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Replaced by Outsourcing -- What's a Geek to Do?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the disturbing-trends-in-the-market dept.

Linux Business 1166

SafariShane asks: "Yesterday I was fired from my position as 'Network Security Analyst' from a financial institution. I was pushed out by a 3rd party vendor, who labeled me the major security risk, after performing a 'vulnerability assessment.' At the time, I thought a vulnerability assessment of our network was a good idea, but in retrospect, it occurs to me that this company, who's other product is 'Outsourced Network Monitoring and Intrusion Detection' may pull this little trick everywhere they go. Has this happened to any other network security folks out there. Does anyone know if this is a common practice, and what's a geek to do if they find out a 3rd party assessment is on the way? If this happens again at another institution, should I just start polishing my resume right away?" Here's a question I always wish I could ask managers, whenever the topic of 'outsourcing' comes up: if dealing with programmers overseas is more appealing to the bottom line, why not let your programmers work from home for 50-80% of their current in-office pay? For those of you who feel the threat of Outsourcing breathing down your neck, what are you doing to try and stay in your current job, or even in this current market?

"Here comes the obligatory South Park reference:

  1. Perform Network Vulnerability Assessment
  2. ?
  3. Profit! (Sell Outsourced product)
Looks like they came up with an actual step 2:
Label anyone who is responsible for network security as the risk, and get them fired.
I wouldn't even dream up the above situation, except that when the assessment was done, all results were hidden from me. The company presented the results not to the geeks that can interpret them, but directly to the executives that still think 'Clippy' is a great product.

I'll also note, because people will ask me anyway, if there were other problems. In my year on the job, there was only 1 network intrusion: Welchia, which was contained in twenty minutes. Anyone familiar with Welchia will know that it is no easy task. I was never reprimanded for anything. In fact, I received a 12.5% raise only two months ago for job performance.

I doubt what they did was illegal, but it's bad business at best. Here is a group of network security geeks, who get other network security geeks fired, so they can increase their bottom line.

I'd like to hear comments from folks this has happened to, and what did you do as a result?"

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1166 comments

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.. (5, Funny)

ChaoticChaos (603248) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764803)

SafariShane needs to turn around and hack back in to the system in a week and show that the new company's security measures weren't that great. ;-) This will ingratiate himself with the CEO and get the new company kicked out.

Problem solved. ;-)

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764830)

And get sent to jail for breaking into their network?

And then get arrested, convicted... (4, Insightful)

VT_hawkeye (33442) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764831)

...and sent to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

He got hosed by an unethical competitor, but he can't do crap about that now. Time to brush off the resume.

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (1, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764832)

Or get him sued into oblivion...

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764849)

SafariShane needs to turn around and hack back in to the system in a week and show that the new company's security measures weren't that great. ;-) This will ingratiate himself with the CEO and get the new company kicked out.


Good god, I hope that the poster is joking and that noone actually takes this advice. It is more likely to get you jailed! Remember that the mentality of the management at this company to begin with!

What's a Geek to Do? (5, Funny)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764964)

Hmm, given your experience I would start an 'Outsourced Network Monitoring and Intrusion Detection' and start offering your service to companies in your area. Then, label each responsible network administrator as a security risk and get them fired.

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (5, Insightful)

mbrinkm (699240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765027)

I've heard stories of people doing the "revenge hack" to prove that the new security is worthless, then ending up in jail. Why would anyone want to risk jail time to get a job back at a company that obviously would rather listen to a contract consultant rather than a member of their company?

DUH (1, Troll)

akedia (665196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764809)

Re:DUH (0, Offtopic)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764973)

I was working in India, and I can tell u , that is not a good option

One of my colleague was almost fired because he installed linux on one of the old 486s, which was gathering dust. The security auditing company labeled this move as a big security breach, as they claimed linux is a hacker's operating system and has no place in a corporate environment.

Most of these auditors are MCSEs having no clue what so ever, and they think that if they can't find someone to fire, then their job is not done.

How to move to India? (0, Offtopic)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765005)

In all seriousness, just how does one go about finding a job in India? I've always wanted to visit India, Nepal and other countries in that area. Being an unemployed programmer makes it even more enticing as I see more and more IT jobs going to India.

