Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Security Experts and more...bloopers !

Our world is so dependent on technology that we are unable to close security holes as we strain at the boundaries of our imagination to build new concepts hitherto unknown. 

So we have painted our world gray and recently we have moved into the cloud which has created orgiastic excitement among the techie mortals globally. Experts abound in this world and salary payouts are the stuff dreams are made of. 

There are experts who provide newsbytes basking in the media glare using FUD as a vehicle of self promotion, and then there are also those who provide knowledge who prefer their low key life and are recognized in their professional circles.  

And among the many bloopers that are contributed the newest one from an Information Security expert is 

"You must do a background check when accepting a friend on any social network or taking a friendship further"
Another blooper that comes to my mind is about wifi networks, when Mumbai and Pune experts were obsessed with doing war driving to get information about open wifi networks. 

"An open wifi connection is like showing an open door to terrorists to come into the country !"
I do not want to name names as I do not want to be party to their fame which is widespread. These experts are all over except in circles where one finds some genuine knowledgeable professionals. Mind you I am not one and nor do I claim to be one - I work in Information Security and spend every moment of my waking time trying to learn what my peers know. 
What riles me is the way mediapersons fall over each other to get to the same people to provide (h)expert comments about any incident without even trying to understand it themselves. 

For example - when this guy said that you should do background checks before befriending someone on social networks he was commenting on an incident about a girl falling into trouble with a f'book friend. She is about 17 and here this guy is asking her to do background checks on people who send friend requests. She would have checked the guy's profile before saying yes to accept him and I bet she does not know the meaning of "background checks". Mr Expert don' t you think it;s time you stopped !


Friday, July 9, 2010

Risks - known and unknown, new or old.. bad stuff happens

Risks,.. they may be old or new, known or unknown, systemic or operational or financial, technology or enterprise. As life moves on and technology becomes all pervasive threats and risks take on new forms and mankind keeps learning to survive and live. 

However this post is not about mankind and I would like to stay within the limits of my knowledge and professional domain. 

New risks were exposed with "we-never-thought-this-could-happen events" like New York 9/11; Hurricane Katrina; Bhopal; Barings Bank; San Francisco Sys Admin Lockout; Mumbai 26/11; Icelandic Volcanic Ash; Swine and other types of Flu and so many such incidents.

People risks include many factors and a new risk that has come up is drunkenness. Getting high on alcohol while on the job is no doubt a risk and every manager has to call upon his/her best person-management skills to take care of the alcoholic colleague. Drunk at the office party and everyone knows you cannot hold your liquor and you have to hide yourself in a hole for the next week. 

However, technology brings news risks and if you can remember [1] your way to office, [2] your password, [3] how to start your system - then you can do what you like and blow hole in your company's finances. Like this gent ... 

City ban for £6m drunk rogue trader
An alcoholic rogue trader who cost his oil firm £6million was yesterday fined £72,000 and banned from working in the City for five years.      Read more...

So here you go and add this new threat into your risk registers - TUI (Trading Under Influence) Make sure you keep a close watch on the boss and the traders, especially those who have had a good time over the weekend !

And then there are other risks too but we shall wait for them to be exposed. Bad stuff happens. move over DUI we have TUI in the workplace !