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Two Embarrassing Security Lessons

Good news: I got another look at how well Akamai's security procedures work. 

Bad news: It's because I made two simple mistakes. And I knew better.
First, I forgot to change my password before going on vacation. Akamai InfoSec takes regular password changing very seriously. I knew this and had received daily email reminders. I planned to do it the day before vacation started, but forgot amid a busy day. 

Upon my return, I tried to access the various internal tools I rely on to do the job, and found myself locked out of everything. I figured I could simply go ahead and change the password, but everything I tried was rejected. The system is demanding when it comes to creating complex passwords. Grasping at straws, I asked colleagues if there was a larger glitch affecting everyone. I was promptly informed that the glitch was me. Because I didn't change the password by a certain date, I could only get it fixed by visiting the help desk.

The second lesson came less than an hour after I had that problem fixed.

I rushed off to a meeting without locking down my laptop. I'd been good about not making that mistake, because the customary punishment is to buy coffee for your whole team. When you send out an email about owing everyone coffee, people around here chuckle, because they know what it means. 

Despite my usual diligence, I returned from the meeting to this:


Don't feel too badly for me. I certainly won't make those mistakes again. And if there's a lesson to be shared, I'm glad to take one for the team.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a box of coffee to buy.