Another dot in the blogosphere?


Posted on: June 27, 2013

What do some people cite when they do not want to adopt new ICT tool or strategy? Security.

Bear in mind that the context of that tweet was using more open and social tools for exchanging ideas on education.

It dawned on me at this week’s #edsg chat that “security” is a replacement and misnomer for:

  • privacy
  • confidentiality
  • a sense of control
  • fear of change (HT to @engrg1)
  • fear of the unknown (HT to @hsiao_yun)
  • paranoia (HT to @hsiao_yun)

If you mention that something is a “security concern” or needs to be investigated as a “security issue” then what gets frozen in their tracks are logic and forward-thinking change.

The only things that keep going are the status quo, fear, and ignorance.

Security is a fuzzy but powerful enough word to throw about because very few people understand what it means. The few that do a) find it hard to explain it to those who do not, and b) generally do not understand the world outside security.

It is like having a conversation with someone in the financial world who only thinks in monetary terms or counts beans. You could talk about topics as diverse as the haze, education, and terrorism, and everything boils down to numbers.

If that person has the numbers and can weave a good story around them, it is hard to argue against them.

Likewise for anyone clutching a security blanket, except they do not even have to explain security. If they shout fire, you are expected to listen and then run. You are not supposed to have discussion about the history of fire or its merits and demerits.

But often something just does not click when you listen to these numbers or stories.

It is like how folks in Singapore look out the window at the heavy haze but see a low PSI reading online. What they experience is out of sync with what is officially published because of the time lag.

Likewise, security concerns with ICT are often out-of-sync with new or currently evolving mindsets. The old guard may want to maintain a walled garden. But their stakeholders want to enjoy an open field or a more natural looking forest.

Why create your own versions of YouTube, Dropbox, or Edmodo when these tools and platforms already exist? If these tools do not provide some form of meaningful security, they would not have the critical mass or business they have now.

I am not saying we throw caution to the wind. I am saying we stop using security as an outmoded excuse.

15 Responses to "Security-minded?"

CHAN Hsiao-yun 曾曉韻: @engrg1 when IE gets killed off in favour of Edge I wonder what’s going to happen. Nothing I guess. #edsg via


Dr Ashley Tan: @hsiao_yun So hopeful. How many have moved on to the latest iteration of Windows 10? 😉 @engrg1 #edsg via


SzeYee: @hsiao_yun MOE apps are tested to run on non-modern browser IE but not the modern browers ! #edsg via


JoyceLEE: @ashley @hsiao_yun we’ve policy of ensuring all use of OTHER social media ( like g.sites etc for anything related to sch) is recorded. #edsg via


CHAN Hsiao-yun 曾曉韻: @ashley @lcordelia And these are the same ppl who force you to use out of date browsers. Sometimes out of date IE #horror #edsg via


JoyceLEE: @ashley @hsiao_yun yeah physical record of all websites used. Not within official LMS #edsg via


Dr Ashley Tan: @lcordelia @hsiao_yun Recorded? How? Like making a declaration on paper, screencaps, class video recordings? #edsg via


Dr Ashley Tan: @hsiao_yun @engrg1 Aiyoh, Windows 3.1 for an airport operation. So sad it’s funny. #edsg via


JoyceLEE: RT @ashley: @lcordelia Ah, security. The fuzzy & fear-driven catch all word.… #edsg via


Benedict CHIA: @ashley true. The “security” sword cuts both way. Ignorance is root of all evil here. via


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