IT Security Methods by Industry

After years (okay, decades,… okay, okay, centuries…..  damn it… alright! alright already, eons… are you happy now?  yes.  I’m THAT freaking old.  I still remember coal-fired computers and horse-drawn airplanes and shit.  My birthday cake is a slice of tree trunk of matching rings, but the table can’t hold the weight anymore.  sheesh!)

What was I saying?  …. (eyes wandering left and right…. … . . .          …  .         …. . .      .   .  )

oh yeah!  I’ve amassed a data set that accurately summarizes the predominant security practices or strategic “methods” leveraged by each major US industry. I warn you: this is highly scientific information.  It may require additional consumption of various questionable substances just to remain conscious while trying to read it all. Here goes.

Idiocracy-LB-1

Banking

Method: Place sufficient restrictions on the adoption of new technologies, so as to (A) mitigate unknown vulnerabilities and exploits, (B) insure that those with knowledge of older, proven exploits have died from old age, and (C) keep certain aging consultants employed (because they’re married into your family).  And besides, what’s wrong with COBOL?

Insurance

Method:  Never leave important IT decisions up to any one person, ever.  In fact, the more people involved, the greater insurance that the decision will eventually be reliable, maybe.  Larger companies focus on perfecting multi-role hyper-proliferated subterfuge logic branching and coalescing processes.  In layman’s terms: they foster greater variety among responses to decision inquiries.  Many have invested heavily in processes which depend entirely on custom hand-stitched, stone-carved, natural leather encased software, usually written by someone who left or died long ago.

Defense Manufacturing

Method: Implement dozens of stop-gap procedures to insure every motion of IT is slowed to the lowest possible, almost un-measurable, velocity.  Think of a Japanese rock garden, only slower.  Where the sand is executive processes and the stones are IT staff, now simply add quick-set cement to the sand mix and sprinkle some water on it.  This insures that even the bad stuff will take forever to make headway, and by that time, the entire system will have been eventually decommissioned.  Forget penetration attempts, even social engineering-based, because they’re often project-oriented, not departmental, so most people have no clue what that next cube is working on.  In fact, they probably don’t use the same network, computers or operating systems.

Legal

Method: Relegate “IT” to whomever answers the Craig’s List ad for an “IT Expert”.  Critical skills include: printer management, thumb drives, recovering lost files and emails, and using Excel databases” (that’s not a typo).  Must also have experience with Macs and Windows XP, particularly with kids games.

If they have any in-house “IT” capacity at all, it’s often enough shock to send a consultant into cardiac arrest.  Due to possible legal implications, it’s best to never change passwords for critical user accounts and never, I mean NEVER, delete anything.  Keep everything forever, or as long as you can afford somewhere to store it.

Travel

Method:  Agents need to be flexible and mobile.  Everything is done on laptops.  Everything remains on laptops.  No time for that silly, trendy, cloud stuff.  No backups, no cloud sync, but OMFG do NOT let anything happen to that precious data on those roaming laptops!  Thumb drives are forgotten like Matt Damon in Interstellar, waiting for someone to give them a hug, only to have their face shield cracked open and their chip tossed away.  Shit.  Did I give away the plot?

Advertising / Marketing

Method: Hire someone quick, and get back to the conference before the food runs out.

Transportation

If it’s airlines, use railroad standards.  If railroads, use airlines standards.  Either way, the older the technology the better.  It’s like a cast-iron frying pan, after years of seasoning, or a vintage wine.

 

Municipal

Method: Deny all requests for pay increases for five (5) years, reduce promotions from once every five (5) years to once every ten (10) years, discontinue any training programs, and for God’s sake: deny all requests for stupid things like newer software and hardware  It worked in 1995, so it should still work!  Hire a consultant to blame internal staff for every deficiency, terminate and reassign to avoid audit trails and blame the contractor afterwards.

