Stuart Upton on Information Security

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Stick with me on this because I want to introduce you to Claire. 

Claire is going through a tough time, she has a disability and is having difficulty getting benefits.  Now before you panic I’m not expecting you to sponsor me or to see how many likes this post can get, I’m only going to tell you what you need to know.

To start with you don’t need to know what Claire’s disability is, you don’t need her surname or her e-mail address and you really don’t need to know the council she is in a legal battle with, all of that is personal information shared between her and her solicitor.  I’m also not Claire’s solicitor, but I sat next to Claire’s solicitor on the train yesterday and she told me everything, which doctor Claire was referred to, when paperwork needs filling, even down to where on her desk the paperwork has been left.

Why did she tell me that? What made her open up to me, a total stranger, someone who before the 7.48 pulled out of Doncaster she had never met?  She did simply by forgetting I was there.  It’s easy to think that when we talk about Information Security we mean losing laptop or getting hacked, maybe it’s because the name sounds so close to Information Technology, but in reality we give away information freely without thinking about simple things such as who is sat around us.

I recently got mocked for trying to bring back the phrase ‘Loose lips sink ships’, (in truth I actually got mocked because I got it slightly confused with the one that goes on about ‘a moment on the lips…’ but that’s not what this is about). We are all so busy and we need to use every moment to meet our deadlines or hit our targets, the more blurred the lines get between being in and out of work the more we risk and the more we forget that our conversations aren’t really private.

So is it still good to talk? Of course it is, just be aware of what you are saying, train (No pun intended) your staff to think, let them know what is appropriate and what they should be doing, and have policies and procedures in place to back this up, and if you don’t feel confident in putting all this together then get someone in to help who is, there are benefits of bringing in a fresh pair of eyes and it doesn’t eat in to your time as much.

Oh and Claire, if you’re reading this, I hope you are ok.