Category Archives: Security

Generating SSH keys (Mac OS X)

Now I know that this is a subject that’s been done to death and can be found all over the t’interweb, but the truth is that I don’t want to have to search for it every time I remember that I’ve forgotten the exact keystrokes to do it. Thus, another post, but at least it’s one which I can easily lay my hands on!

To choose a suitable passphrase or not?

There are two schools of thought on this: don’t choose a passphrase vs. do choose a passphrase.

The problem with the first, obviously, is that it leaves you without any real security for your SSH key.

The problem with the second, as I see it, is that if it’s secure enough to make it difficult to crack then you’ll probably write it down, save it in your keychain etc – at which point it becomes redundant as your security is now out of the window. Continue reading

What is a Spreadsheet Engineer?

Well, there’s a question: what is a Spreadsheet Engineer, as opposed to a Spreadsheet Developer?

We’ve already skirted around this in my previous article about Spreadsheets and Risk. Since nearly everyone can ‘develop’ a spreadsheet model by entering some data and saving the file we can extend the idea of ‘Spreadsheet Developer’ to anyone in your business who is using a spreadsheet package and creating their own spreadsheets. And make no mistake, there’s a definite risk involved in this, most often not even recognised. Continue reading

Spreadsheet Use And The Risk To Your Business

This is a simple idea with, perhaps, complex and, from a business perspective, important implications. Nowadays, with the near-universality of spreadsheet use in so many businesses, it has become almost too easy for every user to “develop” a spreadsheet, whether for use only by themselves, by a small team or across the whole business. In fact most organisations have a de facto spreadsheet culture.

But maybe first we need to have a little background and what better than the results from a survey of nearly 1,600 spreadsheet users? Continue reading

Security: Password Strength

Passwords and password strength is one of those subjects that comes up a lot.

Nowadays we all have access to password generators, for instance via sites like Bad Neighborhood or hosting management software like cPanel (which includes one for setting up new users with strong passwords). The passwords they generate may be totally unmemorable, of course, but they are very strong. Continue reading