Malcolm is an expert systems administrator with over a decade of experience in systems and network design, information security, and building scalable, comprehensive systems. Malcolm brings a keen understanding not only of large scale system design issues, but also of the day to day realities of running an IT department, and specializes in designing systems that are practical, easily integrated and robust.
The son of two teachers, he values education immensely and loves sharing his knowledge with others, as well as learning from everyone he can. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, reading everything he can get his hands on, and developing his skills as a cook. Malcolm holds a bachelors of arts degree in religious studies from Lewis and Clark College in Oregon.
Malcolm Heath | January 9, 2012
I recently came across an interesting article regarding the increasing problems with thieves targeting schools for identify theft.
The article mentions an incident where a hacker broke into a database at a school in El Paso, and managed to retrieve 63,000 Social Security numbers (SSNs) of students.
This is a gold-mine for an identity thief. SSNs can be used to get credit cards, take out loans, and generally "create" money for the thief. Furthermore, the SSNs of young people are generally "clean", meaning they have no credit history attached, making it far easier to get credit with them. Finally, if the SSNs used are those of very young students, it may be years before that student actually tries to use it to get credit legitimately, and thus years before the identity theft is detected. Read more...
Malcolm Heath | June 10, 2010
Much of the way that we concieve of our network design comes out of prior models of computing, and as such, isn't necessarily applicable to modern situations. Primary among these conceptions is that our networks have a "perimeter", a logical dividing line between what is "inside" our network, and what is "outside". More and more, drawing such a line does not equate with the reality of network access, which has significant ramifications for network design, and security.Read more...
Malcolm Heath | February 5, 2010
This morning, I got to be a hero. This happens occasionally in the life of a systems administrator, and I think it would be lying to say that I don't enjoy it. So much of the work that folks like me do is behind the scenes, unglamourous, and doesn't make the headlines. Read more...
Malcolm Heath | February 10, 2009
The advent of new technology is always accompanied by a series of predictable events, as the technology moves into a space that previously didn't have to deal with it.
For example, when automobiles were first introduced (as "horseless carriages"), a number of laws were passed in various municipalities that seem strange to us now. Why do I have the sinking feeling schools are doing the same thing with "new" communication tools?