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How are CIOs Responding to NSA Snooping?

Unless you've been living under a rock over the course of the past few months, you are undoubtedly aware of the recent NSA snooping scandal that has been plaguing the U.S. government as of late. While many citizens, privacy groups and other individuals have expressed a tremendous deal of outrage over the event, it appears that some of the IT industry's top figureheads have maintained to keep their cool throughout the whole ordeal. Perhaps more importantly, they continue to promote cloud computing, including its propensity toward security, as the way of future data storage.

Common Concerns

The recent NSA scooping scandal has raised a lot of eyebrows when it comes to security and privacy, and it has a lot of people wondering how safe our computer networks actually are. While these issues may be new to some, IT industry professionals have been dealing with these concerns for years.

In fact, Michael Heim, the corporate vice president and global CIO of Whirlpool, spoke bluntly as he pointed out some of the most common industry concerns in a recent interview. "Every CIO will tell you we worry every minute of every day about security, privacy, redundancy, operational continuity, disaster recovery and the like. We’re probably the most paranoid guys on the planet," He said. "At the end of the day, the capabilities and economics around the cloud computing model are so compelling that when you artificially try to not take advantage of them you impact your ability to compete, because others will take advantage of them."

Globalized Concerns

Privacy and security concerns stemming from the NSA snooping scandal are not limited to the United States. While the U.S. was the primary player in the act, the effects of their actions reach far beyond the borders of the U.S.

France's Jacques Marzin, who directs IT and communications strategies in Disic, France, expressed his feelings over the recent scandal, though he admits that his jurisdiction is not making full use of cloud services. “We are of course concerned about any third party access to our data although we have limited usage of public clouds,” Mr. Marzin said in an interview.

Brandon Robinson, director of network services at ACES in Carmel, Indiana, was a little more casual when stating his thoughts about the scandal. ”Personally, I am more concerned about safe data handling practices by our users - flash drives, use of public Internet access, lost or stolen tablets, phones and laptops, passwords on sticky notes - than I am about the security capabilities of cloud service providers and the intrusion of governments or other entities,” he said in an interview.

In Conclusion

Although there are some concerns regarding privacy and security that will continue to be an omnipresent threat in the industry, there are safeguards in place to handle events such as security breaches and information leaks. When it comes down to it, the responsibility of securing sensitive data falls on individual IT leaders, including CIOs. If anything, this whole scandal is a shining example of how easily information can be comprised from an inside source.


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