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.

BC: And…?

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.

AD: Right!

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.

sureshl.india@gmail.com

RELATED NEWS

Stop kidding with technologyOctober 17, 2012

More In: Metroplus | Features