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Energy Efficiency

Calum M. MacLeod (Global) - New Safety Guidelines

Travel is part of our lives and whether we do it for business or pleasure, one thing that is certain: each time we step on an airplane, we are required to sit through the safety procedures. Now, as someone that spends most of his life doing presentations, I now religiously pay attention to the cabin staff. I know I could stand up and do it word perfect myself, but I find that if for no other reason than simple courtesy, I pay attention and maintain eye contact with the cabin staff.

And very basic things annoy me. For example the instruction to turn off mobiles is relatively simple but it’s amazing the number of morons who fly who simply can’t follow such simple instruction. Now I don’t know what the potential risk is of not doing this, but you would figure that when you are flying at ten kilometres it seems a relative, small sacrifice – especially if your actions happen to carry serious consequences for yourself and your fellow passengers! And how about “return your seat to the upright position”. Anyone who is so stupid that they can’t work the button should not be allowed to fly.

So I’d like to see certain changes brought in to airline safety. Such as:

1. Anyone not turning off their mobile will have it confiscated and they can apply to the airline to have it returned
2. Anyone not paying full attention to the safety presentation will be removed from the aircraft

But this seems to be part and parcel of life nowadays. You would think that IT people could follow simple instructions when it comes to managing their security - and more specifically, their keys and certificates. At a recent event I asked the question to over 100 CSOs if they knew where their car keys where. With the exception of three, they all knew. And my advice to CEOs is that if your CSO doesn’t know where his or her car keys are then they should be terminated with immediate effect!

I then asked the remainder – the guys who didn’t know where their car keys were didn’t count since they were obviously in the category of not knowing how to return their seats to the upright position – if they knew where their encryption keys were. Not one of them had a clue. In fact I’m not sure how many knew what encryption was!

There have been numerous warnings in the last few weeks about corporations being the victims of hacking and data loss, and still CSOs and security managers seem to think that they are immune to any risk, refusing to take seriously the warnings that ensure their keys and certificates are managed properly.

There’s nothing “cool” about not paying attention to cabin staff, and there’s certainly nothing smart about thinking that you are immune to risk. So why not set a good example by simply paying attention when someone gives practical advice. It might just save you and those around you!

Calum MacLeod is currently EMEA director for Venafi, a digital certificate and encryption key management specialists. He has over 30 years of expertise in secure networking technologies. For further information visit: venafi

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