Security is a piece of cake

Published: 29.11.2017
Author: Peeter Pratka, OPS Team Lead
Categories: Security
Reading time: 2 min
Piece of cake on a plate

A few weeks back I ordered a cake for the office. Really good one, one of my favourites and everyone liked it.

Cream cheese tart made of cookie base, and the cream cheese filling decorated with dark chocolate, walnuts and hazelnuts. Ok, I might have got a bit too excited with that.
If you’re curious how it looks check hereopens in a new tab.

Now you might wonder why I’m writing about the cake? Well, pranking finally made a comeback to our Tallinn office. One day when I sat down behind my unlocked computer at the office I saw this line submitted “by me” in the #estonia Slack channel (we use mostly Slack for our internal communications across the company). The thing is that I didn’t write it.

Screenshot of a Slack chat, where Peeter promises to bring cake to the office

Now I could have just deleted the line and got annoyed by someone using my computer. Or I could’ve just laughed it off and done nothing. But I took this as a reminder I “messed up”. I left the computer unattended for a long period of time in the office. I probably felt safe enough doing so, and I got lucky for only having to get us some cake. It could have been much worse.

What it really was is a lapse in security. And the cake was the price I willingly paid for it in order to learn a lesson.

The key message of this story is that don’t leave your computer unlocked when you leave your desk as there may be co-workers who want cake, pizza, sushi or someone to clean the messy office storage cabinet. And guess what – it may be you who promises to deliver that. That’s what might happen if you leave your computer and accounts open…

It is a good practice to lock your screen when you leave your computer unattended. Not everyone is so good-natured like my co-worker with a sweet tooth.

After I got pranked, I wrote this story to our intranet and started a new tradition at Wunder of pranking everyone who forgets to lock their computer by these good-natured promises – let’s hope it helps people to keep their computers locked! The rules are that it needs to be a level of a prank that’s acceptable by everyone. The main idea is to use this new tradition as a security awareness training. I’ve also requested my fellow co-workers to then share their stories in the general chat room of the whole company.

I personally did learn my lesson here and in a very sweet way.

The same way as you should keep your computer safe, take the necessary steps to ensure your platform is as sturdy as possible with our security audits.

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