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How security-conscious is your office or workplace?

Having worked at huge multi-national IT company almost a decade ago, I know how some office workplaces can be very restrictive or security-conscious but every time I hear more stories about office restrictions, I still can’t believe they enforce those.

Back in my days as a developer, we used to have proximity cards and the regular software audits as well as a firewall that blocks certain types of ports and messaging softwares like YM or ICQ.

When we’re due to have software audits in our work PC, we just copy out WarCraft 3 and copy it back again after the audit. That way, the Windows Registry would not show WC3 being installed and it will still work after copying the game back without re-installation.

Today, there are much stricter office regulations:

  • No cellphones or laptops allowed inside the office. They will need to be stowed away in your personal lockers before going to your desk.
  • Flash drive, SD card or any other type of USB storage are prohibited in the workplace. THe USB ports of the workstation are disabled.
  • Filtering internet softwares such as WebSense tracks all sites that you visit and blocks out certain sites based on the IT Managers protocols — blogs, chats, videos, forums, social networking sites, etc. I used to get emails from reader telling me that my blog has been blocked from their office network just because it had the term “blog” in the URL.
  • Some offices have specific PCs allocated for internet access since all other PC are not connected to the net, just the private network.
  • Security cards that require you to use the same door that you entered in as you exit as well (they call it something like single entry-exit protocol).
  • Some companies would not allow they employees to say where they work.

If you work in one of those offices where workplace security is tough, do share some of your experiences.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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39 Responses

  1. Gz says:

    Well, yugatech.com isnt blocked by websense in NCO.Ü

  2. Epstein says:

    – The USB ports are disabled but we have a workaround hehehe.
    – Cellphones are not allowed but then again, we have a workaround
    – Certain websites are blocked, but then again… you know, everything has a workaround :P :P :P

  3. lawrence says:

    haha sa sykes nga surrender mo yung cellphone mo sa baggage pag applicant palang. u know the feeling na iiwan mo like, yung iphone 4 mo sa guards, and with no assurance kung maiingatan ba nila. hindi pa sure na mattanggap ka, may possible loss na agad. at pati barya sa bulsa papakita mo, anything na madetect ng metal sensors nila.

    security wise ok siya, pero sa mga di pa sanay, lil annoying at intimidating ang dating.

  4. silverlokk says:

    @Epstein, I’m guessing that those who have a reasonably high computer proficiency will come up with the workarounds. On the other hand, I suspect that the vast majority of users can’t even begin to think of ways to get around the security measures, and them’s the target. If I were in charge of computer security, I’d be aware of that fact, and maybe either give up and realize that some people can devise workarounds, or reason with them and maybe even work with them to improve security, without stifling creativity.

  5. techboy says:

    Sa amin, mismong mga PC cases at LAN connections may padlock! And to think mga PC na gamit namin e Pentium 4 lang!

  6. Louie says:

    Wow ganun ba talaga kahigpit security sa mga IT offices these days. oks lng cguro kng sasahod ka half million a month. LOL

  7. Raph says:

    Become close friends with the security administrator… LOL :-p

  8. Name: says:

    i’m more interested in the workarounds. hehehe…

  9. nameless says:

    sa amin, tatambakan ka ng napakaraming passwords! lahat ng accounts may passwords at iba iba.

  10. Mat says:

    It’s all about the job grade. The higher it is, the more you are trusted with equipment and facilities. It’s something most have to earn, just like most other things in life.

    Some security protocols have justification due to experiences. Like the padlock for pc towers, some people have stolen RAM and other internals.

    The rules may seem strange out of context, but we can understand them with a paradigm shift.

  11. jp says:

    Sa amin sa ibang BPO, di naman mahigpit pede nga na magnet ka wag lang sa mga social networking sites basta maabot mo lang ang quota sa isang araw. Sa mga Japanese IT companies ang mahihigpit according sa mga kakilala ko ultimo pag-cr mo di kasama sa 8-hrs/day :D IT trainee ka dapat need mo ng resources sa mga net kaso bawal din sa kanina.

  12. Sometimes it’s best to put up your own business rather than work as an employee.

    With the companies I worked before. They don’t enforce such security measures but of course it’s up to the employee. :-)

  13. florence says:

    Sa office namen, internet connection has it’s own proxy server. And it traces every website that you visit. So kahit gumamit ka ng proxy, malalaman ng boss mu na gumagamit ka ng proxy at ibablock niya yun. At lahat ng most visited websites mo ay ibablock nia. At dahil dun titirahin nia yung evaluation mo para wala kang increase.

  14. bpo says:

    Welcome to a BPO company! Work at a BPO company and you will experienced all that! I did.

  15. JayBEsguerra says:

    * You need a pin for your proximity card. Card gets disabled automatically if you did not use it for a certain number of days. Hassle after a vacation.
    * You need an RSA SecurID token to log-in to specific networks.
    * Non-office emails are blocked. All email attachments are monitored, and some contents are automatically deleted depending on keywords.
    * USB ports are disabled, and they can detect work arounds.
    * Company workstations are slow due to the company’s security, management, and monitoring tasks running in the background.

