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Smart Energy Doesn't Seem So Smart Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, April 9, 2011 7:01 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Smart Energy Doesn't Seem So Smart






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Post #1091137
Posted Sunday, April 10, 2011 2:10 PM


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Just recently, as I was speaking at SQLBits, I spoke to a DBA who said that about 5-6 years ago he went to work for a bank that had over 1000 SQL Server instances. He said the first thing he did was to review SA security, he was dismayed to find that about 500 of the instances had no SA password, or a very weak SA password, and that many of the bank's applications had the SA and blank password coded into their applications. He said he had to fight management to get this changed, as they didn't want to spend the money to modify the hard-coded applications to use a more secure password or to use Windows authentication. Unbelievable.

Brad M. McGehee
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Post #1091190
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 7:59 AM
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A great article.

Summarizes many ongoing problems in the industry. The very word O&M, including security, is treated poorly in many organizations. Seems everyone wants to work on new stuff, and the existing infrastructure that pays the bills is considered non value work. Anyone with experience in the field has dealt with ongoing support and costs.

Rule 1: Support work has many risks and failure is unacceptable.
Rule 2: Preventative maintenance is rarely in budget
Rule 3: O&M is just overhead that should be reduced.

Seems like a great topic for a book.
Post #1091438
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 9:37 AM
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You raise a very good point and one of big personal concern. I recently put solar panels on my house, but I'm not free of the grid. Instead, my solar panels have become part of the overall grid system. When I generate more electricity than my house needs, the electric company feeds the extra electricity to my closest neighbors and gives me a credit. At night and in the winter, I can use those credits as my house draws electricity from the grid. (If all goes according to the projections, I won't have to pay for electricity in the future because it will all balance out.)

For this to work, I will be relying on the electric company having accurate numbers about how much I use, how much I generate, and when it all happens. It seems like this nice system contains just that much more that can go wrong - that much more which is controlled by software. If the software is not secure...
Post #1091539
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 11:23 AM
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He said he had to fight management to get this changed, as they didn't want to spend the money to modify the hard-coded applications to use a more secure password or to use Windows authentication. Unbelievable.


It's more common than you think. I'm currently having to explain PKI to one of these institutions that should know better, but they keep chasing off all their qualified technical people.
Post #1091608
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 2:20 PM
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Overbilling and underbilling are indeed potential problems, but I'm worried about bigger stuff, like terrorists or another country (think the big C) hacking into the grid system and turning off the power at will. Think of the impact on our economy.
Post #1096625
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:25 PM


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There will often be someone held accountable, even if the issue isn't publicized, and that person could easily be you. Follow best practices for security, raise awareness where you can, and document the exceptions with your objections noted. It might not make the company more secure, but it likely will help you keep your job.


Let me add the following, keep copies of documents with your objections noted, off site ... it can be strange how at times those memos that could make a manager look less than able, just seem to disappear.


If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Ron

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Post #1096660
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