Finding The Hidden InfoSec Story

Christmas Dinner – It’s All In The Gravy

Photo Credit: krh1984 via Compfight cc

As we are right in the middle of the festive season I thought a Christmas Dinner themed analogy would be a good way of introducing myself to The Analogies Project. With food being one of my favourite things it could become a reoccurring theme.

My Brother-In-Law and I are sharing the responsibilities of cooking the dinner for the family this year on the big day and during the “planning sessions” conducted via text messaging and email it occurred to me that the many components that will constitute this mammoth feast could be compared to a modern computing enterprise.

In a logical sense the bird must represent the data and should be handled with great care:

  • You absolutely have to get the availability right; there is nothing worse than an empty table surrounded by famished relatives (and others possibly), so get that turkey out on time.
  • Its integrity must remain so don’t overcook it and see it falling apart on you.
  • As for the confidentiality, it’s always nice as a chef to be asked how you got it so very right and what your secret is.

The other goodies making up the Christmas Feast such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips, stuffing represent smaller components of an enterprise such as links, hardware, software, applications; all very important in their own right and any of them could be a particular person’s favourite but each can be compartmentalised and pushed to the side of the plate so as not to ruin the rest of the dinner if you have really messed up that part.

So what part is the Cyber Security I hear you ask? Is the Brussel Sprouts? The part many don’t want and find unpalatable but have to suck up and take it on the chin if they really want to say they had their Christmas Dinner in its entirety?

Most definitely not and instead I suggest that Cyber Security is indeed the gravy.

The gravy complements/enhances the entire meal, even allowing for an element that may be undesirable (or insecure) to some to be smothered in gravy (security measures) and mashed in to effectively overlay the aspect that was lacking in the first place. So someone sitting at the Christmas Dinner table may be looking at a plate full of food; the turkey, the potatoes, carrots, sprouts, parsnips, leeks, stuffing and anything else that the chef wanted to include but is still reluctant to proceed because it’s missing that special something.

A winning gravy can be poured across the whole plate fusing everything together and allowing for Uncle Jim to throw himself with gusto into that plate full of Yuletide cuisine.

Just be sure to plan your gravy out right at the beginning will you? Ensure you know how it will work with other ingredients where required, using juices from the turkey, perhaps a trivet of vegetables too and generous helping of white wine.

Have an incident response plan ready in case the gravy does go wrong. Knowing how to knock up a passable chicken gravy in a hurry has saved many a dinner.

And please, please, please, one more thing about the security gravy…..

Don’t overcook it…….

Author: James Gosnold

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