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By Gips, Michael | Security Management, May 1999 | Go to article overview

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Gips, Michael, Security Management


http://www.securitymanagement.com

More than 40 percent of Security Management readers log on to the SM Online Web site for more information after reviewing an issue, according to the magazine's latest reader survey. The most popular destinations are security-related sites hyperlinked to SM Online, such as those referenced each month in this column.

Another favorite is "Hot Topics," which lists breaking news such as Supreme Court decisions as they happen. Readers also frequently go online to get library documents, search for security products and services, learn about upcoming events, and peruse magazine excerpts. Late-breaking industry news items are added regularly. Here's some of what's new this month.

Intellectual property. They now have a common currency, why not common patent protection? That's the direction the European Union is moving towards, according to a policy document recently adopted by the European Commission. It outlines such measures as establishing a unitary patent valid throughout the European Union and granting patent protection to inventions related to computer programs.

Also, an online guide prepared by the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Department of Justice is now available. It can assist law enforcement and security in the investigation and prosecution of federal trademark, copyright, and trade secret laws. SM Online has both documents.

Neighborhood watch. Citizen patrols are an effective way to police neighborhoods, but they often can't police themselves; because of such factors as waning interest and disorganization, the average life span of neighborhood watch groups is short.

An article prepared for an FBI publication outlines five steps law enforcement can take to help communities maintain such neighborhood watch programs. For example, officers assisting such groups must be specially trained themselves to provide adequate training to members. Officers must also understand that groups don't remain static, but evolve through four stages, described as "forming," "storming," "norming," and "performing." The article is on SM Online.

Computer alerts. Perhaps more than in any other field of security, time is critical in information security. Within seconds of discovery, a vulnerability can be exploited from anywhere in the world. A free monthly online communication published by a Thailand-based computer consulting firm apprises readers of such risks and provides other computer security news. A sample copy of the newsletter - called S.A.F.E.R. (Security Alert For Enterprise Resources) - can be downloaded, or a subscription to the publication requested, via SM Online. Sample topics covered in recent issues: Digital UNIX 4.0 buffer overflows, vulnerability in Sun Internet Mail Server 3.x, and the kernel problem in Linux 2.2.0.

Nuclear safety. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has traditionally used a regulatory approach to nuclear plant safety, but the commission has recently started to adopt an approach that considers risk in conjunction with engineering analyses and operating experience, known as "risk-informed regulation. …

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