I've seen several uses for authenticating users that make a lot of
sense. For example:
- When employees use the company Internet to run their E-Bay auctions
or side business you have their calling card. No guessing about who
was on what IP when. I know one company that terminated the wrong
person and got sued.
- Most spyware isn't smart enough to realize it's talking to an
authentication screen and will babble to the point of becoming
- Some sites track the appropriateness of sites visited by employees.
It's fun to watch the jokes fly through the office but in some cases
this can cause serious degradation for business purposes. My favorite
is one nurse that had to have her music on a 128K connection. No one
else could get to anything and she didn't last long.
- It's one thing to detect a problem with a workstation and another
to inform someone about it. By authenticating users you know who to
contact when a problem occurs. I tend to appreciate when someone
calls me to say why they just cut my connection. Imagine a users
surprise when you call them to say we just detected a worm that was
about to annoy everyone in the office and someone is coming over to
take care of it. Now imagine if that user waited an hour and their
first clue was the technician walking through the door. I'd rater not
be that technician.
All technology can be used for good and evil. Beware of the wielder.
On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 16:57:20 -0700 (PDT), Fred Wright <fw at well dot com> wrote:
> On Wed, 1 Sep 2004, Chris Bagnall wrote:
> > I'll be the first to admit it's none of my business, but I'd really hate to
> > work at a place that wanted to lock down employees' internet usage in this
> > way. Seems to me firewalls these days are being used as much for controlling
> > the people behind them as for preventing unauthorized packets coming in...
> > but that's a separate discussion ;-)
> It's also sometimes out of concern for leaking proprietary information via
> outgoing connections, either by deliberate (albeit perhaps unthinking)
> action, or by infected software. Of course the same managers that worry
> about that will typically also insist on using Word documents for
> everything, even though Word can be used to leak entire files.
> Fred Wright
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