Dean hires IT specialist to improve Metro data security

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 4:30pm

Mayor Karl Dean today announced that a specialist in information security has been hired to update and improve data security protocols for the Metropolitan Government.

That specialist, Betty Steele, a certified information systems security professional (CISSP), will recommend changes based on the information collected from the data security audit completed earlier this month by Information Technology Services.

Dean also has asked Steele to examine the need for an IT security and standards board made up of industry professionals.

“While it’s unfortunate that it took an incident at the Election Commission office to bring necessary attention to this issue, we now have the opportunity to improve the way sensitive information is handled by Metro, and possibly prevent an even worse situation like this from occurring in the future,” Dean said.

Steele is currently an attorney with the law office of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz and a member of the firm’s Business Law Department. She has formerly served as assistant commissioner for business development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and as president of Global Competitiveness Council, an affiliate of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

She has developed information security management plans and provided advice on information privacy and security matters to numerous organizations, including Fortune 100 companies, financial institutions, health care providers and plans, and technology companies.

Steele’s appointment comes on the heals of the latest arrest in the December burglary of the county’s Election Commission office.

Metro Police detectives late last night arrested a second suspect in the connection with the Election Commission laptop computer theft.

According to police, Randal Logan Cheek, 27, has been charged with theft of property for having knowledge that the stolen laptops were fenced at his business, The Muse — a music venue at 835 Fourth Ave. S., which was formerly Kung Fu Coffee.

Cheek surrendered to police late Monday.

On Jan. 17, a computer router from the Election Commission office was recovered at The Muse.

Police have also sworn out a warrant against Brent Russell Rucker, 28, who police say bought the stolen computer equipment on Christmas Eve, after the break-in.

Rucker then sold the laptops to a Goodlettsville man, police said. Rucker remains at large.

— Staff reports

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