Most Indians speak English so language shouldn't be an issue, but how does someone find a job there? How do you find a place to live, or learn about the cultural differences?

I don't trust you (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764823)

I don't trust you to work from home. You will just watch Scooby Doo.

I doo trust a company in India, tho.

Study Latin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764826)

That way you can go into academia. Tenure is sweet!

If the job gets moved... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764827)

...why not move with it?

Fashion. (0)

esaglam (597432) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764833)

Outsourcing is a fashion. It will pass soon.

Re:Fashion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764894)

Just like it did with the textile industry in the late '70s, early '80s.

Re:Fashion. (1)

Wister285 (185087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764915)

I guess that companies moving major industrial manufactuing jobs to Asia and Mexico was a fashion too.

Re:Fashion. (1)

zentigger (203922) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764958)

Yes, that's true becuase soon there will be no economy left in the country and there will be no requirement for sourcing, be it in out or sideways...

Re:Fashion. (3, Insightful)

ThomasXSteel (545884) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764971)

Outsourcing is a fashion. It will pass soon.

HAHAHAHA!!!! Tell that to former American steel, auto, textile, and rubber workers. You must not be from the Rust Belt.

Re:Fashion. (1, Flamebait)

mrlpz (605212) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764999)

What country are you from, A$$ clown ? It won't go out of fashion until CEO's stop giving themselves the types of bonuses they are, and then crying to stockholders that the ills of the company's inability to make them MORE money than they already are, is the fault of their workforce. Never mind you that most of the bonehead moves generally dribble down from the chins of the board of directors, are shoveled by middle managers who just want to make the higher ups happy into the laps of the engineers who actually have to "make it work". That's why "work for yourself" is always going to be the bottom line answer that suits me best. Sure that was a long run on sentence. Try saying that all in one breath and keep your blood pressure down thinking about some A$$ clown thinks that it's just a "fad"...Silly clown...."fads and fashions" are for kids.

Maybe it's time for the technocratic war to begin. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764834)

The managers and CEOs of this country have no idea about how to make router connection or how to correct a line of code in their payroll systems.

I'm on call 24x7x365 while the CEO sleeps.

The none technical types need to understand where info power resides.

Re:Maybe it's time for the technocratic war to beg (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764874)

As evidenced by the story poster, it lies with the non-technical types.

I'm on call 24x7x365 while the CEO sleeps.

You sure have a funny definition of power.

Re:Maybe it's time for the technocratic war to beg (5, Insightful)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765006)

I'm on call 24x7x365 while the CEO sleeps... The none technical types need to understand where info power resides.
If you're on call 24/7 while they're home sleeping, it sounds to me like they've got a lot better handle on where power resides than you do...

What to do? (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764836)


What do to? Well, you're a casualty of corporate sleaze and politics. Read The Art Of War [gutenberg.net], get back on the horse and don't let yourself become a victim again.

That sounds cold, I know, but what else can you do? Dwelling on the issue won't pay the rent.

Re:What to do? (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764979)

Exactly.

Also, WHO is the financial company? Meryl Lynch? I've heard they are horrible with the way they hire and fire their employees.

A company making a protection racket? (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764839)

Not like... say virus scanner writers right? [who probably write the viruses they detect...]

I say if your management is stupid enough to fall for the tricks without trusting you then they deserve what they get and you probably shouldn't have been working there in the first place.

Tom

Re:A company making a protection racket? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764884)

Switch industries... I am. But i have not lost a job yet at least.

someone post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764850)

...the circuit court of appeals ruling reversing the district court's verizon ruling.

Easy solution (4, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764859)

Easy solution:

Get a job working with an outsourcer. Duh.

"Services" is where the IT business is going. And yes, there are outsourcing companies in the USA and various other non-India, non-China nations. Skilled, flexible talent is very valuable to a services company. And it's satisfying work because you're not stuck with one environment all the time -- you get to play with lots of different customer environments, picking up new skills along the way.

Basically, what I'm saying here is, quit whining. Make yourself a valuable person and you will find employment. And don't rest on your laurels, either: you have to constantly adapt and pick up new skills.

Now I shall sit back and wait to get modded down by the unemployed, disgruntled Slashdot hive mind, but my position on this issue stands.