Federal Agencies

Method: Same as municipal, but on a much larger scale.  Every four (4) years, change direction from in-sourcing to out-sourcing, and blame the opposite for any failures that remain.  If conservatives win, out-source to private contractors, where expertise and trust are premium values, after all, when has anyone ever heard of a private contractor doing something wrong in a government position?  Then blame liberals.  If liberals win, open up the job requisition flood gates and hire at will.  However, keep GS-rating pay scales at 1995 levels to avoid asking for tax increases.  This helps insure only the highest-quality employees are onboarded from their previous positions as private contractors or foreign exchange students.  Then blame conservatives for any failures.  Think of it as seasonable employment.

Medical/Dental Practices

Method: Hire the first contracting IT firm that actually shows up.  If they wear those spiffy-looking polo shirts with a slick company logo, they might be too expensive.  Ask if your cousin’s friend graduated tech school yet.  You know, the one who puked all over your sofa when he brought her to crash in your apartment while you were out of town.  That one.  If she’s not available, what about that kid that asked you about spark plugs while you were trying to inflate your car tires that day.

 

Summary

See if you can guess which of these most closely matches the photo above.

Top 10 Reasons Your Job Might be Automated

10. Machines don’t give a shit about your favorite sports team, movie, TV or streaming series, cars, food, drinks, types of women or men, tasteless jokes, what you did last night or over the weekend, or what programming language you think is the best.
9. Machines don’t need restroom, smoke, vape, or lunch breaks
8. Machines don’t need to get their kid from the school nurse
7. Machines don’t ask for a raise or better benefits
6. Machines don’t need to rest
5. Machines work faster than you
4. Machines can do the work of more than one of you
3. Machines are better at analytical processes than you’ll ever be
2. Machines don’t horde information about their job
1. Machines don’t sue their employer

Even funnier, is that most people are convinced that THEIR job could never be automated.  No matter what profession they’re in.  Let’s list off some of the folks who were convinced of this as well:

  • Telephone operators
  • Mail sorters
  • Grocery store clerks (in many places)
  • Surveillance aircraft pilots
  • Security guards
  • Punch card handlers
  • Carpet weavers
  • Stock market traders
  • Food and drink vendors
  • Waiters (in many places)
  • Newspaper deliverers
  • Gas station attendants (in most places)
  • Librarians (in most places)
  • Milk delivery (in most places)
  • Movie set demolition experts
  • Camera Film Developers
  • Data center rack engineers (I already hear that giant sucking sound Mr. Perot mentioned)

A Personal Moment

Sorry to take a dump on everyone’s party, but….

forkintheroad

I’m really tired of hearing all the whining about how America has failed.  That it’s not great anymore, and we need to make it great again.  That we’re all somehow victims.  This is not really about what Trump said.  I hear it in different forms from conservatives and liberals alike.  They just pick different criteria to make their case as to why this country is falling apart.

It’s being blasted at all of us by TV and Internet brainwashing.  It’s also being repeated by people on Facebook.  And people often seem dismayed that “media” is playing sides.  News flash: News media is a multi-billion dollar corporate business.  It’s never been a social program.  They exist to push an agenda for who owns them.  That’s it.  Nothing more.

America isn’t a failure.  Maybe your life is worse off than 5, 10 or 15 years ago, but that’s not the government’s fault.  Take responsibility for your own life.

Personally, I’m way way better off than I’ve been in decades.  Better family, better job, better skills, better health, better income, and better toys than I’ve ever had before.  None of it was handed to me.  I worked my fucking ass off for all of it.  Still do.  I’ve made it through several job losses; survived cancer, made it through some intense family turmoil, moving to a new place under bad circumstances.  I’m still way better off now than ever before.

Is my life perfect?  No.  Who’s is?  You can stare at the problems or look for solutions and get moving.  I had to.  Or I wouldn’t be alive to write this right now.

The friends that have stuck with me, and my inconsistent presence, and my weird personality, have somehow still stuck with me.  I’m grateful.

I don’t need to hear anyone try to convince me to agree with them, that my life is worse off.  A shoulder to cry on; a pity party; misery’s company.  Fuck that.  If your life is worse than it was a decade ago, who’s fault is that?  The government?  The president?  Really?  Not one major event in my life has ever been the result of who won an election.  Ever. I doubt it was the reason for your life events either.

