Homeland Security

John: In my dream I am a well-known congressman who serves on a committee that deals with energy issues. Our decisions have national impact. I appear to be performing my services without realizing this huge effect, and my easygoing nature causes me to take a lot for granted.

As a result, security measures are hardly visible when it comes to vital data. The backbone information that the committee has access to on a regular basis is not stored in a secure area.

I’m the one who is handling this data casually. I’m the one who can readily go back and forth, so I should know that it requires proper storage. I have failed to recognize the potency of the data I have routine access to, and now a national problem exists because this data has gotten into the hands of the wrong people.

When it’s first learned that national security was compromised, the initial reaction was that this had to be the handiwork of sophisticated infiltrators. The committee was prepared to launch a huge investigation. We were so full of self-esteem that the thought never entered our heads that the problem could be much simpler.

Initially we felt was that we would find evidence that would point to a very complex plan by wrongdoers who had gone out of their way to infiltrate national security and that no one could have possibly pulled this off without leaving clues as to their whereabouts. The committee and I were confident that we would solve this complex matter.

As it turned out, we had let our imaginations run wild. It was discovered that the breach was caused by some children at play. There was nothing at all mysterious about what occurred. I was really embarrassed. I had left the crucial data unprotected, and the kids had come across it while playing late one night. There was no one around. They haphazardly figured out how to plug this data into the grid. They had no idea what they were doing. They may have been drunk.

It’s hard to hold the kids fully responsible for their actions. The damage was done, but it was not a premeditated act. I woke up really embarrassed by how blind I had been. If only I had taken simple safeguard precautions none of this would have happened. Basic common sense would have avoided this fiasco.

So, do you see how it fits with your dream? It’s funny how we dream the same darn thing.

It’s basically describing a crime of opportunity. A large measure of the blame had to do with a lack of basic common sense to safeguard something important that I had easy access to. I took it for granted; it was easy for me to minimize its importance. Whenever data can affect the entire country, you don’t leave it unattended for anyone to access.

It says I’ve been taking a naive perspective on the position that I am in. I can’t even imagine what would be possible if I were to be misused, unconsciously, because I am the data, too.

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