What is the worst way of firing people (sorry, letting them go)? It is when they learn about it from the national news, not from their own managers. It is when their career hangs on uncertainly and there is nobody to turn to. It is when they have to wait for the final cut.
Which is exactly how NSA decided to improve its security: by publicly announcing that 90% of their system administrators will have to go. System administration will be centralised and managed by survivals of this management folly.
Of course they will not go immediately: they will be replaced by some clever technology that will concentrate power in hands of the remaining 10%, and the implementation of such a technology takes time. They may be even forced to implement this very technology that displaces them. Kind of digging their own grave.
Now, imagine this situation: we are talking about hundreds of people who have access to all forms of national secrets who are rudely told that they are no longer needed. That their loyalty and trust in the organisation deserves a pink slip.
I am guessing that their morale hits the bottom – right now. I am just wondering how may of them starts installing backdoors to systems that they manage? How may of them seriously consider hoarding some digital secrets. Nothing really sinister, just their way of getting even.
By the way, firing 90% of the personnel will not decrease risk to security either. Just not. It is so elementary that I leave it to you to find out why.
The horsemeat problem seems to be way in the past. Does it mean that trust in food manufacturers has been automatically restored? It turns out that this is not the case. As expected.
Recent survey conducted by Red Tractor shows that 40% of shoppers still do not trust food manufacturers, and 9% said that they will never trust them. Shopping habits changed. Less processed meat is being bought, and 15% of respondents stopped buying it altogether.
Just to remind you: there was nothing poisonous. Nobody died or was taken ill. It was only that the product did not match the label. If this warrants such a loss of trust, what would have happened in a case of a real disaster?
Food manufacturers, embrace TERM. Trust Journey is what you need. Otherwise we will all become vegetarians. Which may not be such a bad thing, by the way.
It is so predictable that it is almost boring. Bloomberg Businessweek June 17, 2013: FX market has been regularly rigged. Dealers collude to manipulate rates for the disadvantage of customers.
For those of you who have no idea what the FX market is, it is the place where people trade pounds for dollars, yens for shekels and Euros for rupees. It is the place where people take high-stake bets. It is a place where 4.7 trillion dollars per day changes hands.
I must admit that this rigging required some technical mastery. Dealers work in 60 seconds increments, and so was the fraud. Yes, the whole fraud had to close in 60 seconds, and it had to take advantage of price difference between the first and the last second of this period. Quite a feast.
Anyway, it seems that we all have lost a bit while buying our travel money or paying abroad with our credit cards. That our travel dollar could have gone a bit further. That, frankly, the market betrayed our trust and we had no choice.
Next time you buy some travel money, think: is this really the best rate or have you been taken for a ride? Then think: do you really have any other option? We have all been taken for a ride.
I wrote a couple of times about Drucker multiplier, the pay ratio between the average worker and the CEO. The requirement to go public with those figures has been proposed in 2010 Dodd-Frank law, but the implementation has been somehow slow, as if companies were afraid to disclose how large the gap is. Now the call is renewed, as the Wall Street Journal reports today.
Just as a quick reminder, the ratio of 25 and less is good for trust within the company, as everybody feels to be on the same boat. Starting from about 50, the internal trust starts crumbling, and greed takes over. Unfortunately, the ratio of 25 was last time achieved in 50′s. In 2011 the average ratio was at the level of 320, indicating a growing mistrust between rank-and-file workers and the management, to the detriment of the company.
Why is it important for investors to know this ratio? It is simply, because companies with a high ratio are inherently unstable. They may generate short-term benefits but there is a heightened risk of investing in the long-term. They may just crumble one day. They are not trustworthy.
So it is not about shaming top executives into earning less. It is not about any form of social justice, unfortunately. It is not even about getting even. It is about a level of risk that investors take. The lack of trustworthiness can be expensive.
Did you ever look at permissions you grant your applications? I guess you did not. Nobody did. Still, it is worth a second of your time.
I tried to install an off-line map of Dayton (Ohio) onto my Android phone. As Google apparently believes we are continuously on-line (and we can afford it while roaming around the world), I resolved that I need something that just sits in my phone.
There are good applications, mind you. There are free applications. But I was very hesitant when it comes to actually installing them. Why? It is because I actually read the description and then compare it with permissions that the application requires.
Now, we are talking about the static off-line map of Dayton. No more than a glorified copy of the paper map, maybe with some navigation. Then why is it that the application wants to access the card and phone memory? Why is it asking for unlimited network access (including the paid-for one)? Why does it want to control both my cameras? What is the point of it asking to access my payment wallet, or my contact list? Is it like normal?
This is how the bloated ad-ware or spyware behaves. This is how the Trojan can look like. This is how people are spied on and how they loose money from their wallets. This is at least suspicious if not outright sinister.
I actually do not suspect it is sinister, but rather that it is just a sloppy programming practice of ticking all those ‘permission’ boxes. Still, it does not inspire much confidence, so the application will not be installed on my phone. I will just get myself a nice image of the actual paper map and keep it with other pictures. So dated. So simple. So secure.
Security requires some work from you. So, next time review those permissions that you grant and think whether they are truly needed. Do some work.