I’m pleased to announce that Caroline Fritz will be joining Mission Critical as managing editor. I expect that she will make a tremendous difference in the quality of our coverage. You may have already noticed a dramatic uptick in our news coverage on our website and our social media activities. Caroline has made these new initiatives possible.

Caroline has 18 years of experience as a writer and editor. She has worked for the last 10 years as managing editor for Mission Critical’s sister publication, Engineered Systems. She will be continuing in her role at Engineered Systems.

No one has to tell the data center industry that it is a dangerous world in which we live. As citizens we are all aware of the dangers posed by common criminals. Drug traffickers and gangbangers have little or no respect for the norms of decency, and their criminal activity has real societal costs, even for those of us who live in relatively safe cities and neighborhoods.

Citizens are also keenly aware of the threat posed by terrorists, and at least some of the discussion about border walls has to do with the threat posed by terrorists using unsecured borders to enter the country. Recent headlines about a Russian spy ring reminds us that not all threats are heavy handed and obvious. Some, like the IEMI threat described in this month’s cover story, are both sophisticated and simple, which is a very deadly combination.

The author, Dave Jackson, writes, “IEMI is silent, invisible, cannot be physically sensed, penetrates ordinary structures, and therefore is very covert. IEMI is not a virus or malware, but it can corrupt data. It is not a bomb, but it can destroy electronics… Plans and parts for powerful but simple devices can be readily purchased on the Internet. Equipment that has other uses can be converted or used to cause upset, for instance radar sets and magnetrons from microwave ovens.”

And once the weapon is built, it would not be hard to deploy with little risk or by someone considered expendable to a terrorist or criminal organization.

The combination of sensitivity and vulnerability led to an interesting editorial discussion relating to this month’s cover. We wanted to depict the IEMI threat as serious and widespread but decided ultimately to conceal the specific site we used as part of the illustration. To do otherwise would be irresponsible, and we didn’t want to be seen as suggesting that any one location could be a target.

Besides, that would have been misleading, given the number of sensitive electronic applications to be found in the U.S.

Please read the story. It focuses more on prevention than risk, and we think IEMI threats will take their place alongside other problems more familiar to owners/operators of data centers and other mission-critical facilities.

Kevin Heslin