Security Corner

Jan 12 2015   6:00PM GMT

Getting Locked Out! How much security is too much?

Jeff Cutler Jeff Cutler Profile: Jeff Cutler


Sometime in October of 2014 I got locked out of my house. The back door has a lock in the handle and a deadbolt. For some reason my keys were inside on the counter as I went out on the deck and pulled the door shut behind me. I immediately realized two things.


1 – That my iPhone was still in my hand. Underscoring the results of studies that say more people are prone to leave wallets and bags in taxicabs than they are to relinquish their phones.

2 – That in my quest to make my home more secure, I had ensured that all previous ‘hide-a-keys’ and easy ways into the dwelling were eliminated. No more was there one window left unlocked. No more was there a key under the monument on top of the cat grave in the back yard.

I was locked out. Which then made me do two things. Call my wife and let her know that I was an idiot. Ponder how much security is necessary when everyone is gunning for you. Especially these days when hackers are all out to breach any system they can and thieves are more desperate than ever to steal anything of value.


From a business standpoint, is it wise to lock down your enterprise so well that there are no back-door entrances? Is it smart to streamline your security to the point that it’s like running a gauntlet if you need to access a file or a facility?

Perhaps that’s the future. Businesses that put all their info into an impenetrable vault. But the issue then is productivity/efficiency and access. No one system for locking your facility or data has borne out as the ideal. What works for you might not work for other industries or even your competitors.

The bottom line is to find the system or situation that allows you to function as well as you can while keeping your stuff (and your customers’ data) safe.

BTW, I got back into the house by a method I choose not to share here.

What are you doing to keep your data, your company and yourself safe? Share that here in the comments! Thanks!

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  • Harisheldon
    It is always better than to be too secure than not secure at all.  Being retired from serving over 20 years in the Marine Corps, we always trained for the "what if" problems to prepare if that moment if it ever did occur.  Was it overkill?  Sometimes, but, at least we knew that if that moment similar to it did arrive, we could always remember our training and go from there. 

    Hackers and those that steal identities are always looking for the smallest tidbits that someone may leave that could open the door to the vault, even just a crack.  In my home, one major rule is that anything with our name on it, such as mail and packages, the information is shredded.  If someone was to get a hold of the packing slip, they could easily use it to contact the vendor and get more information on me.  I will not make it that easy for them.

    I currently work for the DOD, and in the past couple of years, we have locked down systems so tight that the user cannot even put up their own wallpaper.  Is it overkill?  Yes, but unfortunately, it must be done to ensure the safety of the network.  No USB drives, no outside cloud access other than DOD created, and CD burning will soon be blocked.  Talk about some upset users...

    I am the system administrator for all of the storage data on the base and I hold the keys to the kingdom very tightly.  Even if another tech wants to do something, they must explain why to me before I allow access.  Trust no one.

    The threat is out there, but, it is not the hackers that you have to worry about, it is the person in the next office that may be upset with the organization and decide to "delete" a bunch of information or even sell it if they have money issues.  Just read the magazine 2600 and there are advertisements for such things.

    Bottom line, if you can think of a way to gain information on someone, than someone has already done it and more.  Be cautious of all of your information and disclose nothing, especially to the phone survey's. 
    12,900 pointsBadges:

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