Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008...Give Thanks and Be Grateful

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, first and foremost.

Now let's get to it. Given that you're probably reading this on your day off, expecting family over or headed out yourself I will keep it short.

Thanksgiving Day here in the United States brings us to the thought of family, charity - and generally giving thanks for the blessings and good fortune in our lives. This year, on the eve of the US holiday, Mumbai was attacked by terrorists, and held hostage. From what I've been able to gather from news reports, view interviews and feeds and articles the whole attack was perpatrated by several people with a relatively low-tech attack. While the attacks were low-tech they were precise, deadly, and make no mistake... locked dow the entire city of Mumbai and killed at least 20, and injured at least 900. As the toll rises, I can't help but think of the ramifications for security and the blistering speed of "westernization" that India is undergoing.

I can't even begin to guess the percentage of companies that have data, infrastructure, and people over in India who will be impacted by this incident. The ramifications are much severe than the burned buildings and the hotels, cafes, and tourist spots leveled. There was a significant loss of life - but think of it this way - how easy was this?! From every report I've been able to find these attacks were simple to execute, and inflicted maximal damage with relatively little firepower. How protected is your physical and intellectual property overseas? Terrorism isn't just about killing people (although sometimes you wouldn't notice) but it's about disrupting Western life. Taking out a few major data centers, development centers, and IT centers in India would absolutely devastate many Western companies that are heavily outsourced into India and beyond.

So this Thanksgiving holiday... ask yourself how insulated your company is from catastrophic issues in the event this attack in Mumbai was just a pre-cursor to something much, much bigger.

Try not to choke on that turkey leg.


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