Friday Sep 21, 2007

Email & Password Security

As a well known "Late Adopter" of all things technical, someone who still thinks assembly language is where one finds truth & speed on computers (look it up if you don't know what assembly language is, you young 'uns), thinks blue tooth is a lousy but popular excuse to happily develop poor driving skills (why are cyborgs allowed to drive on the freeways?), and e-tickets and less human interaction is NOT the way to fly the friendly skies, I truly hate it when the latest "good for me" technological advances ruin a perfectly good week.

And it was.... a perfectly good week, as good as business trips 3000 miles away from home can be.   Fabulous SW Leadership Summit.   Great sessions with the GPD team.   Fun team get together outside of working hours.   Good meetings overall while at Sun headquarters.   All was great....   Until...

...Security.   Hopefully, like many companies, we exercise PRUDENCE, INTELLIGENCE, CAUTION, when dealing with company security.   This includes the security of employee passwords.   And, at Sun, this mean rigourous and regular changing of employee passwords.

I am 75% behind the concept.   75% with the idea of enforcing the changing of passwords, regularly.   When I was a field engineer, I even encouraged customers to enforce such rules.   But 25% hating it.   Or to be quite specific, 25% hating the time delay as various systems come to recognise the NEW password.

Sitting in a hotel, 3000 miles from home, I am suddenly without email during that small window of time in which my password is "in flux".   And, oh my goodness, what hell is this!?   Viewing email whenever I want, I am fine... and dare I say, even oblivious of the option.   Oblivious of the feature, the functionality, the connection that Sun provides to me to the company, my family, and my world.   Take away that option, even if only for a couple of hours, and it's like losing power while sleeping.   Strange really.   It's not like I really NEED email 24 hours a day.   But I don't like losing the OPTION of having it.   In fact, I think I hate losing it.

So, damn.   Am I becoming more dependent on email?   Am I becoming more dependent on technology, to the point of true dependency?   Is it possibly true that resistance is futile?

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Kimberley

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