Updates on three pending stories.
“Anthem’s Records Weren’t Encrypted,” Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2015 B1. I had thought Anthem did some good stuff, at least in the discovery of and response to the recent breach. But it appears that Anthem had earlier decided not to encrypt their records for the convenience of their employees.
If you hold a third party’s confidential data, can there be a compelling case for not encrypting that data when it’s at rest within the company?
“Hackers’ Revenge: Sony’s Pascal Out,” Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2015 B1. Well, someone lost her job in connection with the Sony hack. But not because of the hack, but because she didn’t watch what she wrote in emails (and others did).
Maybe it was just unfortunate timing. But emails are hard to delete completely.
“Tale Draws Criticism For NBC’s Williams,” Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2015 B2. The beat goes on about the tall tale from anchor Brian (aka Pinocchio) Williams and his helicopter trip. He had just signed his new contract (unlike Amy Pascal at Sony, who was in negotiations when her story broke). Not covered in the Journal today – incredulous comments on another claim he made on (an award-winning) video about watching a body float by in New Orleans while reporting on Hurricane Katrina.
For me the main point is how will NBC ever punish someone for padding their resume when Brian Williams can lie on camera with impunity? Again, what is the culture when a big star can break the rules? How do you get others to follow those rules or any rules? Will there be any SNL skits on this?
What do the numbers mean?
One of the metrics professionals use to track insurance companies is their excess capital – the excess reserves above the case reserves required by regulators. Apparently, Prudential misplaced $1.5 billion of excess capital in two months. And even worse: they couldn’t adequately explain what happened.
“Prudential Suffers After Disclosure,” Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2015 C8. Prudential describes it as a “mysterious decline.” Lost 5.7% in market value.
Do we rely too much on metrics that even the experts can’t explain? E.G., the unemployment statistics. If the basis for calculation changes, do they have to explain that? Can you rely on the experts, or might they have an agenda? Do you understand what goes into the numbers?
Would a 5.7% market value decline be a career limiting move?