Surfing the net at work has a downside — the Wi-Fi waves leave behind a lot of muck, claims a young techie.
BC: Hi, I had sent you an urgent mail regarding my travel plans. Did you see it?
AD: Sorry, new rules at work. No personal mails allowed.
BC: Surely, you could have checked it on your mobile.
AD: No, I’m not permitted to — it’s for official use only.
BC: Perhaps they’ve got a point. If you keep checking your personal mail or your Facebook account during working hours, it would definitely affect office productivity…
AD: Don’t get me started. We’ve been given Blackberries so that we can be connected to work, 24 x 7. So, if we are expected to work from home, why can’t we spend a few minutes at work on personal activities?
BC: That’s funny! A couple of years ago, you were shouting from the rooftop that your company had given you a smartphone and a laptop — you thought you had arrived in life.
AD: You’re exaggerating — the truth is, you have to take it when they give it. The least you can do is feel good about it.
BC: But how does checking mail on a phone compromise office security?
AD: If your phone gets infected and if you try to connect it to a network or transfer a file, you’ve provided an opening for an attack.
BC: See, I’ve always cautioned you about technology, but…
AD: Why blame technology for faulty workplace policies?
BC: Because in our times, chat sessions were typically around the water cooler — and they couldn’t stop us from drinking water.
AD: Well, things have changed for the better.
BC: Really? What about this sudden change at your workplace?
AD: It began with an employee opening a forward — the attachment let loose some kind of virus into the network.
AD: The server crashed, a lot of files were lost and.
BC: …your company lost a lot of money.
AD: And a major client too.
BC: But I thought you guys had…
AD: Yes, firewalls, Internet security, antivirus — we have the works.
BC: But are they enough to solve this problem?
AD: Why do you ask that?
BC: A nephew of mine was working in a multimedia firm where most sites were blocked. The young kids there took it as a challenge to unearth newer mail services and social networking sites on a regular basis.
AD: That’s not right. Imagine if this were to happen in a bank. An unsolicited mail that is opened or an infected USB that is plugged into a system can create unimaginable havoc.
BC: So what’s the solution?
AD: Security measures can work only when employees are careful about what they do online.
BC: But this kind of carelessness is normally displayed by junior employees — and in most cases, they have little or no access to classified information.
AD: Well, each organisation uses the latest technology to turn its network into a fortress. But the minute someone like my friend at the workplace lets in a virus or worm, the walls of the ‘fortress’ end up being easily penetrated. So it really doesn’t matter who opens the door, the horse is sure to bolt.
BC: Or the Trojan horse is sure to come in.
BC: The horse could well bolt, but it looks like office security is finding itself stuck between two walls.
AD: I don’t understand.
BC: A firewall on one side and Facebook’s wall on the other — I’m not surprised that office security is nowhere to be seen.