Bypassing the I.T. security fortress

On the back of my mind for the past few years, I’ve been thinking about how I.T. security becomes less meaningful as time goes on. The use of digital cameras isn’t usually allowed, yet a company isn’t (usually) going to boot out an employee for having a cell phone with a digital camera — or even using it to take a snapshot of a diagram that will be placed on a corporate wiki. The use of USB thumb drives for transferring and storing corporate data is perceived as a risk, but often, it’s a practical way of getting one’s job done. Remember network firewalls? They’re still in place, but they’re increasingly meaningless. They certainly don’t keep out viruses and trojan horses. And with the increasing prevalence of wireless networking, there’s even less incentive for people to play by the I.T. security rules. Dan Kaminsky [expresses these thoughts better than I have](

> … every restriction, every alteration [I.T. makes] in people’s day to day business, carries with it a risk that users will abandon the corporate network entirely, going “off-grid” in search of a more open and more useful operating environment. You might scoff, and think people would get fired for this stuff, but you know what people really get fired for? Missing their numbers.

> Its never been easier to get away with going off-grid. Widespread availability of WiMax and 3G networks mean there’s an alternate, unmonitored high speed network available at every desk.

Kaminsky [goes on]( to discuss some of the ramifications of these ongoing changes, including “the Cloud” (e.g. Google docs) and the security of corporate data.