Re:Easy solution (5, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764912)

Can't beat em, then join em right?

That's all fine and dandy for those whom have a constantly shifting moral stance, or none at all...however some people, like the submitter of the story, would probably prefer to stick to their morals and avoid being a hypocrit.

Re:Easy solution (3, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765023)

How does working for an outsourcing company violate this guy's morals? Not all outsourcing companies pull tricks like this to get work. On the otherhand, if your morals are "outsourcing is wrong," you have a stupid moral and should reevaluate it.

Re:Easy solution (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764962)

Now I shall sit back and wait to get modded down by the unemployed, disgruntled Slashdot hive mind, but my position on this issue stands.

A martyr complex and a superiority complex, all in one. Neat.

Re:Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764983)

but my position on this issue stands.

So does mine - you're an asshole.

One word: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764861)

Unions. Baby, it's time. Other than that, you call a lawyer. Now. I'm VERY sure what they did was very much illegal, and since you indicate you have a clean work history, they have no room to fire you.

Re:One word: (0, Flamebait)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764919)

What the hell kind of idiot are you?

Do you think people have an entitlement to work in the USA? Hell fucking no. In most states, employment is at will, and can be terminated by other side for whatever reason they want (except for a few very specific reasons).

You are a fucking idiot. If I were pro-union, I'd be pissed that someone as stupid as you was advocating my position.

Re:One word: (4, Insightful)

clanrat (707500) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764941)

I always love seeing the "unjust dismissal" or "simissal without cause" arguement. Listen up people. If an employer doesn't like your shirt, they can fire you. It's that simple. There doesn't need to be any cause. You have no 'right' as it were to be employed by any specific person. Unless you can prove your human rights were violated (they fired you because you're male/female/white/black/red/blue/jewish/catholic/e tc..)you've got no recourse. Things are a little different in a union environment. There, you don't get fired, you get laid off.

MOD PARENT UP! (0, Flamebait)

scumbucket (680352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764966)

Why in the hell does every post mentioning the word 'Union' get modded as Troll?

Unions are an excellent method for oppressed workers to get their voices heard and improve their work environments.

Sure there are crooked unions out there, but a good union works to both the benefit of the employer and employee. It sure helped out my Dad, who was a member of the UAW for 30+ years.

Re:One word: (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764970)

wrong and wrong. they can fire/downsize you even if you are employee of the year, that's the nature of at will employment.

Sounds Like a BOFH episode (1)

Omegaunit (672138) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764865)

That really sucks, but I doubt there is anything you can do. Except learn. Next time you need to be the bigger bastard [slashdot.org] than they are.

Re:Sounds Like a BOFH episode (2, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764899)

That really sucks, but I doubt there is anything you can do. Except learn. Next time you need to be the bigger bastard [slashdot.org] than they are
He might have a libel/slander case against the outsourcer. Worth talking to a lawyer about anyway.

sPh

What to do? Get a new job, crybaby! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764866)

But why do that when you can do something constructive like whine and cry about your sinecure being yanked away.

Sorry, something doesn't sound right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764870)

What exactly was the reason you were fired? The cause?

Re:Sorry, something doesn't sound right. (4, Funny)

NickFitz (5849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764997)

What exactly was the reason you were fired?

From the second sentence of the story:

a 3rd party vendor, who labeled me the major security risk

Reading between the lines, it seems that a 3rd party vendor labelled him a major security risk. But I'm just guessing.

What You Should Do (-1, Flamebait)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764871)

stop bitching and whining about it. You were there for one year, people get fired and hired everywhere, why do you think your case is so special? I've experience this stuff first hand. The only thing you can do is get over it and move on. Staying bitter and crying to slashdot over it won't change anything or make it better.

Stop with all your conspiracy theories over why you were fired. Shit happens, get over it.

What did you say? (2, Insightful)

jhigh (657789) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764872)

Were you given a chance to present an opposing opinion? I am fortunate enough to work for a company that knows the value of having in-house IT. Even when we bring outside consultants in, my boss and those above her understand that you simply cannot replace having someone in-house who knows every intricate detail. I was thinking that perhaps if you were given a chance to present the pros of having in-house infosec you may have been able to make a strong enough case for staying.

