It seems that the first ‘virtual shots’ have been fired in what might become the first big Internet War of the 21st Century.  According to reports from The Guardian this morning, it seems that Google has been hacked, presumably from the Chinese Government, and the bios of Google executives have been converted to Chinese.  Many of you may be thinking that this is kind of funny, or at least not very surprising given the fact that Google redirected its search engine away from the highly censored .CN version to the uncensored version in Hong Kong   earlier this week.  But for information professionals, this type of action by a Government against a corporation should sent some shivers up your spine.

There has been a saying in business for a number of years now – “The Network IS Your Business”.  And for information professionals, “The Internet IS Your Business”.  We’ve become very comfortable in abandoning local collections in favor of having them hosted remotely.  When access is cut off from the information, then work tends to come to a stoppage.  Think of the times that the Outlook Exchange Server went down and you found yourself and others roaming the hallways aimlessly until email was restored.

The uninterrupted access of information has become a core business process.  Many of us have Disaster Recovery (DR) plans that address issues of natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, fire, etc.), but almost all of those are based on the assumption that the events will be localized and can be rolled over to other locations.  Now we have to worry about the potential for state sponsored cyber terrorism and assume that the information that we’ve become accustomed to accessing on-demand, may not be there. Just think, Google probably knew this attack was coming and couldn’t stop it.  Just one more issue for all of you on DR teams need to add to your plan.  Good Luck!!