Get the picture?

IT director pilot fish at a daily newspaper is reworking the company's entire network. Why? "There is no security," sighs fish. "None, with about 90 users in a peer-to-peer Mac and PC environment."

One night he gets a call from an editor: One of the applications isn't working. It's the one that lets a reporter find a photo on a wire service's Web site and save it to a folder. The app then moves the folder to a holding folder on another machine, where yet another machine can grab it and put it into the newspaper's production process.

It takes a couple hours of troubleshooting, but fish tracks down the problem. That holding folder? The one that's actually named "Do not touch, do not delete"?

It's gone.

"The removal of this file can severely hinder our product — can you imagine a newspaper without pictures?" fish says. "I re-created it, and everything worked fine.

"Assuming that we had a security breach or someone was really stupid, I began publicizing this outage through management."

Ultimately, that's one of the things that convinces management to let fish beef up security. He gets approval for a new server to use Active Directory and begins locking down the network.

A few weeks later, fish is explaining to a photographer why the server is needed. And as they talk, it slowly dawns on the photog that he's already part of the solution — by being part of the problem.

"In the conversation, he revealed that he deleted the "Do not touch, do not delete" file because it was empty and was just taking space," groans fish.

"Thus the answer: We didn't have a security breach. Someone was just really stupid."

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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