Feeds

Passwords are for AES-holes

Security is an illusion

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Something for the Weekend, Sir? When did you reach burnout? For me, it was spring 2009. Looking back, I did well to last as long as I did but the constant pressure of coming up with something new, again and again, became too much.

I'm not confessing to an emotional crisis, by the way. I'm talking about my ability to create new system logins that I can remember for longer than an afternoon. Today, about a third of my incoming emails have 'password reset' in the subject line.

Reginald Perrin. Source: BBC/2 Entertain

'Oh god, not another bloody password to remember. One more and I'll fake my own death just to avoid the buggers'
Source: BBC/2 Entertain

My password fatigue came to a crunch while I was freelancing at a company that bullied its users into entering a unique login every time you wanted to do anything whatsoever on one of their computers. First up was a straightforward Active Directory login, which is fair enough, but this barely carried you beyond the company's intranet page.

Want to visit an external website? Another login. Check email? Another login - yes, even with AD. Run the core apps? Another login. Open the image library? Another login. Access the database? Another login. Browse the archive? Another login. Launch the production tool? By now, you know the answer.

If I was working remotely, I had to use yet another login to seek permission to enter any of the above logins, and it was particularly irritating because it insisted on asking me to enter this one twice. Those of you who know me: it's not the company you think it is, so keep guessing.

Reginald Perrin. Source: BBC/2 Entertain

'I didn't get where I am today by not forcing my staff to log in 13 times to to start work'
Source: BBC/2 Entertain

Most of the company employees got around the problem by creating identical ID names and passwords for everything. The IT department responded to this challenge by forcing users to change their passwords every month. The ever-resourceful users quickly discovered that the automatic prompt was fixed to a 12-month cycle, so all they had to do when prompted to change their passwords was to spend a minute changing it 12 times and then choose their original password again.

Now I understand why computer security is important. I also understand why I should not use the same ID and password for all my bank accounts and credit cards. What I don't understand is why I would need 13 different logins at the same company simply to identify who I am.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.