Ummm... get a new job (3, Insightful)

tommck (69750) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764879)

No offense, man, but if you're good at your job, get a new one.
If your company was willing to do that, you probably don't want to work there anyway.

it sucks, but Ob-la-di ob-la-da life goes on ...

Hack them from India. (0, Troll)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764881)

Find a hacker from India, tell him every root password you can remember, what OS's they use, everything you know about the company. And when they are at their knees, say I told you so and offer to fix it as a consultant for alot more than you would have been paid.

just move on (5, Insightful)

gagy (675425) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764885)

You can't take things like this personally. If they're outsourcing you, the wheels are already in motion and there's not much you can do to stop them. I have no attachment to my employer. I have an awesome team right now, and I feel loyal to them, but not to the company, but that's what they teach us in Business School. You have a chance of being outsourced, much like you have a chance of getting into a car accident. Nothing you can do once it happens. Collect your insurance and buy a new ride.

Consultancy? Trivial! (4, Insightful)

Burb (620144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764888)

You have my sympathy.

In any IT situation, the guy/s who knows the system administration/root passwords is always a potential risk. They've fired you, but they must have someone who knows the stuff you do, root passwords and all.

Hey, wait a minute, now the new guy is the risk. Fire him and pass the root passwords to the next guy. Repeat to fade...

Sounds like someone has been solving the wrong problem.

Capitalism is a funny thing (5, Insightful)

wheany (460585) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764889)

Capitalism is a funny thing. Well, at least the "modern" capitalism. Not only does your company have to profit, it has to profit more than last year, every year. This is one of the reasons people get laid off even when a company is making record profits.

Editor's comments (5, Insightful)

spuke4000 (587845) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764895)

Here's a question I always wish I could ask managers, whenever the topic of 'outsourcing' comes up: if dealing with programmers overseas is more appealing to the bottom line, why not let your programmers work from home for 50-80% of their current in-office pay?

Based on the description of the problem this doesn't seem to have anything to do with oversea's labour. It's just that he was replaced by an outsourcing company (in his own country).

About the reduction in pay comment, if you were sent home with a 50% pay cut would you be happy about it? Or would you be hitting monster.com on your 'extended' lunch breaks. I don't think it's really practical to half-way lay-off people, because the employees won't be at all loyal after that.

You were set up (5, Insightful)

pegr (46683) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764896)

Not sharing the results with the net security people is the giveaway. They wanted to fire you, and told the consultants that that was their goal. I'm in the biz, and what they did was way outside of accepted practice. So who is the company? We'd like to know who to avoid. I know the Big Four play this game, for their love is for money, not the best interests of their clients...

Re:You were set up (1)

Fillup (121335) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765019)

Bingo, you hit the nail on the head, on both counts. 1) They wanted to can him and looked for a reason. 2) the "Big Four" are completely fucking worthless.

The world needs ditchdiggers too (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764898)

Beeeyoootch!

Horrible... (2, Insightful)

JanMark (547992) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764903)

How some companies can make all the wrong desisions! But let's face it, anyone whos job it is to protect against (insure against, etc.) has a hard time justifying the work he/she has done: The more successfull you are, the more it seems you are not neede. Also, if some expensive advisor labels you, there is pretty little you can do. The combination must be deadly. Not much you could have done. Your former boss will pay the price in a year or so, and he will remeber you. But its not much of a soulace for you.

work from home discount? (5, Insightful)

ed.han (444783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764905)

"here's a question i always wish i could ask managers, whenever the topic of 'outsourcing' comes up: if dealing with programmers overseas is more appealing to the bottom line, why not let your programmers work from home for 50-80% of their current in-office pay?"

do you think that this would be a good idea, overall? think about where this winds up going if it becomes a trend in, say, 3-5 years time: it becomes a price war, and it's one that domestic employees cannot win. cost of living is just higher here than in a number of other countries.

i think this is a very, very bad idea, and one that's not just bad for you personally, but also for people in the industry overall. it would have the effect of dropping IT salaries across the board. in essence, you would be arguing that you're overpaid. not a good idea, IMHO.

that said: shame the PHBs were the ones making the decision. were there many others affected? this smells like a small bloodletting to help a business in a still underperforming industry cut some heads and increase profitability.

ed

this is what geeks do... (2, Insightful)

SQLz (564901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764909)

Geeks buy books and learn more things and get a different job. Faux geeks file for unemployment.

