Bright Stove

Reflecting information risk journey

Game Park

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I was in Glenburn, South Africa, week before last for the 1st ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 27/WG4 meeting. Our South African host organized a tour of the game park, cum dinner on Thursday for the evening. The game park was about 30 mins from the meeting place (Glenburn Lodge), accessed through a bumpy road. The game park is not like the amusement park we have in Singapore. No electronic game machines or coin collecting gadgets, but the real animals. It is like the Night Safari in the Singapore Zoo, but again, no fancy decorations, game shows with the handler, KFC, souvenirs store, ticketing queues, etc. Our destination for the trip seems to be to get to the restaurant that is somewhere deep in the wild park. Spotting animals (games) and stopping by to watch them and snap photos were the side shows. We did spotted a few wild life, including a buffalo and a few lions. According to the guide, the lions are not entirely wild, in that they are fed every week, once a week, and therefore need not hunt like those in the real wild. But they do keep their survival skills and able to attack and kill when threatened, or get attracted to any live meats that they think could be tasty.
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While watching the lions, I noticed that what they have in this game park is the opposite of what we have in the zoo. For reasons of safety, we were in kind-of “armored” vehicle, in various forms. I was in one of those that is a bigger version of a land rover. But some others were in those that look more like a van that is used for transferring life stocks between farm and the fresh meat market.
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This reminds me of the kind of strategy that we are taking today in protecting information assets against the perpetrator. Instead of locking out the perpetrators, we lock up our assets with layers of controls. The worst case I’ve seen is the disabling of any functionality in a system that have a connection to the outside world, except those that can be filtered by a firewall system, making the system quite useless to the user and giving a false sense of security to some extent, as firewall filter will still allow tunneling of illegitimate application traffics into the corporate network. Just like at the Game Park, even though we are caged in our vehicle, there are still openings. And all the inconveniences rein in. You can’t get out to stretch your legs, at least not until you reach the safe area (the restaurant) which is a fenced up area, like the zoo, except that more human than animals are in there.
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Written by mengchow

November 29, 2006 at 2:38 pm

Posted in Security Standards

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