Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wikileaks Lessons

Well, I have an admission to make: I have been all over the map about Wikileaks. Perhaps it is because I have focused on the content of the disclosures. When it exposed US intelligence operatives and “friends on the street” helping our offshore operatives, I was critical. When it made clear that Arab leaders fear a Nuclear Iran as much as we do and made clear that Iran’s Nuclear capabilities needs to be eradicated, I was rather giddy. So my attitude on Wikileaks at one level oscillates with each passing day and the new disclosures.
But that is not the real lesson from the Wikileaks chapter of the ongoing data saga we all live every day called “As Information Flows.” Upon reflection, this is what I have learned in the past several weeks with the Wikileaks exposures.
1. Our controls on information are not good enough and that includes the most important military secrets.
2. Controlling serious content takes serious management of people, process and technology.
3. Small cracks in the armor can really hurt.
4. We need a more secure infrastructure because this one is seriously flawed.
5. For the regular business, you need to redouble efforts on training and controlling what employees say in eCommunications. Businesses need to better control different classes of information by better managing it by its value.

We have lost some of our credibility with the world. While our vulnerability will likely hurt us and our international reputation for the foreseeable future and make our friends clam up a bit, I believe it sent a huge message to every major office around the globe of any business or government leader. Information matters. Lose control and lose the farm.

Are You Kidding me.