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IT Good and Bad

Redmond magazine has covered the good and not-so-good sides of IT. I got interested in the seamy side of IT after meeting with about a thousand security vendors. The idea was about selling IT tools that kept out hackers. But more and more, those security players talked about internal threats, with employees themselves doing the hacks. And now, those tools were being given to IT to keep out internal hackers.

So I'd ask, "Who is watching IT itself?" Every vendor was dumbfounded, the assumption being that IT, which controls the network, is inherently trustworthy. "But aren't IT folks just like everyone else, a portion of whom are dirtbags?" Again, the vendors were dumbfounded.

So I decided to find out just what a dirtbag IT guy or gal could do, and asked you, the loyal Redmond Report reader, to tell your tales of IT gone bad. You told me about blackmail, theft, sexual harassment and just plain snooping. Want to here more? Go here.

A few months ago, I decided to look at the bright side and asked you for stories of IT charity and volunteerism. And boy, did I get a lot of great stories! You can read them in Redmond magazine's upcoming July 2009 cover story.

But there's still a bad IT element, and it's bigger than you might think. According to security vendor Cyber-Ark (who gets the IT threat), a full 35 percent of IT people snoop. Sometimes it's just curiosity. Other times, critical data is lifted. The lesson here is that just as IT controls end user privileges, IT privileges should be limited, as well.

Does your shop have a distinct lack of IT morality? Have you taken steps to lock down the 'Net from bad IT apples? Answers and advice welcome at [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on June 17, 2009


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