31 Days, 32 Revelations: What Checks and Balances?

Image courtesy of Flickr.com

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 12 of 31- What Checks and Balances?

I’m sure many of you have either been following or heard about the Hillary Clinton email debacle. According to a recent CNN Poll, the public seems to be divided on whether or not this is a serious issue or not. In my opinion, the public is right. On one hand, it isn’t terribly damaging at least as far as her run for presidency is concerned. Conversely, it is quite serious and not something that surprised me when I heard about it. I have often found our so- called “checks and balances” to be severely lacking. This email situation is evidence of our inability to dot our “i’s” and cross our “t’s”.

Having previously worked for a government contractor, I witnessed a system that was severely broken and quite antiquated. When I started working in this arena, it was made very clear what my responsibility was for safeguarding company information whether electronic or paper. For all of the red tape and safeguards they put in place there are twice as many bottlenecks and gaps in procedure. In the case of Hillary Clinton, you have to ask how it is that the Secretary of State of the United States of America could think that conducting business on private e-mail out of convenience was in the best interest of the country. Furthermore, when email wasn’t coming from a .gov e-mail no one else in the administration was alarmed enough to insist she had a secure email account?

According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2015, the most frequent source of data breaches come from inside the organization. If our heads of state seem unconcerned about how information is being transmitted in a time when cyber incidents among employees are up 10% from the previous year- we have a problem. We have only perceived checks and balances. It appears that breaches and other government hot topics of the moment are only serious when they become a threat or media fodder that has to be dealt with.

I’m not vying for a position in government in this lifetime, but it does seem like our leaders could use better discretion, some focus and due diligence as they tend to safeguarding us and this country. If I made decisions based on convenience, I only impact my family and myself. When you are in a position of power, (such as Secretary of State) your “convenient” decisions have larger ramifications. Ultimately, the issue is bigger than Hillary Clinton, but for now let us all sip tea and watch her be berated for an ongoing government problem. I sincerely hope we do better going forward.


Czarina’s Lesson: The convenient option sometimes leads to an inconvenient result.

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