Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trust and Information

My current job responsibilities are solely concentrated in "Information Security". Basically, it's my job to identify what the people in our company need to do and what technology we need to implement to minimize potential threats to our assets. Part of this is putting together a bunch of documents that let employees know what things are ok to do with our data and what things are not ok. Essentially, these documents establish trust between companies, employees, partners and customers. For instance, employees are told that if information is marked "restricted", they can't let anyone else know that information without their manager's approval. Before approving, that manager has to ensure that it's ok that other person (such as a customer) receive that information. The way the manager knows if it's ok is by verifying that the recipient has also accepted the rules for what things may be done and may not be done with that information. After that, the manager checks to ensure that the way the information will be sent to the recipient will be secure -- so that someone else can't eavesdrop and also get that information. It's complicated and sounds like it's a big pain to work with, right?

Outside of geekdom, this kind of exchange happens every day between friends. If something happens to me that I don't really want to share with the world, I may still tell a close friend about it so that I can get advice or moral support. I'm supremely confident that you can relate, since this is just human nature. We need each other. Close friends don't need a 300 page information security manual, a manager and an information security team that tells them not to gossip... Ideally, they just know what's right and what's wrong. Unfortunately, the ideal isn't always the case and as I found out today, it wasn't for me and my family recently. I'm disappointed that someone that Casey or I calls a close friend would betray our trust. It's damaging from multiple perspectives and uncalled for. That's all I have to say about it. I'm finished now.