Bright Stove

Reflecting information risk journey

Archive for January 2006

We trust you

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I was having a second look at the photo taken at the Honey Stall along New Zealand motorway during the family vacation and found that in many ways, it is a rather interesting sign. As discussed in a blog below, it reveals the trust issue that the owner has somehow been challenged with, having people taken away their honey packs without paying and therefore putting up the sign to warn against such act indirectly also shows the level of trustworthiness of some of the passer-bys. On the other hand, it occurred that such a notice also depicts the owner’s policy of trust, and approach in dealing with it — by simply relying on a poster message, period. This form of trust will only make one completely vulnerable to the people that are being trusted. In the cyber world, relying on such trust policy not only loses your honey packs, but the entire stall will become something else very soon, operate by the people you assumed you can trust (by a warning message alone) and perhaps even using the stall to perpetrate other criminal activities.  Not managing information security (or rather, managing by trusting) is not an option. Somehow, some people still practice it, perhaps because it appeared to be the cheapest option when nothing happens. People often like to believe that they are safer than the others around.
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Written by mengchow

January 14, 2006 at 6:01 am

Posted in Policy

Watching signs

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Warning signs are often employed by authorities to remind people against undesirable behaviors. They are believed to be most effective when posted in or near areas where the undesirable behaviors are most perpetuated. In the busy shopping street of Shinjuku in Tokyo, I noted this interesting sign been posted recently by the local police, with the message “Solicitation/touting is an offence; Offenders will be arrested.” It looks like a timely reminder in view of the holiday season. The added touch in this poster, which I liked much, is the the pair of eyes that are added to the top, signifying the seriousness of the message, and that someone is watching all the time. What is missing though, is a contact number for the whistler blower, who wish to report any touting that is actually happening, which I believe would help the authority more, and also make the sign more effective, as “Watching Sign”, not just for warning only.
This reminds me of another observation that I have made a few days back when I’m driving back home. Some of the roads, like the one just opposite where I live, are always packed with cars and other vehicles parking illegally, either to visit the mosque, an old-folks home, a supermarket, or the food court within the 15 meter radius. The road markings, with a single white line on the center of the two-way road, clearly signifies that parking is not allowed along the stretch. But the users of those facilities nearby don’t seem to care, even when the traffic cops come around once in a while to book the offenders. Maybe the fines are still affordable to them, and the benefits of parking illegally outweight the risk of being summoned, or getting the car scratched by another squeezing pass. Ironically, there’s a public car park next to the food court, and another basement car park below the supermarket. Because both incur a bit of incovenience to get into, and require payment, they don’t seemed to be popular choices, especially the basement carpark, which is mostly left empty. It also seems that the traffic cops visit only when there are complaints, or when there were few offenders, not during Friday evenings or weekends, when the number of offenders are the highest. I think warning signs as well as directional sign telling people against the offence, and where to find a proper parking lot, should be posted along such busy streets. More importantly, there should also be bigger “Watching Signs” depicting the contact number for the whistle blowers to call the authorities at any point in time, providing the much needed loopback. On a side note, it is now quite confusing in terms of what number one should call even when you are in an emergency. It used to be 999, but there are now a bunch of different numbers for different things. In view of the needs for responsiveness in this post 911 era, it is perhaps time to further streamline such loopback channel to make them more effective and efficiency in time of needs, as well as in time when undesirable behavior are observed. More “Watching Signs” would certainly help more than just warning signs.

Written by mengchow

January 1, 2006 at 6:05 am

Posted in Risk Management

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