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Winter Journal

Volume 31, Issue 4

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What does 'security' really mean to your organization? Some of us think of guards and alarm systems, while others think of computers and firewalls. All are correct, but time has quickly leap-frogged over the more traditional connotations of security in today's business environment ' and some of us are not keeping up.

To define security, we must ask, 'What is being protected?' In our fast-paced, network-centric, Y2K-crazed world, we must look at security in terms of corporate survivability. We are protecting our organization's ability to keep the doors open for business. So when we are relying on a critical component within our organization, how do we complete our mission if that facility or technology or information is inaccessible for a period of time?

Separate plans to protect the physical and information assets of an organization are no longer enough. Today's successful and cutting-edge companies are realizing that a complete security plan is one that truly protects the company's ability to do business.

I'm writing this article at a time when there have been no major bombings in the country for at least a year. Hopefully, that will still be the case as this goes to print and you wind up reading it. Just because things appear to be quiet as far as national headlines go, doesn't mean that all is well. On this 30th anniversary of my return from Vietnam, I want to share some thoughts with you concerning this difficult subject. Hopefully, it will make some of you take a little closer look at your bomb incident plans and at the same time, make the rest of you start to develop one!

Can your business survive if your facility is without electrical power for several days? Can your business survive if your facility is without electrical power for a few weeks?

In January 1998 ice storms swept across the northeast United States and eastern Canada. The ice storm was so severe that the weight of the ice caused power lines to fall, utility poles to break or fall, and power transformers to explode. Millions of businesses and residents were left in the cold and dark, without electricity for three to twenty-eight days.

Natural disasters can leave millions of users of electricity without power for extended times. These disasters include snow, ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and earthquakes, just to name a few. Seventy-five percent of all businesses and homes fall into a geographical region where one of these natural disasters can occur. Realistically, disasters can occur anywhere, anytime, with little or no warning.

When tornadoes touched down in Nashville on April 16, 1998, they left behind shattered businesses and homes and disrupted the lives of many who live and work in the area.

Two tornadoes, which spawned from one severe storm, hit the downtown and eastern areas of Nashville on a Thursday afternoon, when many citizens were at work, school or on the roads.

The first tornado touched down at around 3:30 p.m. in the downtown area. A local television station captured the tornado on its skycamera as the storm cell roared into the downtown area. Tornado warning sirens wailed, alerting those in the storm's path to take shelter.

The second tornado touched down around 4:30 p.m. in East Nashville, damaging residential areas, churches, and The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's historic estate.

Both tornadoes were estimated to be between F-3 and F-4 on the Fujita scale, which measures the severity of tornadoes. An F-4 tornado has winds as high as 260 mph.

In total, a six mile section through Nashville was damaged by the twisters. Approximately 100 people were injured; 1,228 homes, 600 businesses and 300 buildings were damaged.

With all the dazzling technology today, business owners are left with starry-eyed expectations which, more often than not, lead them to disappointment. Others are more realistic, but lacking the technical skills themselves they rely on "web experts". Some "web experts" are simply snake oil salesmen which prey on the ignorance of many. Others are well intentioned folks who are competent in Internet technology, but lack understanding in effective marketing and advertising. Most fail to understand the needs of their customers before running up huge bills. What can you do to protect yourself? Simple, learn a bit about the Internet, the web and how it can work for your business before you invest. That is the focus of this article. I will teach you some of the things I have learned while cleaning up the messes that "web experts" have made. This is broken into two sections. The first will focus on the common myths about the web you must avoid. The second explains the very real advantages that web advertising can hold for your business.