  16. ronsterrr says:

    i work for a bpo too. facebook and twitter are not blocked there. just don’t browse that site while you’re logged in.

    the only sites which are blocked are the file sharing sites (which includes webmail sites) and those with por*#graphic content.

    usb ports are still blocked though.

  17. Jared01 says:

    Sa amin we have to lan ports. One is for secure networking and the other is a lax network… As in lax with no restrictions. But the thing is its verry hasle if you are a multitasking type of a person sine hindi ka pwede magfb while workng kasi you need to go to other network pa.

  18. tababoy says:

    Taga Accenture ka noh? Hahaha!

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  19. mafiaboy says:

    At work, we need high-level government security clearance to enter the men’s room.. :(

    Men’s room = GSIS Data Center

  20. Iyan Sommerset says:

    >*Some companies would not allow they employees to say where they work.*

    Now *this* is ridiculous and I can’t for the life of me think of a reason *why*. Unless you’re CIA or some other covert agent, I don’t see why you can’t say where you work. Sounds to me like a first amendment violation.

    • David Z says:

      There are arguably valid reasons for that. One is to avoid seeing your people being pirated by competitors.

      Probably the most important reason is to control the flow of information that companies can and won’t allow. While many people demand transparency nowadays, there are just some things one shouldn’t necessarily let others know if it can especially and negatively affect how they do business with their clients.

  21. hahaha parang sa amin bawal ang mga phone na may wifi.

  22. otepsphere says:

    Somewhere in Ortigas office, they don’t allowed cellphones, no social networking sites and youtube cause it will decrease staff’s productivity!

  23. wyldKard says:

    used to work in a company that implemented all the rules above except the last two.

  24. I just don’t know if how reliable are the security measures that we’re imposing today. But here is certain, there is always a counterfeit.

  25. Kenth says:

    I read in a TPC thread before, that some companies put glue into the PC’s USB port to prevent the use of USB devices.

  26. Rho says:

    In our office the only rule we have to follow is speak strictly in English. We were all given keys and everything. That’s how great our company is! We’re even allowed to play Call of Duty, PS3 games, Wii Sports, Poker, Rock band etc. We’re more results oriented. More like Googleplex type. I now feel so lucky after reading all of the security constraints against other companies.

  27. JC says:

    IT’s just installed new anti virus called “e-scan”, they like block the websites the personnel frequently visits.. especially facebook and twitter are the top most blocked. i think they just enter the keyword and boom, that is blocked.. all usb’s are gone, no cd’s cellphone.. it’s like working in a top secret organization where what you see does not go outside the walls..

  28. opisgerl says:

    sa pinagtrabahuhan ko dati, kailangang iwan mo muna yung mga prinsipyo mo sa labas ng office araw-araw.

  29. ogago says:

    sa work ko ngayon halos lahat maliban dun sa pwede namin sabihin san kami nagwwork, buti na lang naturo na sa kin lahat ng workaround nung pinalitan ko na matagal na sa company kaya okay na ko alam ko lahat kahit bago pa lang ako hehe

  30. metalpig says:

    in our ofs we can browse the net, but fb and other social media sites are not allowed. :P

  31. Acid Bhen says:

    in the callcenter that im working right now, were strictly implementing restriction outside the server room even install NETSUPPORT for audits, hahaha eh sa server room ang workplace ko ALAM NA!

    MASARAP maging IT

  32. Jeric says:

    Facebook all you can dito sa amin, you can almost surf anything except install, play games and watch pron. :)

  33. eRvN says:

    Dun sa huli kong employer (international bank na nakapwesto sa the fort) ganyan din sir Abe yung regulations- usb/cellphones dapat nasa locker, naka-filter ang internet, iilan lang pwede naming puntahan na websites- (answers.com, usatoday, amazon), walang games kahit solitaire man lang. Yung id serves as security from front of building up to department floor even sa canteen di ka makakapasok pag wala kang id. And hindi rin kami ina-allow ipagkalat kung san kami nagwowork, kaya yung id namin walang company name, galing no? id na walang company name.

  34. jankeifer says:

    guys malapit na ko mggraduate..

    saan ang suggested nyo na mganda mgtrabaho? pm me nlng.. salamat..


  35. franc says:

    d2 sa amin wala masyadong restrictions excpt watching porn. pero my bandwith limit. pag lampas ka sa monthly limit… my love letter ka for sure! :D

  36. our office prohibits use of mobile phones inside the office. you have to leave it with the guard on duty who stores it in lockers. i bring an old phone which i deposit and hides my other phone in a secret compartment in my bag. lol.

  37. ikembotmo says:

    Sa office namin walang restrictions, lalo na sa Internet. We have 2 Internet connections, yung mabagal, yun yung may restriction, yung mabilis, yun yung wala. Surf all you want, depende na sa iyo kung gusto mong mag-surf sa porn sites, pero syempre nakakahiya yun. We’ll matitino naman kami lahat sa office. As long as you do your assigned job, no problem.

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