If you don’t want garbage out, don’t put garbage in

garbage-truckThere is an old axiom in computing, called garbage in garbage out. Basically it boils down to if you put garbage data into your system, don’t expect anything useful to come out.

Some garbage data is pretty easy to spot, for example “Mr Jqwdgsg” is probably not going to be a real name, but selecting the suburb of Wanniassa in Perth might be a little harder to detect at a glance. Pro tip, at the time of writing this, there is no suburb of Wanniassa in the city of Perth WA. Continue reading

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Surviving that OMG moment

Well you’ve really put your foot in it this time, you’ve just accidentally deleted the record of your most valuable client. Panic sets in as you work out how to explain that massive multi-million dollar hole in the budget where that client’s revenue used to be. The CEO is not going to be happy about this. Continue reading

I could tell you, but I’d then have to kill you

network padlockI was going to start this post with something along the lines of “ever since James Bond said those immortal words”, but it actually turns out it was the character Maverick in the movie Top Gun who said it. But for the sake of this article let’s just pretend that it was a 007 line.

You don’t need to have the level of data they have in spy movies to have a need to protect it. Any time you ask a client for their name, their email address, their postal address, or any details about their interaction with your company, you now have an obligation keep that data safe. Continue reading

Don’t get caught out by the Spam Act

no-spamWe’re coming up to 10 years since the Spam Act was introduced in Australia. So far the maximum penalty has been $4.5 million against a company, with the director personally hit with a further $1 million in fines. Whilst this has been the largest penalty handed out, there have been numerous other companies which have needed to pay penalties in the tens of thousands range because of these laws. Continue reading

Making road warriors as effective as the guy sitting at his desk

mobile phoneThat little mobile phone sitting in your pocket is a powerful thing. It contains more computing power than the computers that flew a spacecraft to the moon and back. It can put you in touch with virtually anyone else on this planet, and it most likely contains a sizable collection of your favorite music and movies. You may have even downloaded some business apps or games to your mobile phone to keep track of things and pass the time. But what if I told you that you could also use your mobile phone to tap into your corporate database and use it as if you were sitting in the office?

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What is the cost of not implementing security?

Laptop-Computer-TheifLast Monday I posted about busting some security myths. Well as part of that post I mentioned that security could be considered in terms of the cost of not implementing it rather than the cost of implementation.

As much as anything else, implementing good security should be seen in the same light as purchasing a good insurance policy. It’s something you purchase and hope that you never need to use.

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Some security myths busted

safeIT Security is one of those things that many myths and half-truths have appeared. Now as a non-technical person you might be wondering “but why does this interest me?” The reality is security is often looked at by non-technical people in terms of the cost to implement, rather than a more accurate what is the cost of not implementing.

Over the years I have read a lot of advertising material from various companies. Some of the claims made in them have gone from a basic misunderstanding of how security works to just some pure A grade bulldust.

The following 4 myths are things you need to be aware of when reading advertising material from database vendors. This is hardly a comprehensive list, but if you are a decision maker reading over sales pamphlets these are certain a few good things to remember. Continue reading