No Digital Footprint Left Behind

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People and kids (which are also a kind of people, but I wanted to be specific), listen to me, and listen “good”:


There were, in the entire history of mankind, only Three (3) innovations relating to communication via writing:

1. The Cuneiform as a writing system;

2. The Press, as in Gutenberg’s; and

3) The Internet


What does that mean to you?

 Just as the first allowed communication over distance (you didn’t have to shout) and over time (you didn’t need to be there), so the Internet allows much longer range (we will see about time) and language communication (think Google Translator);

Further, just as the second allowed mass distribution of text and lowered costs (in man-hours) of communications, so the Internet allows rapid, and, at times, automated communication. That fact allows rapid copying, storage and global knowledge.

When you take the two paragraph above and add the simple facts that

a)   There are no uniform (and sometimes not at all) Privacy policies around and;

b)   Google (and the Internet Time Machine, and many, many back up servers world-wide) does not forget

You get the following truism:

Anything you post on the Internet, be it text, mail, email, voice, video, audio, diagram…. will be available for the entire foreseeable future for everyone to see.

        (I call that the “sure you wanna get that tattoo?” quandary)


As you can see from here:


Facebook post gets worker fired


Can your Facebook or other electronic profile cost you a job offer?

And here:

How criticizing your company on Facebook can cost you your job


People DO look. The Internet DOES have a memory. 


My friend, Rob Housman, wrote an article about that where he discussed “Digital – Too Much Information” or, as he called it, DTMI.



Let me ask:


When you graduate from school, and you just might, do you want your prospective employer to really see you beer-bonging or stripping? Does everyone, ever, needs to know that you thought Taylor Jonas (names reserved) is cool? How about your undying love for Macs? Does Microsoft really NEED to know that?

So… be careful out there….  It is the wild wild west all over again. And will be for a few more years (100 or so).



Here are updates that serve to prove my points:

  1. A woman loses her job over Facebook pictures




The Biggest Hole of Them All

(or) How to win at security and influence people

If you agree with me and see the legendary Gene Spafford as the 2nd generation of security, and people of my experience as the third, then what we have today in the marketplace is the fourth generation of security professionals.   People 20 years my junior who never had to grow up without the Internet (or, for that matter, without a remote control or with tethered-only phones, and I could go on…) are now the backbone of information security in the country, nay, in the world.

And yet, the problem that my generation referred to as “the loose nut on the keyboard” and today’s generation calls “layer 8”, is still seen as a problem in security circles.

Well, I got news.   They are not a problem, we, security professionals, are. They are the solution.


THE PRINCESS BRIDE, Mandy Patinkin, 1987, TM and Copyright (c)20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

Let me ‘xplain. Yes, I have time, don’t have to sum-up

Early on in my career I learned that there are very few technical solutions to human action problems.

I used to say that “there aren’t any”, but I wised up. We must teach, train, mentor and repeat.

Allow me to draw a picture of life today –  inside the corporate world or with-out.




Part I – Social Media

Quite a large part of our workforce today, and certainly all of tomorrow’s, has been exposed to, used, and even reveled in Social Media. From BBS (I will explain to those who request) through Wikis; from Facebook to Twitter, our workers have not only become accustomed to using these tools, they enjoy them.

You, Ms., Mr. or Mrs. Security Person, have two choices:

1.   Fight an uphill battle, never to be won even in the US Military (as you can see here)


2.   Embrace it.


“How do I embrace it?” you say? Well. Here is a road map to embracement (I made that word up, I think):