Monthly Archives: December 2012

Who’s the rube?

There is an old saying that when you sit down to a poker game if you can’t spot the rube, you’re the rube.

Given the recent news that Instagram has announced that they now have the rights to sell your photos, perhaps that should be good advice for online services. Here is a good hint; if you aren’t paying for a service, then at a minimum you aren’t a “customer”. Oh the service has customers all right, you’re just not in their number.

Update: of course XKCD nails this one better than I ever could.

We have met the security team and they is us!

John Fontana writes about a new idea called People Centric Security. The idea is to loosen enterprise security policies so that security decisions are made by those directly responsible for business area rather than a central security team.

To paraphrase the immortal words of Pogo: We have met the security team and they is us!

For better or worse I think this actually reflects the current state rather than some new idea. For all the work security teams do, users just work around them to do what they need to do.

Who many times have you heard these conversations:

  • The mail server blocked your attachment. Can you send it to my gmail account?
  • I can’t reach your website. Let me disconnect from the VPN and try again.
  • Our machines disallow USB storage devices, but I can upload the files to DropBox.

Your company’s security already depends on your users. They are just pretending it doesn’t.