A Christmas Tale

It’s been the Christmas season for a while if you believe the elevator music, the tinsel draped around store doorways and the brief pause in hot-cross bun sales.

It’s a time of year when projects are due to close, budgets are under pressure and there are more parties than you can poke a stick at. All these things, and probably more, have got data loss written all over them….

Just for fun…let’s consider data loss at the Christmas party. Most people attending these parties will be either stressed from their workload before their annual leave or suffering decision fatigue from closing out the year. And then there’s the lucky ones… letting their hair down because their work for 2016 is done. No matter which one of these you might be, the potential for data loss at these parties increases. There’s those of you planning to log back in after the party to finish that launch comms or last minute UAT…and you take your laptop to the pub only to have a few too many and leave it under the table in the corner. Or you are presenting to the audit committee the next morning before they wrap up for the year so you have your presentation on a USB (yup some people still use ‘em) in the pocket of your suit. The USB drops out when you pull out a wad of cash (yup some people still use cash) at 2am stuff it in the drivers hand and get out….forgetting you were picked up by an uber. Or you soberly stroll out of a bar feeling glad you stuck with mineral water all night, only to be violently bumped into by a stumbling drunk party goer and your mobile phone that was in your hand is now ….where?

Sadly, these are all true stories (they happened to a friend of a friend of mine….). Christmas is a time of year when we can become complacent for so many reasons, many of which can be justified (and many that are best described as a comedy of errors). Being prepared is the key way to avoid such unfortunate events. So instead of dancing around your laptop bag with your mates from the marketing team, leave your computer locked up at the office, avoid using USB’s (ever) and in case of loss, ensure you have strong security controls on your phone. The work will still be there tomorrow and you will probably thank yourself for not sending a ‘drunk dial’ comms to the entire business. So when the HR warning comes around about appropriate behaviour during the silly season, can you ask them to add data loss to the list of undesirable outcomes??