Security

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More on the Symantec Endpoint Protection. It was installed on a file server and everyone started having problems. Computers were extremely slow to start up and most of the employees could not work (they use mapped drives almost exclusively). I read a post on how people were losing their shares when installing to file servers. Anyway, its uninstalled until I can test it some more.

Other than that glitch, its running smoothly. It’s great when a product works like its supposed to. Before this, the customer was going to every computer and updating the virus definitions every month. Now, they’re updated every day, automatically. My job is done.

That brings me to my point of security, job security. This customer may not have any more work for me, which means now I’m making less money. However, I don’t buy into the traditional notion of job security. That being: keep some knowledge to yourself, don’t cross-train, always make sure you’ll always be needed. This is just garbage. In Afghanistan, I’d always tell my peers that we have to make it so we’re no longer needed OR make it so that if another crew replaced us, they’d have no trouble transitioning. So, we started documenting everything, the way things were set up, wrote password lists, etc. We also started automating as much as possible by writing scripts to send out the reports we needed and ensuring systems like WSUS, SMS, and Symantec anti-virus were working as they should. If we do everything this way, it makes the network way more efficient. Yes, it could mean that you’ve put yourself in a position to be fired but so what? It really shouldn’t be that much of a concern to you if you’re really good. Plus, most likely, you won’t get fired. Most likely you’ll be rewarded. Most likely you’ll build a great reputation for yourself. To me, that goes a longer way towards your career than keeping secrets. To me, it means you can move on to the next (hopefully bigger) challenge.

In Afghanistan, it wasn’t too hard to do this. Most of the contractors were prior-service military who value information sharing. My friend told me about a job he worked at in Texas where it was the total opposite. He was hired to build and test Active Directory and Exchange servers. But like me, he’s very diversified. He knows Cisco, he knows security, and he has experience with all of it. So one day, the network guys were having some problems. On their Cisco switches, ports were randomly shutting off or just not working. They’d reset it and it would break again. He heard them discussing this and popped his head in. Without touching the switches he knew what the problem was. He offered his help, it would’ve taken 5 minutes to fix and they would have learned why this issue occurs. Instead they told him to get out: “Hey, what do you know? You’re the Exchange guy.” That’s really really disappointing and I hope I never have to deal with that. Later on, my friends boss had a talk with him and asked him to refrain from doing what he did. In their eyes, he was trying to steal their job. He soon left that company.

I can work by myself, I’ve done it a lot. But team work and collaboration are such a better way to get things done. And when you’re doing that, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Right?

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