Tag: usb

Use WordPress? Auto update your plugins and save time

If you use Auto Update Plugins WordPress plugin, you will never have to manually update your plugins.

I looked for this plugin because for the third time in less than a week a plugin asked to be updated. I understand fixing issues, but that kind of frequent update schedule is exhausting and frankly ridiculous. Very few people are going to update something every time a plugin asks to be updated.

Everything that is a strength is also a weakness. I appreciate that authors are so responsive and are developing their plugins so aggressively. However the down side is that frequently having to update is boring, and who wants to do something that can be automated? So I might have a problem with a plugin that has a problem, but more likely it will solve me problems with plugins that might have a security vulnerability.

One of the neat things about software is that what often seems like a benefit is actually a weakness. For example, lately Microsoft is frustrating its users because their camera software doesn’t allow millions of USB connected cameras. A big oversight, and the Microsoft explanation doesn’t make sense.

Use WordPress? Auto update your plugins and save timeIt is fascinating really. People accept how horrible Windows is because they don’t know better. What I have enjoyed in the recent huge security flaw in Linux. Lots of smart IT people said that Linux had better security because they didn’t get viruses and malware like Windows. Yet over the past several years Linux has been under attack just like Windows. Linux has malware now like Windows, not as much, but given time this will increase. Mac has malware too, but no where that these other two have.

It isn’t the fact that malware is less prevalent on a mac. It is mostly that I don’t have the arrogance to think that any mainstream operating system is better than another. No system no matter how good it is, including mac, is perfect. Plenty of terrible mac systems are in many companies because they haven’t been given the proper attention. Support is always the key to securing any infrastructure.

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When to challenge an IT or any policy

It seems sometimes that all of my life I have disagreed with policy. Here is how I choose my battles with policy makers.

Policies are designed to help the greater good. They usually have a good intention and often are helpful. However in companies and in life, good policies sometimes have bad consequences and here is what I have learned.

When to challenge an IT or any policy

  1. When that policy threatens the economic well-being of those it tries to protect. I have a unique view of a company working in IT. I get to see the threats against it on a daily basis. It is my job to protect a company from those threats. However often policy decisions make that job very difficult. For example, companies who use usb drives. There was a study in 2011 that said that 55% of companies who had issues with USB drives had malware. Since usb drive access can be controlled, it should be controlled.
  2. When to challenge an IT or any policyWhen that policy hampers the ability of people to efficiently do their jobs. This one is more difficult. Some view IT as a way to make people’s jobs as easy as possible, regardless of the risks. Others view IT as a way to control the employees and secure systems without regard to ease of use. I think there is a middle ground. That is a challenge to find in most companies. Most companies tend to err on the side of easy to use since it is easier for everyone that way.
  3. When a policy takes more time/resources than a better policy. Most companies work very inefficiently. There are so many ways that people can work more efficiently and yet few companies care about that. They only want to work the way they have always worked, without any regard to efficient ways of working. It takes time to educate users, and sadly most companies neglect this.

There are more reasons why you might want to challenge a policy but this is a start. Things can be great with technology when users are motivated, IT is given the resources it needs, and management is supportive. How rare that combination is to find.

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