Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's not that I don't want to, it's that I can't

After a week of IT specific training, we were drummed with a new mantra (see title).  If people thought that IBM was picky with their rules, it is nothing like the nest that I have to deal with here.  FEMA is a part of the Department of Homeland Security.  So not only do we have all of FEMA's rules, but also DHS's as well.  This leads to a ton of overhead and security measures.  All software and hardware must be pre-approved before use.  All hardware must be made in the USA (no Lenovo's allowed!).  If it is an All In One that has both network print and fax, you cannot have both the fax and network cable connected at the same time (they are afraid someone could dial into the fax line and then hack the software to bridge over the network and access it from the outside).  And on and on and on.....

They also made it clear that now that we are federal employees with security clearances, when we break the rules (ie. install software), it is not just that you lose your job.  You go to jail.  Heavy stuff.  And just to make sure you are following the rules, your PC and all attached items are scanned at least every three hours, if not more often.  Anything found that is outside of the standards is immediately removed from the network and your account suspended.  They are not playing around here.  And that covers anything down to a thumb drive - not allowed unless it is a government issued IronKey with remote self destruct hardware - you actually hear it pop when it blows its self up.  We expected to see smoke, but there was none, just the noise.  And the best part, if we see people using their own non-IronKeys, we are suppose to remove them and snap them in half in front of them to prove they are destroyed, just in case they moved any sensitive information on to them.

As this weekend wraps up, we go into a long couple of weeks.  Next week starting Monday we have a 5 day leadership class, then a 2 day class all weekend on document writing, then another 5 days of tool training during the second week.  That weekend we travel to DC.  The following Monday we are spending at headquarters and then going via train to New York.  4 days in New York and then home for Memorial Day Weekend.  A couple days of time home and then back at.

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