Author: happyorright

Interested in technology, loves life.

Encrypted email both helpful and unhelpful

I worked at places that had encrypted email and it is both helpful and unhelpful.

Of course the helpful thing is that it protects the company from data on purposely or accidentally being sent out. The downside is that people hate having to learn a new system, and this introduces another level of complexity.

I have noticed that in most companies, people need simple things. The companies that had encrypted email this was a constant source of questions and problems. Some people had to send out sensitive information because that was the nature of their jobs. So they had to be put on an exclusion list for the policy. When their job changed or someone new came aboard then that had to be updated. When they were stressed we would have to help them get to the different web address. When they changed their password for the system, they would have to change that password as well.

This is only a partial list of problems. Why am I telling you this? For every system that a company wants, there is a ton of responsibilities that they are taking on by having that system. Many companies I have worked at have had hundreds of different systems. Different departments want their own applications and they have no regard for sharing that information. IT tries to make everyone happy by giving them what they want, but in the end, there is no ability to share the information they all have. So you get lots of duplication of work and time, and spending goes out of control.

To me, when you can get different department heads together and made a decision on a system that they all can use that is a win for everyone. Less training, less cost, less support needed. I have faced this at many companies I have worked at. I have always tried to reduce the number of systems that were supported so that we could have better support at a system that everyone uses. It is an uphill battle, but one worth having.

For example, at one company they were using personal dropbox accounts to conduct business. This of course is a disaster waiting to happen. Dropbox has been hacked several times, and it doesn’t have the security that their industry requires by law. So I talked to them about using an alternative and they agreed it would be a better choice. At the same time, different department heads agreed to use it. So thereby ending their use of personal dropbox folders. A win in several ways.

As an IT person you can find wins if you are willing to find better solutions than they currently use. People love easier and better.