Cybersecurity for information professionals: The organisational dimension

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Our previous article on cybersecurity approached the issue from the perspective of the individual internet user and showed the breadth of issues that we face and the simple things we can do to make our online interactions safer. This article has a different focus: How are organisations managing the cybersecurity risks that they face?

All Australians have some kind of relationship with large organisations that hold their data, be they corporations, not-for-profits, or governments. While we can take efforts to personally safeguard our own data, we are also reliant on the efforts of others. As consumers and citizens, we often blithely assume that these organisations are protecting their (our) data from harm. Those assumptions may not be wholly justified. This article will begin with an overview of the types of hostile parties and threats that organisations face and how they are meeting those threats.

The situation becomes even more complex when we are employed in roles where we play a role in information security – which we often do as information professionals. “Security” may not be our main priority but it is nevertheless there. The second half of the article, through practitioner quotes and academic research, explores the challenges that managing security as one of a number of information priorities presents to us.

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Competence and Knowledge Organisation

I recently presented a keynote at the inaugural Innovations in Knowledge Organisation conference in Singapore. The whole event was a pleasure to be a part of and many thanks to the organisers for inviting me.

The presentation below attempts to answer the questions:

  • What do knowledge organisation professionals do?
  • What role do professional tribes play?
  • What are the organisational challenges beyond individual competence?
  • And what does it take to offend people these days? (I don’t really answer that one)

Keynote: Matt Moore – Competence and Knowledge Organisation from Patrick Lambe on Vimeo.


More on IKO 2015 here.

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Cybersecurity for information professionals: The personal dimension

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One of the key themes of the articles we have written for this publication is that “software is eating the world”. To put it another way, many everyday activities and objections are being transformed by internet-based technologies. This is not necessarily a sinister plot. This is happening because most of us benefit in the process. If we want to buy, sell, rent, hire, talk, shout or share, this internet-enabled world helps us do that more easily. However this process is not all hugs, puppies and emojis. These technologies transform our relationships with each other in ways that are not wholly healthy and may expose us to shame and ridicule. They also may compromise our property and physical safety. How will we deal with this collectively and individually?

        “Cybersecurity” is a growing area of attention for government, companies and individuals. 2014 offered many examples including the hacking of nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and the release of large quantities of sensitive information from the Sony Corporation by individuals who may be associated with North Korea.

This article will:

  • explore the personal implications of cybersecurity. What risks do we face as individuals?
  • look at the range of technical threats cybersecurity tries to protect against. How do these threats manifest themselves and what does that mean for prevention?
  • discuss cybersecurity initiatives that impact information professionals such as the eSmart libraries program.

An upcoming article will examine the organisational issues around cybersecurity.

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The Internet of Things: A Primer for Information Professionals

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What were you doing in 2008? Whatever you were doing, it is unlikely that you were celebrating the eclipse of the human race (although the global financial crisis may have given you some cause to do so). According to Cisco (2011), in 2008, the number of things connected to the internet exceeded the number of people on earth. These “things” are not just media devices directly controlled by human beings (computers, laptops, phones, tablets) but sensors – attached to plants, animals, cars, buildings and factories.

The Internet of Things is now “a thing”. It is topic of discussion, speculation and investment. Like many of the topics we discuss in these articles, it is almost certainly a source of hype. However the broad range of technologies under the IoT heading are real and will have a long term impact on our personal and professional lives.

This article will begin by outlining the technological developments that have driven the development of IoT. We will continue by outlining some of the emerging applications that we can see now and in the near future. We will then discuss privacy and security concerns. We will end with some observations on the impacts of these technologies on information professionals.

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Enterprise Social Networks – Case Studies

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In the previous article, we recounted a brief history of social media in both the public world of the internet, the private spaces of organisations and the blurred lines in between. This article is less theoretical and more practical in focus. We will begin by discussing the elements that make up Enterprise Social Network (ESN) platforms and how they differ from other collaboration tools that have been around for longer. We discuss how these tools can generate value for users and the case studies where they have had a positive impact on the performance of organisations. We will end with a summary of good implementation practices for these tools.

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Enterprise Social Software – Setting Out The Landscape

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Social software is big business. Facebook has 1.3 billion monthly active users . LinkedIn has 300 million users. Twitter has 271 million monthly active users. These are huge numbers – which indicate that these are sites that people want to use. To the corporate IT crowd they are present a challenge. Most people do not want to use the finance or HR systems of their employers. They only do so because they have to. So the idea of cashing in on the cred and hype of Facebook et al and implementing systems that people want to use is enticing. At the same time, the ways in which employees and customers use social media is unnerving for organisations. They are seen as a waste of time with people posting pictures of their cats or chatting with the friends. Or they are seen as an active risk with employees giving away trade secrets or customers bad mouthing you. Organisations perceive that they cannot fully control social media and this lack of control is disturbing for managers. But what if you could produce versions of these tools that offered the best of both worlds – tools that people want to use to share and collaborate but that also offer safeguards around control and security?

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What do you call knowledge management?

Download the list of what people call it.

Stan Garfield deserves a shout out here but so does everyone else who contributed.

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