OBASHI Think

See things clearly

As 2012 draws to a close, businesses of all kinds, in all parts of the world, continue to suffer ‘data flow disasters’.

Here at OBASHI, “data flow disaster” is the term we use for an event where a flow of data is interrupted or compromised, so that there is a negative impact on those who use or interact with that flow of data.

Here are a few examples of such ‘disasters'.  In no particular order:

UK - Prior to the 2012 Olympics, the organisers were forced to deploy 3.500 soldiers to fulfil security obligations.  The internal computer systems of the contractor, G4S, had ‘failed to correctly calculate staff rostering’.  The error will cost G4S tens of millions of pounds.

 

Russia - Roskomos, the Russian Space Agency, “scrambled to refigure communications with civilian satellites and the International Space Station”, when a construction company working near Russia’s mission control centre broke a telecoms cable. 

 

India – BSNL, the largest fixed line telecoms operator in the country, was hacked by a group protesting about ‘controversial legislation allegedly suppressing freedom of speech and expression.’  Some BSNL website content was replaced, and company passwords and data were leaked.

 

Australia - In Queensland, an enquiry has been set-up to investigate the failure of the state’s health payroll system.  The failed system led to thousands of employees being wrongly paid, and cost, ‘hundreds of millions of dollars to fix and stabilise.’

 

Japan - During August, senior business and IT management executives at the Tokyo Stock Exchange were docked 30% of a month’s salary, after a network hardware failure cause trading to be suspended, the second such serious incident of the year.

 

Saudi Arabia - A malware attack on oil company Saudi Aramco took down internal networks, and infected over 30,000 of the company’s workstations.  It took the company 10 days to restore operability after the workstations were ‘cleaned and restored’.

 

USA - After spending $1 billion on an ERP system intended to ‘replace more than 200 legacy systems’, the U.S. Air Force scrapped the project as it, 'has not yielded any significant military capability,' and, ‘finishing it would cost far too much more money for too little gain.’

 

Brazil – A hacking group crashed the websites of the country’s leading banks using denial of service attacks.  Online operations were disrupted, with some customers unable to access services for over an hour.

 

Industries today - Events, Space, Telecoms, Health, Trading, Energy, Military, Banking - all rely to some extent on flows of data.  

In all sectors, when data doesn't flow as it should the business will have a problem, and fixing the problem will often be very expensive.

Which is just one good reason why it makes sense to create clarity on how data flows through the business.

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