Magazine article Security Management

Y2K: Global Warning

Magazine article Security Management

Y2K: Global Warning

Article excerpt

Your company may have found a Y2K fix, but have your overseas business partners? A new survey raises serious questions about worldwide awareness of and preparation for the millennium bug outside of the United States. For example, 64 percent of European businesses and 54 percent of Asian businesses responded that they would not be Y2K compliant by September 1 of this year. (see chart 1).

Larry Barton, a crisis response expert, conducted the survey earlier this year to gauge worldwide readiness for Y2K. "There's a disturbing lack of awareness in some countries and industries," he says.

The survey focused on whether security managers were concerned about microprocessors embedded in countless systems and applications (see chart 2). Many of these processors contain non-Y2K-compliant real-time clocks (RTCs), which allow functions to be started and stopped at predesignated times. Barton found that concern about the Y2K compatibility of microprocessors is highest in Asia, where production of microprocessors is a large industry.

1 Will Your Company be Y2K Compliant by 9/1/99?

                  Yes     No      Uncertain

Europe            21%     64%        15%
Latin America     13%     44%        43%
Asia              40%     54%         6%

For the survey, 800 corporations in countries on three continents were chosen from a broad range of industries. More than half responded. Of the total survey responses, 57 percent were from companies in Asia, 31 percent were from companies in Europe, and 12 percent were from American businesses.

The survey found that warehousing, distribution, and transportation infrastructure - which encompasses railroads and trucking - are industries of particular concern. Many of Barton's clients tell him that they plan to engage a Y2K expert by fall, he reports; but he warns that there won't be enough qualified and capable experts to go around. …

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