Stay away from open source (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764916)

If your company is too cheap to buy real software, then you can kiss your job goodby.

Lucky for me, I work at a MS shop so I know my company is commited to the best techonoly in the US.

Yep that MSCE is paying off allready.

that sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764920)

That really sucks man, I think it's more of a sign of the times than anything though. You see these little bits of injustice everywhere these days. Maybe DRM software companies won't refund that 99 cents for that song that never downloaded. And maybe it's just a dollar, but everywhere you see corporations as bullies, and more and more there is less and less you can do. We need a consumer rights activist.

welcome to life in the 21st century (2, Insightful)

56ker (566853) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764923)

These days nobody has job security. My suggestion (if you want to get your job back is thus - and should be quite simple as you worked in network security).

1. Perform a "vulnerability assesment" of your own. Possibly even try something similar to Welchia - to demonstate a) that their computer systems are insecure and b) that outsourcing your job is leading to weaker security

2. Point out that in twelve months of you working in the job there was only one network intrusion Welchia and that you dealt with that within twenty minutes!

3. Point out all the flaws in their new outsourced network security

4. Suggest that if they want their network to stay secure that they outsource to you at double or triplr your salary. ;)

My time is as valuable in or out of office. (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764924)

Don't give employers this idea that working from home is a reward. My time is as valuable while in the office as outside of it.

Working from home will already save them money on heating, cooling, parking, insurance, and office space. There are also tax benefits in certain areas of the country for implementing such environment and traffic friendly procedures.

The "current market" sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764925)

Guess what ? Bush is only the second president in history that has less people employed at the end of his term than at its beginning ! Congrats you silver-spoon fundamentalist moron ! You want the outsourcing trend to reduce ? Get some decent man to be elected in 2004.

Things are looking up (5, Interesting)

QuackQuack (550293) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764926)

I work for a software company. After many months of people having a hard time getting interviews, and very few leaving for other jobs. In the past three weeks, suddenly we had seven people announce they are leaving for new jobs. I have a friend who was recently laid off from another tech company a couple of weeks ago. He's had quite a few interviews already.

Things seem to be looking better out there. New jobs will replace the old ones lost.

Surely that is Libelous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764928)

What proof do they have that you are a security risk?

I would have thought that with a bit of digging to find they had done the same thing again you could take them to the cleaners. after all this is your job, to be labelled a risk is potentially career ending.

Resort to the law? (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764930)

If your country has industrial tribunals like those in the United Kingdom, then I think you would have very good grounds for an unfair dismissal case. Even if there aren't special courts for such matters, then I would be suprised if you couldn't sue your former employers for breach of contract.

Chris

Go back there... (1, Redundant)

SphynxSR (584774) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764931)

Step 1. Go back to the company and say I can protect your network from any attack anyone will ever think of. Go to the core routers and turn them all off.

Step 2. Send them a 15k dollar bill.

Step 3. Pick the company

Step 4. go back to Step 1

Every year increase cost by 3%

replaced by outsourcing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764943)

Maybe it is good to consult a lawyer. If your employer fired you because of misrepresentation by the outsource company, you might have a good case against them

Libel/Slander? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764944)

IANAL but if somebody says something about you that isn't true, isn't that slander? If they write it, isn't that libel? And if you suffer material loss as a result, isn't that even greater grounds for a lawsuit?

I don't know US employment law, and it wouldn't surprise me if his company could do what it liked, but surely there must be some kind of legal recourse against the 3rd party vendor?

I'm gonna post this anonymously in case the vendor is reading this...

Just move on (2, Insightful)

Spandau87 (707491) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764945)

The worst thing you can do is overanalyze the situation. That's not to say you can try and learn something for the events that happened, but the best thing to do is just move on. A similar situation happened to me and it really got me down, but I stepped back reframed everything and realized it this probably was a good thing since the work environment I was in was really going downhill. It sucks, but keep your chin up.

