The risks of a big man-made IT disaster are on the rise ~Patrick Thibodeau, @DCgov @Computerworld

Posted on January 13, 2015 By

IT disaster is a million pound gorilla in most peoples view of Disaster Mitigation. I can tell you why. After hurricane Katrina knocked out cell phones within a 200 mile radius of New Orleans, then Hurricane Rita finished the job on Entergy’s entire electrical grid spanning Louisiana, Arkansas, Southern MS. Really, people do not realize how fragile and tenuous is our IT/Electrical infrastructure –much less the people who run it.  This article deals primarily with Human Error, or Man-made Disaster. Louisiana is no stranger to man-made disaster, yet, living on the coast, we have the added bonus of Mother Nature to contend with, the here and now so to speak. But the nation did not really see any of that, focused by news media on the more sensational aspects of the catastrophes. Fortunately, the IT, Cell Phone and Electrical concerns learned their lesson and have rebuilt more robustly in Louisiana, especially in New Orleans. I’ve noticed it on train rides across south LA, the towers are bigger and thicker for one thing. But I’ve asked them and the industry most definitely has pumped it up for the next hurricane. Thus, DisasterMap.net is developing an Android Disaster Map App, provisionally called the DisasterM’app,  which aims to provide people with real-time situational awareness during any disaster, anywhere and in any language. (Indonesians and Malaysians have expressed interest in just such an app. These are people who just survived back-to-back Super Typhoons! ) We are banking on improved communications infrastructure, using IT to map the way to safety. ~Bruce Biles

IT services are but one human error away from a spectacular failure, and there’s very little evidence to suggest that we’ve found a way to stop people from making mistakes. The common point of failure in just about every incident? Human error. People are responsible in some way for most IT disasters. That has led to increased interest in artificial intelligence (AI) tools, among other technologies, in hopes of bolstering security and reliability. But new technologies and methodologies bring new risks. As physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking recently noted: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Read more.

Special thanks to Computerworld for posting this and allowing us to link you to it. I signed up with them @Computerworld and recommend you do too. Also, kudos to Patrick Thibodeau @DCgov for this salient, prescient article. With his last name I wonder if he has any kin down here in Louisiana? 😉

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