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Track the Triad to Tria(d)ge

We'll Crack Through This Code Tonight

As usual of my blog – the following anecdote unfolds the subject of my blog.…

Have you met oxymoron characters? I have and I am going to describe an incident in one such character’s life:

I know a balding old gentleman who is stung by an oxymoron combination of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and absent mindedness. This man had peculiar habits one being carrying anything and everything tucked in newspaper folds to safeguard them from crumpling.

Let me tell you how this character triaged an incident by tracking the triad.

The Incident:

One day this gentleman carried a self-addressed cheque leaf in the newspaper and went off to the bank. Guess what – he did so many things at the bank and on the way back he visited his favorite book shop, had coffee at a café. He had totally forgot about the cheque till he opened the newspaper for a read in the metro. To his dismay, he could not find the cheque.

Confirming the Incident:

He came home and informed his wife of the loss of the cheque. The ever-patient loving lady carefully checked all the folds of the newspaper and confirmed that the cheque was definitely missing.

As the cheque was a heavy amount, they wanted to take immediate action and came to me.

Tracking the Triad:

I started questioning the old man to help them:

Confidentiality and Availability Check:

Me: Uncle can you guess where you could have possibly lost your cheque?

Uncle: No dear, the cheque could be anywhere on the way to or from the bank. It could even be at the book shop or the café and God knows who all visited these places after me.


Confidentiality and Availability are breached, the cheque is available to unauthorized persons.

Integrity Check:

Me: Is the cheque a valid one?

Uncle: I am sorry to say that I had 2 cheques for the same amount. In one of them I had made some mistakes, so I wrote the correct details in another one. Now I have the wrong cheque and have lost the correctly filled one.


Integrity is compromised in the wrongly filled cheque and is not usable by anyone, not even the bank. But the lost, integrity-maintained, correctly-filled cheque can be mis-used.


My first resort to safeguard uncle’s cheque was to restrict its usage by anyone. That can be done by declaring the cheque invalid for transaction or freezing the bank account.

Me: Uncle, does your bank have an online customer care system?

Uncle: Yes, and I have all the details you need to do that.

I reported the cheque loss to the customer care and further froze uncle’s account so that the cheque even if presented will not be processed. Aunty declared that uncle shall not do any more bank transactions without her presence.

We had increased the Confidentiality of the system, as a result of which we were able to tackle the incident.

That’s how we tracked the CIA (Confidentiality Integrity Availability) triad to triage the Incident.

The same procedure can be applied to any security incident or breach at home or at office.

Triad-ging is the key to recover safely from incidents and breaches.

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Gayathri Narayanan, SQA Manager

Have a hybrid background of engineering academics, technical writing and software process quality assurance for about 20+ years. Other than work, interested in art, writing, music.

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