A pay cut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764946)

Taking a pay cut to work at home seems a bit extreme. Check out the per-foot/per-month cost on office space, and it's not just for actual offices... if enough people work from home that you can consolidate office space (give up a block/floor/whatever), you also are no longer paying rent on hallways, bathrooms, supply rooms, kitchenettes, meeting rooms, and reception areas.

duh! (1)

jaredcat (223478) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764947)

>>>if dealing with programmers overseas is more appealing to the bottom line, why not let your programmers work from home for 50-80% of their current in-office pay?

Because programmers overseas work for less than 10% what current in-office American programmers work for, and there are no benefits or American legal entanglements to worry about.

A PhD programmer with a western education and 5 years of experience in a former soviet block country will VERY happily work for USD$700/month. A somewhat less experienced programmer in the same country will very happily work for $450/month...

So look at it from your employer's point of view: Get rid of 1 high priced American programmer or IT specialist or whatever, lose all the legal HR worrying, and replace that person with 10 eastern europeans (or Indians for that matter).

Now thats not to say that there aren't some drawbacks... For instance, there will be communications problems, both with language and with culture. You will also typically be restricted to meetings via video-conferencing and not having your emails answered for 12+ hours due to tomezone differences. But I think I can live with that for a 10-times inrease in performance. Wouldn't you?

What constitutes a "failed" audit? (2, Interesting)

PureFiction (10256) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764949)

You didn't mention any specific vulnerabilities that were directed against you in this audit. Were there any legitimate holes that you overlooked or was most of the report fabricated?

Security is a complex task in any environment (from physical threats, unknown vulnerabilities, social engineering, misconfiguration, etc) and the increased size and complexity of networks and systems means this problem will only get worse.

Having what sounds like a single security / administrator handling a financial computer network does sound risky to me personally (but maybe you were just singled out among you coworkers?)

Your comment about telecommuting is a good one though. No longer requiring physical presence to do a contract or work some other position could free you up for additional tasks at other companies bringing your overall salary to a decent level.

Both parties get what they want in the deal; businesses with inexpensive, on demand services; engineers working an efficient schedule for multiple clients (thus good wage despite lower prices on individual jobs)

I'm not sure what kind of reputable engineer you would need to be to pull this off. Liability is going to be the major sticking point on any contract or work-for-hire (until you get a proven track record of completed, functional projects)

Becuase its cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764952)

>> why not let your programmers work from home for >> 50-80% of their current in-office pay?

Because they can find someone to do the work for 20% to 30% of your pay unfortunately...

Work for (1)

ThrasherTT (87841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764956)

Get a security clearance and get a job working for Uncle Sam, or whoever. Sure, sometimes government work sucks, but you can be fairly certain that your clearance-required job isn't going to go offshore!

"Security Risk" Label (2, Insightful)

richg74 (650636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764963)

I was pushed out by a 3rd party vendor, who labeled me the major security risk, after performing a 'vulnerability assessment.'

Do you have anything in writing that says this? If you do, it might be worthwhile to have a quick chat with a lawyer. (If you can't afford one, your local employment assistance agency or legal aid society might be able to help.) IANAL, but I would think that making this kind of claim without any evidence to support it might be actionable.

If you pursue this route, I would not try to get the job back. You've found out the hard way that the people you worked for are intellectual and ethical cretins. Try for a cash settlement, and then find another job.

Outsourcing (1)

e.m.rainey (91553) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764967)

I doubt the advice to work at home for 50-80% off would fly. Most geeks wouldn't be able to maintain rent payments at the high end of that scale. The only thing you can do is make yourself valuable to the company. I don't mean -invaluable- as in obfuscate your job such that no one else can do it, but rather find a niche that you excel at and be the "goto" for it. This is, of course, a tough and sometime impossible thing to do. When execs see those short term dollar signs they lose some sense of reality and some sense of reason, which makes them think that outsourcing their best people is somehow a good idea. Even though it sucks to lose your job to this mentality, at least they did you a favor in that you can find a better place to work now, where perhaps, just perhaps, people at recognized and rewarded for being valuable instead of being eliminated. One can hope, desperately, that a place like that still exists.

contract (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764969)

You might want to make sure the contract for the security assessment makes sure they cannot bid for security-related products, (only other audits) for the next 20(or 50) years. That should keep the problem under control.

What, you mean you bought auditing services without a contract???
I rest my case.

