Well, another cloud-based service has been locked down for us at our office.
I get it. I really do. We have the data lines to conduct business. Business with our customers. Business with our internal customers and other divisions, or corporate. Business here, internally, among ourselves.
But every time someone does something stupid, instead of calling that person on the carpet for their mistake, instead of a singular reprimand to make sure the matter is cleared up (or the violator appropriately punished), all of us pay the penalty by having yet another web site or service blocked.
This time the “culprit” is Dropbox. Obviously, Dropbox isn’t the culprit, whoever was using Dropbox for cloud storage is the culprit. But the punishment is for all of us to pay the price by having Dropbox blocked.
Notice I didn’t link to Dropbox’s web address so you could see it? Guess why?
That’s okay; I don’t use Dropbox for anything business related. No one in our group does either. Instead, if we need file storage and sharing, we have a corporate approved vendor, and our corporate folk can even set up an account for us if we need one. For business use, that is.
But, I do use OneDrive. For a lot of things, including work, but personal stuff too. It’s been a while since I’ve up- or downloaded anything from my work computer – couple of months probably – but I still do it. I maintain a library of Excel VBA code there, and I use OneDrive to move the file (it’s an Excel spreadsheet with nothing but code in the VBA modules; nothing on the sheets themselves) back and forth from home bypassing sneakernet transfer.
If someone catches on that OneDrive isn’t blocked (yet), how long will it be before someone does something disastrously stupid and moves a large file up or down?
What happened here is, someone used Dropbox this morning. The web traffic bogged down the network so far everything came to a crawl. We had some folks unable to reach the mainframe to do their jobs. Email response became at best poor, and at worst unavailable. Nothing worked because our bandwidth was sucked so dry it couldn’t service simple requests.
(I don’t understand this entirely. I know there is a limit to bandwidth, but…I’ve never seen this anywhere before. Anywhere I’ve worked. Ever. There’s always been enough bandwidth for everyone to do whatever they needed to do and still have a bit of surf room for everyone in the building. Guess I’m really behind the times.)
So enough people call and complain to the network support team (getting a hold of them is a minor miracle in itself) that they decide to implement a new policy, if they can get the approval. So, this person relates to that person who finally tells the network team to do it, and BOOM! No more Dropbox in the office.
I do understand when it’s something like Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. (There are political indoctrination reasons for blocking those too.) But cloud storage is becoming a norm, and if we can’t use something like Dropbox for our purposes – within reasonable limits, of course; if this idiot’s moving his entire music library up or down to sell illegally, fine, that’s too much – we’re bucking the whole way the world is spinning right now.
All that crap being said, despite everything being moved to the ubiquitous “cloud,” I wonder what was being moved up or down? Did the company just fall victim to someone stealing a bunch of engineering drawings? Did they move a lot of proprietary information to the cloud where it’s now available to our competitors? What happens if that’s true? How do we find out? What legal hoops do we need to jump through? And if those hoops are lept through only to find the user was simply being dumb about loading their iPod…what then?
Like the ancient Chinese curse stated, it looks as if we live in interesting times.
So, what’s going on in your neck o’ the woods?