So, for anyone who wants to cry about how bad their life is, on Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat, or whatever, cry elsewhere.  If you even have access to post on social media, your life can’t be that bad anyhow.

If you decide to put your political views between you and people you know, when you know they’re not going to change views, you’re putting those suit-wearing blowhards in a higher priority in your life than those you call “friends”.  It’s a bad priority, and it really speaks to whether they’re really your friends.  Would you ask them to help you when your car breaks down somewhere at night?  Would Donald or Hillary or any of their ilk come get you either?

Most of the time, those meme-based posts are simply mental masturbation.  Begging for an argument, simply to exercise one’s mastery of a handful of figures they gleaned from a web site.  It’s divisive, and it’s really all for someone else’s profit, but not yours.  If you really don’t like someone enough to leave politics out of the discussion, just save precious life minutes and cut them loose.  Otherwise, it’s just being arrogant and selfish.

You have to make a choice, as an adult, whether you want to really focus on family and friendships, or playing adolescent games against others with whatever the media is pouring in your glass.  You don’t have to drink it.

Peace

P.S. I will return to stupid humor right after this message.

 

A Retarded Bedtime Story

1wearandtear

Once upon a time, in a land not so very far away, there lived a young man named, uhhh, Bob.  Bob was a software engineer who worked with custom CAD/CAM applications for a particular, and very large, well-respected contractor to the U.S. Navy.

One day, someone in the Navy contacted Bob and asked if he would like to demo his software to them.  Bob was given air fare and booked at a hotel, and thus, he made the journey across the continent to demo his software.  The people in the Navy smiled, shook his hands and said “we’d like to contract your company to provide this as our standard toolset. okay?”

Bob smiled, and said, “okay!”.  Bob then traveled back to his humble town.  The next day at work, Bob approached his manager about the news.  Bob’s manager called the division manager at his company and shared the good news.

The division manager replied “We’re not a software development company.  No. And you can’t do that on your own either since we own it.”

The end.

 

Dave’s US Political Analysis Corner

I avoid politics, and for the most part, I avoid even talking about politics.  But I figured I’d drop an example of why that is.
Idiocracy-3

2016

Option A – Clinton wins. Republican majority House and Senate stack against her. Shoots down every EO with 2/3rd votes. Moderate Democrats seek compromise with GOP and turn a cold shoulder.  She slogs through 4 yrs accomplishing little more than compromises with the enemy. Spends most time blaming opposition for no impact. News media devotes 24/7 to blasting holes in every thing she does. Fox, Breitbart and Reason enjoy raging viewer revenue.  Who doesn’t win: you.
 
Option B – Trump wins. Republican majority House and Senate and Democrat minority stack against him. Shoots down every EO with 2/3rd votes. He slogs through 4 yrs accomplishing little more than compromises with the enemy. Spends most time blaming opposition for no impact. News media devotes 24/7 to blasting holes in every thing he does.  CNN, all of the late night talk shows, and comedians enjoy raging viewer revenue.  Who doesn’t win: you.
 
Either outcome, you don’t win. Your job and pay check remain sucky. Crime continues to be sucky. Race relations get suckier.  More comic book themed movies and merchandise smack you in the face like mosquitoes at a Bayou picnic. Cell coverage still sucks. Your bills continue to rise.  Wars rage on. And you’re glad you voted for the awesome “change”.
In the spirit of Freakonomics’ episode on presidential relevance (e.g. “How important is the American President?“), it really boils down to this:  The impact any president has depends entirely on two (2) factors.
  • Majority rule in the House and Senate
  • Economic and security conditions

When both candidates are disliked by the majority rule in other parts of legislative capacity, and public sentiment leans towards keeping incumbents in office, it means they’re quarterbacks on a team that WANTS them to be sacked.  At this point, the most optimistic expectation is to look ahead to 2020 and hope for better choices.  Meanwhile, I’m watching some bitchin’ videos!