Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Say What?

She didn't realize that I knew who she was. I had seen her picture and as soon as I over heard her conversation I was able to determine who she was. I was on a bus riding from the city back home to the burbs. She sat across the isle from me and was talking to someone about a legal matter. She got off the phone and proceeded to call a friend to say Happy Thanksgiving. She should have stopped there.

As she talked w/ her friend she brought up the legal issue with her. She started the conversation with "I'm not supposed to tell anyone this". Then she proceeded to tell not only her friend but at least 5 or 6 other people sitting nearby. Since I am friends with the person that she is having legal issues with I know that her side of the story is riddled with flaws, inconsistencies, lies and all sorts of other things. Once I talk with my friend I think his case will be much stronger.

The above is not exactly true. I don't know any of the parties involved in this dispute, but I did hear way too much information about the case. Especially since she wasn't supposed to talk about it. As far as she knows there may have been someone on the bus who was familiar with this case. Her need to talk put her at risk of losing a court case. If she would do this with something this personal and of a private nature what is to keep her from doing the same thing with sensitive company information? This is just another example of the old saying "loose lips sink ships". You need to think about where you are when you are having private conversations.


Rebecca said...

Andy, great post!

This type of situation happens way too often. I have heard some very detailed sensitive information in elevators, airports and almost always in the grocery store while people are talking on their cell phones...why does it seem that voice volume goes up when people stick their phone to their ear? :)

Your post made me think of an article I wrote a year or two ago...about an actual airport experience I had where the guy who sat down next to me in the boarding area starting talking on his phone...loudly...about a sales call he made to a company; he was trying to sell them a security product and he was discussing all the company's security controls and how he could "sell" them on the need for his...I knew the CISO at that company well. Needless to say he did not make that sale!

I may dig that up and post it on my site...

Have a happy Thanksgiving! :)


Chris Harrington said...


Good post. I have a plaque on my desk that was given to me by my former Command Chief. It reads: "For upon Secrecy, Success depends in most Enterprizes of the kind, and for want of it, they are generally defeated, however well planned and promising a favourable issue."

This was part of a letter from George Washington to Colonel Elias Dayton in 1777. It was just as relevant and accurate then as it is today. It's a conversation piece on my desk that brings welcome conversation.


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