Slanderous conduct? (2, Informative)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764976)

Could being labeled a threat, which then causes you to lose your only source of income, be actionable?

Seems to me that if my employer was happy with my performance before the audit and I truly was no risk, I'd get a lawyer and sue both the company and the third party.

I had something similar happen to me back in the 80's and have regretted not taking action against what turn out to be a bunch of bastards

the good, the bad, the ugly (4, Interesting)

Broadcatch (100226) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764978)

I was "outsourced" two years ago and after 25 years of seamlessly moving between companies with never once even writing a resume, I haven't been able to get back into the market.
  • the good : I've had lots of time to play with my 2 year old son
  • the bad : I've got a family to feed
  • the ugly : I'm learning that experience in the industry hurts ones chances te land a job, as we're considered "too expensive"
I've found a few consulting gigs to help, but now I'm moving out of the Bay Area - can't afford to live here anymore.

Sue them... and find a new job... (2, Insightful)

jorlando (145683) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764981)

"I was pushed out by a 3rd party vendor, who labeled me the major security risk, after performing a 'vulnerability assessment.' "

If you have been fired with that argument and if you performed your job within the expected parameters find a lawyer and sue them.

Not for vengeance or something like this... just business...

Have you thought about your future employers calling your old job for references? "The old network admin? Well, nice guy, but was fired because he was a security risk"

and move on...

Don't support companies that support offshoring! (0)

110010001000 (697113) | more than 10 years ago | (#7764987)

This includes VALinux (the parent company of slashdot). See their press releases regarding their support of offshoring here:

http://www.nasdaq.com/asp/quotes_news.asp?select ed =LNUX&symbol=LNUX%60&textpath=20031208%5CACQBIZ200 312080845BIZWIRE%5FUSPR%5F%5F%5F%5F%5FBW5323%2Ehtm &cdtime=12%2F08%2F2003+8%3A45AM

and here:

http://www.nasdaq.com/asp/quotes_news.asp?select ed =LNUX&symbol=LNUX%60&textpath=20031208%5CACQBIZ200 312080845BIZWIRE%5FUSPR%5F%5F%5F%5F%5FBW5258%2Ehtm &cdtime=12%2F08%2F2003+8%3A45AM

Sue for Libel and Slander (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7764988)

Sue for Libel and Slander. Find a slick attorney that knows how to get a fat settlement. Start making a list of your character witnesses. Sue your company and the consultancy firm. Make them prove that you are a security risk. Supena records from the consultancy and threaten class-action. This will kill the deal for the consultancy and get you a settlement from both companies. Your attorney will get half and everyone, but the people who screwed you, will be happy.

Mommy! He took my job! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7765008)

Hey dude, if you are that great, you should be able to find another job. Again, if you are like the millions of people who 'cannot relocate because my dog likes to piss on a particular oak tree' kinda guy, stay at home!

replaced by a corepirate nazi execrable softwar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7765009)

gangster touting mechanism, what's a stock markup FraUD corepirate nazi tout/puppet blogger to do?

mynuts won: no changes planned?

not that it's stuff that really matters?

robbIE rumoured to be corepirate nazi clone? (Score:mynuts won, pateNTdead PostBlock(tm) devise still not working?)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12, @06:53AM (#7699395)
eXPerimeNT(r)oll, version won, of course.

the process has 'advanced' to transform bodIEs of regular folks into greed/fear/ego based puppets/ediots/droids. those slymebawls over at phonIE monIE .controll just waved their 'magic' WAnD in front of lairIE/robbIE et AL, & 'stuff that matters' turned/weNT right into the nazis' payper liesense windows/gadgets, ala LeRegister.

lookout bullow. there's nothing behind the ?pr? ?firm?/stock markup fraud 'curtain'. not even a little 'man'.

eyecon0meter: unprecedented evile hivists (Score:mynuts won, the sound of silence?)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12, @10:45AM (#7701157)
swarming for the ?last? badtoll?

as anticipated.

disbulleave if you want to/must, but do keep your shades handy.

unprecedented evile/corepirate nazis/softwar gangster thugs/hired goons (Score:mynuts won, a snow job is better than no job?)

by Anonymous Coward
on Friday December 12, @06:04AM (#7699252 [slashdot.org]) cloning each other/themselves?

they need to .continually refresh the suppLIE of wannabe fraudulent phonIE monIE billyonerrors, as the # of those with felony grand larcenIE indictmeNTs pending, or already 'sentenced', & on 'probation', grows daily.

no matter, as the unprecedented evile execrable's clones are greed/fear/ego based also, they are no match for the creators' newclear power, & planet/population rescue mandates..

