About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

The American Monkey Trap

By Dan Hadaway | Friday, March 6, 2015 - Leave a Comment

Coming Soon to from a Frustrated User Near You . . .


An article about how we Americans tolerate ineffective technology in the 21st century!
Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . .


ServIcons_ITAudit_01

The only thing is . . . . he’s not finished writing it!


If you don’t know what an Indian Monkey Trap is . . . . and I actually first heard it described as an African Monkey Trap when Zig Ziglar used it in the nineteen eighties . . . . let me simplify it for you:  apparently you can catch a monkey by staking a box to the ground that has a hole in it large enough for a monkey’s hand, unless the hand has a banana in it.


The story is meant to illustrate how sometimes we can get “attached” to goals or objectives or beliefs or myths or . . . . in the case of the American Monkey Trap . . . . technologies . . .  that trap us.

Whereas, if we just let go, we are free.

And so I’ve been writing this article called “The American Monkey Trap,” and was hoping to publish it “by the Ides of March.”  I was at first thinking that I could tie the whole “beware the Ides of March” with the theme of “we don’t have to use the technology” but ended up in a major state of writers’ block for many reasons.

Well, writers block, and a fear of showing people just how easy it is for me to break technology.

Thus, this placeholder has been here since March 6th, 2015, when I first realized I would not have the article completed on time.  So now, as I continue to procrastinate on the release of my article, I have tried to provide commentary as to where I am on the article in the updates below . . . .


03/13/15 Update:  Still not finished.  Given that it’s Friday the thirteenth, right before Pi (03/14/15), I thought I’d at least note I’m about 75% finished.  The article will center around the notion of the “Monkey Trap.”


04/11/15 Update:  Okay, so I’ve made very little progress.  I could blame that on the American Monkey Trap itself, but one of the points I’m wanting to establish with the article is that we need to take responsibility and accountability for our own protection, our own use, our own accidental misuse of technology.  So instead, I’m blaming the weather.  I mean, it’s been amazingly great out there, and thus my garden has taken higher priority than this article!


05/18/15 Update:  It’s been a nice spring, and when I have time to do things like write articles about how technology doesn’t HAVE to work in the 21st century, precisely because of the American Monkey Trap, I have been forcing myself to log out, and go outside.  The American Monkey Trap will have to wait!


05/27/15 Update:  After saying “I just don’t trust e-mail” into a voicemail left to see if a colleague had caught the e-mails I sent over the weekend (because I did not hear back from her and that just isn’t like her), as I hung up, I started thinking about this article again.  And then I thought . . . you know what, maybe I can justify not releasing it yet by doing an unscientific survey?

Maybe I should count how many times I hang up on a Client in a week.  Do it for a couple of months, and get an average per week.  Comparing that to the days when I proudly carried my first cell phone (1998?), when our company policy was “do not call Clients from your cell phone, as you might end up accidentally hanging up on them.”

And then, on the way in to update this article with my new excuse, I had to log in twice.  It’s a “weird glitch” the guys are working on, that came when we upgraded our multi-factor authentication process.  The point being, I forgot all about this particular monkey trap, and didn’t even realize how I had accepted it, until it caught me logging in to complain about another monkey trap that I realized could be an excuse, while I was apologizing for my lack of trust in the greatest monkey trap of them all  . . . . e-mail.


06/03/15 Update:  Interestingly, I don’t think I’ve hung up on a Client since my last update.

But in a recent committee meeting, with some darn good ISOs, they saw how the keyboard on my laptop “bounced.”  They saw it in the document we were reviewing in our GTM session.  I explained that my keyboard bounced, and in a jovial matter they kidded, “yeah, sure, blame it on the technology.”

I understand and agree with the sentiment . . . . it’s often the way we use the technology that causes it to fail.  But my techs, who have been working on the bouncing keyboard, think it might be due to the laptop being a “gamer” laptop.  They’ve shown me how to “tweak it,” but after several months of tinkering, it still “bounces.”

But forget that.  I grant that it’s usually the way the user uses the technology that causes the failure.  I actually teach and preach this notion in Awareness Training.  And it’s ironic that I, a user, would complain about . . . . now wait, write an article about . . . technology not working.

But I think the point of this article is INDEED that it’s the way we use the technology that causes the problem. For example, after hanging up on my Client the FIRST time . . . driving down the road . . . I should simply put the phone away, and not call him or her back at all.  Calling back three or four times is, indeed, the American Monkey Trap.  And the entire point of this article is going to be:

If you do not want to take the time to protect yourself
from the technology THAT’S OKAY.  Just don’t use the technology.

Assuming I ever publish it . . . . .


Original article by Dan Hadaway CRISC CISA CISM. Founder and Managing Partner, infotex

“Dan’s New Leaf” is a “fun blog to inspire thought in the area of IT Governance.”

 


same_strip_012513


 

Latest News
    Welcome Cybersecurity Conference Attendees! Thanks for joining us for the Cybersecurity Conference today! We have created this page for you to have access to the deliverables from Dan’s talk.  
    What you need to know for compliance coast-to-coast. Back in 2020 we posted an article containing links to data breach laws from each state, and it has proven to be one of our more popular posts.  Because laws surrounding the use (and abuse) of technology are always evolving, we thought it was worth taking another […]
    Why It Rhymes With SEEM (And its Not the I Before E Rule) Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . It’s the Gestalt. The idea that the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. That’s not something that is often brought […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    Questions about China’s new disclosure laws only highlight the uncertainty about disclosure in general… An article review. China recently made waves in the security world by announcing a new set of data security laws, one of which has added new fuel to a long running debate: how and when should security vulnerabilities be disclosed…and to […]
    Four Conditions … …For Why a Network Can be Anything But a Network! Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . I have to admit that infotex is being called into engineering meetings with larger organizations these days that are NOT community based banks.  We […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    If Zero days need Zero clicks, are there any secure devices in the mix? Tanvee Dhir explores the Pegasus spyware. Another technical post, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . Introduction Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen multiple stories regarding a powerful piece of spyware called Pegasus sold […]
    Our Lead Non-Technical Auditor takes a look at the new AIO Guidance… Architecture, Infrastructure, and Operations (AIO) is the latest booklet released by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) in their line of  IT Examination Handbooks. It is an update to their 2004 Operations booklet and, as the name implies, expands into the areas […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]