The Sony Hack: Harbinger of Things to Come?

Paula Musich
Paula Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • Although some forensics details point to North Korean government involvement in the Sony hack, it’s impossible to tell whether it was the government or another group mimicking the North Korean government.
  • The fallout from the hack suggests the start of a new era of cyber skirmishes between governments and groups, and private enterprises could become collateral damage in the escalating battles.

Following the ongoing story of the Sony hack has all the twists and turns of a good who-done-it novel. First, the FBI concluded that the North Korean government was responsible for it. More recently, bulletin board rumors, along with cybersecurity company Norse conducting its own research, concluded that it was not the work of North Korean hackers who infiltrated the Sony network, but rather a former Sony security employee who gave security credentials for Sony’s systems to the Guardians of Peace group that claimed responsibility for the hack. Continue reading “The Sony Hack: Harbinger of Things to Come?”

Stop the Budgeting Madness

Steven Hill
Steven Hill

Summary Bullets:

  • It’s almost a universal tradition that at the end of every year, there’s a scramble to spend departmental budgets to ensure that the funds will be available for the following year.
  • Returning thoughtfully planned, but eventually unspent funds shouldn’t be punished by reducing budget requests for the following year.

One of the most wasteful practices that I recall from my corporate years was the rush spending that always occurred at the end of the year to ‘ensure’ our budget requests for the next year weren’t cut. It was the biggest and silliest non-secret that I had ever run into at the time, but the truth was always there: if you don’t use it, you lose it AND next year’s budget will be reduced. Everybody knew that this practice went on, year after year, because (for whatever reason) there was this basic presumption that if you could return money at the end of the year, then you just wouldn’t need it the following year. This was true of capital budgets, supply budgets, and perhaps most difficult of all, maintenance budgets. As a manager, I always worked towards a truthful representation of the financial needs of my department at budget time, but I was amazed to learn that it was just a given that you HAD to pad it out to cover unforeseen problems as well as ensure that there was room for some discretionary spending throughout the year. Continue reading “Stop the Budgeting Madness”