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily (forever, if we knew how to work lairIE's pateNTdead PostBlock(tm) devise) been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner. If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down, like with the corepirate nazi's ?pr? ?firm? hypenosys bouNTy huNTer scam. If you think this is unfair, we don't care.

mynuts won, only the monIE matters now?

Why (on a macro scale) is outsourcing bad? (3, Insightful)

otisaardvark (587437) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765010)

The tactics of this particular company sound a bit iffy, true. But why exactly should someone equally qualified willing to work for less not get the job?

It is very hard on those who it affects, but the economic reality is that the money saved in efficiencies (even if it only goes towards fat cat bonuses) is very tangible.

There is illiquidity in labour pools because of immigration laws etc., but the internet removes these barriers. The global workplace is here, and as a result the market is freer than before.

It is quite feasible that if (eg) Russia in fifty years time will farm out its "boring" nanotech analysis work to the US. Like it or not, standards of living in 2nd and 3rd world countries are going to improve, sometimes at the expense of sections of the 1st world. However, overall and in the long-term, competition leads to better economies all round.

Talk (1)

dus (139697) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765011)

Maybe you could have a little chat with someone in management, trying to make them aware of what happened? Preferably, present it in such a way that they will 'discover themselves' what happened. Just guide them along.

Of course, there must be someone you can talk to. Some PHBs are just too dense, I know :-(.

Good luck there.

Perception is the reality (5, Insightful)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765012)

Always remember that.
The guy could be right, the guy could be wrong - that is completely irrelevant. The percieved reality is:

the guy was in charge of network security

the third-party audit was performed (why? did they look for an excuse to dump him?)

Vulnerability was found

The guy was sacked.

That is all that matters. Waste your time - blame outsourcing, Republicans, little green men.
Get over it, fix the resume and get back into the game. American corp environment is completely free of common sense and logic.

Set up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7765013)

assuming that you aren't a security risk and weren't doing the macgyver routine where you do everything on your own and you're the only one who knows what you did...you were set up brother...happens all the time to both security folk and app developers. the real trick is to either bury yourself in a large company where you're realtively ineffective or to gain enough sway to control the consultants and the assessment project. if managers are intent on 3rd party INDEPENDENT assessment and they believe them then find another job ASAP, they don't have faith in you and even if you keep your job you're going nowhere fast in the long run.

Nice network you've got here, Colonel... (2, Funny)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765015)

This is like the Army Protection Racket sketch from Monty Python. The foreigners come in, "That's a nice network you've got there, Mr. Corporate Executive. It'd be a real shame if someone were to, you know, hack into it, maybe set your building on fire, you know... a real shame..."

Did anyone else (1)

akaina (472254) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765017)

... get the vibe that when he said he was performing a 'vulnerability assessment' he was using NMAP or something? It sounds like some PHB freaked out and fired him.

It sounds fishy because no company trusts a third party above their own staff unless they're suspicious to begin with, or unless they already knew you needed to go.

What I would do. (5, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765018)

You make some extremely good points, and you make them cogently and cooly.

Personally, I would set down my concerns; about the possible conflict of interest in the study; about the lack of technical oversight of the reports findings in a letter and send it to the company CEO.

The letter should be couched in such a way to make it clear that you are writing becauase you are concerned about the company's security; not because you are disgruntled. Make that very clear, mention in passing the facts about your recent appraisals, and bonus payments.

Leave the CEO in no doubt that you are a professional and you are concerned that the company may be being set up. Tell the CEO that (s)he should not hestitate to contact you, to discuss the issues.

At the very least it will make you feel better. It may even get the company to rethink its policy.

go get a job (0, Troll)

ghettoreb (711310) | more than 10 years ago | (#7765022)

just a note, shouldn't you be out there looking for a job instead of posting on slashdot? not to be an ass, but it just struck me as odd...
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