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Security Manager's Journal: Trapped: Building access controls go kablooey

J.F. Rice | July 11, 2014
Doors just stop working when one old PC in a storage closet dies.

Yes, IT professionals know to do all of those things, but IT professionals had nothing to do with that rickety old computer in the storage closet. Our facilities department was responsible for building and maintaining the building access computer. But the facilities staff aren't conversant with the standard practices to protect critical systems, and they didn't think to consult with IT about it. So when the inevitable happened, we all experienced the consequences.

Lesson learned? In the short term, I'd say yes. Our facilities staff are somewhat better educated now about best practices for critical systems. But that hard-earned knowledge is almost certain to slowly be lost over time as normal staff turnover takes place. And even though they aren't technical, the facilities staff refuse to relinquish ownership and management of the building security system. They see it as their domain, despite its technical nature.

And as long as technologies continue to be territorially separated, they will be dependent upon the expertise of the few, instead of the many.


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