Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Letter: Broadcast Engineers and IT Are on the Same Team

"Become an ally of your IT department, not their anathema," says a reader

In this letter to the editor, the author comments on Daid Bialik’s recent story on ransomware attacks and making sure your station’s operational systems are up-to-date and secure. Comment on this or any article. Email [email protected].

In David Bialik’s piece in the 8/29/23 RW titled “Are You Using an Unsupported OS? Read This!,” I take issue with the line “Yes a firewall is the bane of every 21st century broadcast engineer’s existence.”

As someone who left full-time radio employment in 1997 to work in television, first as an IT engineer, then as assistant chief, now as director of engineering, I think David is at fault for perpetrating the adage that engineering is at odds with IT by making the statement about the firewall.

Can firewalls make external access to an internal asset difficult? Absolutely, but to call them the “bane of an engineer’s existence” is to trivialize the overall point the article attempts to make, namely that IT security is critically important and that running an old, outdated, unsupported OS is asking for trouble. A modern engineer needs to know and understand their firewall, and work with their IT team, whether it be local, outsourced or part of a corporately-managed team.

If your firewall is a mystery, ask for some one-on-one time with your IT team to understand, perhaps having them walk through the config line by line so you can understand what the firewall is doing. Become an ally of your IT department, not their anathema, and you will help your station(s) grow and succeed.

— Gibson Prichard, Nashville, Tenn.

[Author David Bialik replies: “I believe that engineering and IT are the same team (and in some cases the same person). Yes, firewalls are the bane of some engineers, but they are necessary.  Protecting your systems has to be a priority unfortunately. We can no longer be all trusting.”]

[Check Out More Letters at Radio World’s Reader’s Forum Section]