shareholders.'

Corporate directors are undergoing a reformation in trying to shake their rubber-stamp image of the past.

'Corporate boards, in general, are struggling with their role, and it goes beyond Hewlett-Packard and Boeing,' said Chris Hodges, co- founder of Ashton Partners, a Chicago strategic investor relations firm that counsels small and midsized companies. 'I've had board members who wanted to participate in the writing of a press release, all in the spirit of Sarbanes- Oxley.'

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was designed to increase the transparency of what companies do behind closed doors with strict auditing and disclosure guidelines regarding any events that could affect a company's performance.

It was enough to startle many a director who in the past earned tens of thousands of dollars for serving on prestigious boards, flying around the world to attend meetings and enjoying the clubby perks of the inner circle.

Those days are gone.

Directors today not only have the company's lawyer in the board room, they also have outside counsel taking minutes and providing advice, said Curt Hockemeier, chief executive of Arbinet-theXchange, a New Brunswick-based provider of voice and Internet services for communications companies.

"You can't take a chance that two years from now there will be a miscommunication about what the board did today," said Hockemeier, who serves on his board as well as on the board of Cedar Point Communications, a New Hampshire maker of communications gear.

Good outside board members are in strong demand, he said. "Even in private companies, I see independent directors being brought aboard early in a company's history," he said.

Boards are wasting no time in taking action. Just last week, airline maker Boeing fired Chief Executive Harry Stonecipher in part because of e-mail he wrote to an employee with whom he was having an affair.

The week before, Cablevision Systems Chairman Charles Dolan sacked three directors after they and his son, CEO James Dolan, tried to halt the elder Dolan's pet project, a money-losing satellite TV venture.

And last month, HP forced out star CEO Carly Fiorina after five years of lackluster performance and a rocky acquisition of Compaq.

It took an independent director to shake things up at HP, which declined to comment for this story. Patricia Dunn, who was named chairman of the Palo Alto, Calif., company, started asking tough questions and didn't like the answers, according to published reports.

HP's board acted in the best tradition of corporate governance, said Lawrence Hamermesh, associate professor of law at the Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Del.
<>"This is where the board says, 'We are the boss, we have the vision, and if we don't like the way things go, we will pick a new CEO,'" he said.

The roots of today's board activism were set in motion in 1992 at General Motors, which hadn't ousted a chief executive since the Roaring '20s. John Smale, an independent director, led a board revolt to remove CEO Robert Stempel after the auto maker posted a $4.5 billion loss. The aggressive move by Smale, former head of Procter & Gamble, took Wall Street by surprise because GM's board was considered the consummate rubber stamp.

"That was extraordinary in its day," Lawrence Mitchell, a professor of law and expert on corporate ethics at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., said. "GM was perceived by most people as the first big salvo of corporate governance."

But then came the excesses of the late 1990s when boards at companies such as Enron, WorldCom and HealthSouth failed to oversee the executives running the show leading to a series of financial scandals.

Of course, financial miscues are one thing. At Boeing, Stonecipher was a victim of the strict regulations he imposed to help clean up the aerospace company's image after a government contract scandal involving a former Air Force official.

"Boeing is clearly holding its executives to a high ethical code, and that is to be applauded," Bruce Munck, a corporate attorney for Davis Munck, a Dallas law firm, said.

However, he finds it difficult to believe the board only found out about Stonecipher's affair just days before it forced him to resign.

"I can't imagine your CEO can have an affair with a co-worker and nobody knew about it," he said. "How can Boeing have serious control over their CEO when they didn't even know he was messing around?"

A Boeing spokesman said the board "is very active and very engaged, and when this information came to light, it took swift and decisive action."

The action by Charles Dolan at Cablevision, which declined to comment, might seem like a throwback to the days of the imperial chairman, experts said.

Still, investors who buy shares in a family controlled company such as Cablevision, Ford or Tyson must understand not all stockholders are treated equally, Henry Boerner, managing director of Rowan & Blewitt, a Mineola, N.Y., investor relations firm, said.

"No matter how you feel about the future of cable, you are still a minority shareholder," the former head of communications for the New York Stock Exchange said. "One of the risks you take is that family preferences come first."

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Google News about Integrity, Privacy and Security, 10.3.05

Auditing System Conversions - ITAudit , 3.3.05

The Institute of Internal Auditors (The IIA)

Converting from old to new computer systems is an important, but often underestimated, aspect of IT projects. Implementing a new system usually requires a variety of system changes, production data conversion and migration, and new operational policies and procedures. Each of these areas poses significant risk to the organization during the actual system conversion. Consequently, conversion audit efforts typically focus on reviewing plans and results for:

  1. The overall implementation of the IT solution.
  2. The systems that are required to implement the IT solution.
  3. The operational changes required within the organization as part of the implementation.

When planning system conversion audits, auditors need a good understanding of the business requirements for the system, the project's risks, and how the proposed system will work. To understand the solution, they must identify the various operational and system changes that will be implemented. Also, because project information usually becomes available over time, some audit planning will have to be completed on an iterative basis. [...]
[CLB: Terrific overview of auditor's responsibilities.]

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Integrity Incorporated

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"We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves. We can resolve the clash of interests without conceding our ideals. And even the necessity for the right kind of compromise does not eliminate the need for those idealists and reformers who keep our compromises moving ahead, who prevent all political situations from meeting the description supplied by Shaw: "smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expedience, stretched out of shape with wirepulling and putrefied with permeation.
Compromise need not mean cowardice. .."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, "Profiles in Courage"


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