Finding The Hidden InfoSec Story

“It Was Better In My Day”

Photo Credit: simpleinsomnia via Compfight cc

“It was better in my day”, my grandma always used to say.  “We never had to lock our doors… everyone knew each other, it was a lovely street, we just dropped into each others’ houses to say hello.”

I nodded and smiled wondering how that world could ever have existed. On the face of it, it sure looked better in The Good Old Days.

Then I thought: what did they have to steal? Those times were hard, people had little. They didn’t travel far, they walked to work. People knew everyone in their little neighbourhoods and trusted them all. No one was running down the street with a flat screen TV.

Except maybe the butcher locked his doors. And the greengrocer. And the bakery. They had desirable goodies.

Fast forward to the 1990s. IT was just really starting its relationship with the Internet. All of its assets were local. Everyone who accessed it was sat at a company desk. Everyone was trusted. There were extra locks on the finance and payroll doors but their computers weren’t even connected to a network, let alone the internet.

Today we’re used to locking our double-glazed doors. We’re used to the fact we have to chain our £1000 cycles up, or make sure we don’t leave our expensive cars in a vulnerable dark street with no alarm or tracker fitted. We have nice stuff.

We have more information on ourselves stored in social networks than we ever have had. Is that bad? Not if we look after it. In the same way that we secure our tangible valuables we also need to secure our digital assets.

Our usernames and passwords need to be unique – we don’t have one key that fits every door in our house, workplace and car. We need to do the same with our password strategy.

We wouldn’t leave photographs of that boozy trip to Prague on the seat of the bus. Why would we want to post them to everyone online?

We wouldn’t randomly send photos of our children to everyone in our contacts list. So why do we post them everywhere?

We have to accept that the price of being able to have nice things online, is that we need to protect them in the same way that we do all our other worldly goods and possessions.

IT was better in my day. Wasn’t it?

Author: Andy Gascoigne

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