by Sandy Kendall

Call Up the Net Guard Post 9/11: The Information Civil Defense Task Force

Jan 01, 20022 mins
Disaster Recovery

In response to the Sept. 11 attacks and the possibility of future incidents, the Society for Information Management (SIM) is creating an Information Civil Defense Task Force (ICDTF). SIM President Ray Hoving describes the task force as a vehicle “to enable us to join together in protection of our information assets, just as our forefathers created civil defense to protect our physical and human assets.”

It started with a working group of about 15 people, mostly based in New York, aiming to establish an advisory committee of about 12 senior CIOs from around the country. The committee will work with the office of Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who has called for the establishment of a National Guard-type service for technology. “We could help bring either knowledge, expertise or infrastructure to a place and help in the event of a future terrorist attack,” says Ed Cannon, ICDTF chairman and CIO of the Grey Global Group.

While the task force’s first role is advisory, Cannon says it will evolve over time. For example, the group will also focus on outreach. Cannon points to research from Gartner that indicates only 15 percent of American companies have business continuity plans in the event of a disaster. “That is a major hole,” he says, “so in conjunction with SIM, we will be posting research [provided free from Gartner] on the Web about disaster recovery and business continuity planning. That’s the first thing we are doing: putting together some quick-hit, simple things that people can use.” The task force is also considering developing a core of volunteers who could give presentations about disaster recovery, business continuity planning and handling virus attacks.

Interested in participating in this task force or need more information? Contact Ruth Gallagher at SIM Headquarters (312 245-1581 or