Now THAT'S what we call a security hole!

It's the early 1990s, and this pilot fish works at a hospital that takes security seriously for its minicomputer.

"The computer room had one entrance through a secured room to the main floor of the hospital," fish says. "The glass was steel reinforced safety glass. The operators could enter the computer room via a locked door that had a mechanical cipher lock.

"One day, during some required maintenance, user access to the computer was shut down. The operator on duty took the opportunity to take a smoke break.

"Upon his return, he discovered that the mechanical lock had broken. This was the less-expensive lock without the backup regular cylinder lock.

"Facilities maintenance was consulted, and it was decided a small access door would be cut into the computer room from a dead space between the computer room and an adjacent work room.

"That door was deemed so essential that after I left the job, the unsecured access hole was re-framed as an emergency door. I think a cipher lock upgrade would have been a better long-term solution than the security hole."

Open up to Sharky. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. I'll file off the identifying marks and send you a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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