David Brooks, Vice President of Account Management

Just like many local department stores, I am by-passing Thanksgiving and going straight to Christmas for the theme of this article. Now, I am not going to follow the movie Scrooge and think about Christmas past, but instead I am going to use the movie A Christmas Story with the famous character Ralphie to illustrate my point that everyone has a unique “wish list”. As many of you may recall, Ralphie’s only wish was for an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock. And, he went to any length to get it despite the numerous adult warnings of “you’ll shoot your eye out.” So, with that said, I wonder what your Information Security Officer, network Administrator, and network Users would want on their wish list.

For your network Administrator, he/she will mostly likely wish for upgrades — maybe a copy of Vista or MS Exchange 2007. Keep in mind, MS Server 2008 will have a big impact on your IT infrastructure and planning next year. If your bank is like a lot of other banks, you went through a major network upgrade 3-5 years ago and things are starting to break down or show their age. With Vista and Server 2008, now is the time to start thinking about upgrading your network again. Another item that should be on your network Administrator’s list is Managed Services for the bank’s servers and workstations. Managed services will give your Administrator the tools and help to better monitor the bank’s network health as well as automating and streamlining duties like network Inventory and Patch Management.

If you are a parent like me (I have two boys), you know if one child is getting something really cool (like Vista or Server 2008) the other must have something of equal value or “coolness”. So, for the ISO and just in time for Christmas there is the ABRA. What is an ABRA you ask? It is an Asset Based Risk Assessment, which gives you a new methodology and approach of performing your Information Security Programs Risk Assessment. An ABRA allows you to look at all of the bank’s assets and the risks to your customers’ information if you lose or compromise it. There is still conflicting regulatory guidance on whether you must switch to an ABRA or whether you can stay with your current matrix. But, with all of the new technologies on the radar for next year, it might be a good time to start looking into switching to an ABRA.

Not to be overlooked this holiday season, let’s turn to what might be on your Technology Committee’s wish list. Training will be a big issue in 2008 (as it is every year). Keep in mind, MS Office 2007, Exchange 2007, Vista, and Server 2008 all have different user interfaces and your employees will need training. Remember, it is your responsibility to make sure your employees are properly trained in order for them to perform their jobs correctly. Another item your Technology Committee will be looking at next year is “email archiving”. Email is considered a form of legal correspondence and must follow your bank’s current document retention policy. Email archiving is becoming more affordable and easier to manage, so this is definitely the item you will want to consider it in 2008. A couple of other items that the Committee might look into next year is more Incident Response testing and automated Vendor Management programs.

These items are sure to fly off the shelf this Holiday Season, so don’t wait till the last minute to do your shopping. Your Safe Systems Account Manager has a direct line to Santa and can make sure your wish list gets filled. And, it is safe to say that none of these items will cause you to shoot your eye out.

I wish you and yours a Safe and Happy Holiday Season. “You’ll shoot your eye out”

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