Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Confused? You Bleeping will be!



Business is confusing there days. Designing a website is not hard or necessarily expensive, and you can look so much bigger and better than you are. You can use clever phrases to suggest things that are not a lie but are not exactly true either, and for a potential client, that is a nightmare.

One telltale sign to me is always accreditations. Most sectors have them, and obviously some are more easily recognisable than others. A kitemark or an ISO says something to most people. And I think it shows a certain commitment to quality in most cases.

A lot of third party accreditations evolve out of the sector itself and are therefore not readily recognisable to the uninitiated. We have one of those, ADISA, and the certification is meaningful. It is all on the ADISA website and is all fine and dandy. And that led us on to get DIPCOG approval back in January.

 DIPCOG is not widely known but far easier to grasp. It means we are allowed to work in the MoD/government space. MoD as in Ministry of Defence of course.

If you are very bored one day and have an hour to kill, put IT recycling into Google and look at some of the suppliers. I can save you a bit of time but it’s still quite funny. My time savers are that ADISA only has some 35 certified businesses and DIPCOG has approved 3, to the best of my knowledge, allegedly and at the time of going to print. There are more than 800 altogether.

eReco is not a huge business at all. It’s just me and you and a dog named Boo. But we are highly professional and committed to doing what we do better than the average bear. Having the DIPCOG logo on our website should make us stand out from the crowd.

And yet, you will soon be confused as you browse those sites. If you throw in a little jargon and like being deliberately obtuse, you can make my Ford Focus sound like a Porsche. So it is no surprise that people fall for it sometimes I suppose.

For instance, one such website mentions CESG approved baseline data erasure. CESG is a government committee that sets standards for data security but baseline is actually the minimum standard, as the term suggests. It is not recommended if you want to be data safe. CESG actually recommends something called Infosec 5 which sounds like the sequal to Babylon 5 but isn't. Google that, it has its own Wikipedia page! Isn’t life grand?

So my point is you have to be careful out there. You have to ask the right questions and understand the answers. With baseline software, the question should be is the data recoverable. The answer is yes it may very well be. Not easily but it is. With Infosec 5 the answer would be no, not on your nelly. There is no known way to recover data from a three wipe erasure.

But you see, Infosec 5 software involves paying a license. Every time we use it we have to pay a fee to the developer. Baseline software does not command a fee per use as I understand it. So if you are collecting kit for free and pretending to be a professional service, you use that. If you are a professional service who cares about their clients, you pay the license and do the job properly.

That’s ADISA. That’s DIPCOG. That’s eReco.