Bag Check at Work

A FISMA audit stated having a sign at the building entrance warning that all bags are subject to search is not enough. Physical security must actually occasionally search bags. Since then, on a periodic basis, security has set of a table by the entrance most employees use.
I ran into that mess on Friday afternoon. The timing of this security checkpoint says it all. If they were trying to find something, they wouldn’t run a checkpoint on the Friday before New Years. They were just trying to check off a box not increase security. I got “lucky”. They were stopping one person in five. They had me take out my laptop, verified that the portable propterty pass was valid for it, and had me hold open another zippered compartment in the bag.
Did it annoy me? Heck yeah it did. I’m trying to figure out why. Is my annoyance more based on the intrusion of it, or is it based on the meaninglessness of it. I could have exited the building through three other doors without that hassle. I could carry out anything on a Weekend without challenge; the doors are unmanned on the weekend. The check was so cursory it didn’t have much chance at finding anything.
The New York subway bag checks can be refused if you turn around and walk away. The bag/receipt checkers at Wal-Mart can be ignored. Work bag checks are more problematic. Not following company policy can get you fired. If you have a security clearance, that could be revoked for not following security procedure.
It would help if I felt like the package inspection was more than security theatre. I’d like to at least know who the theatre is for. The employees dont feel safer because of it. I think its theatre for the auditors and for the DoD.
Employees always feel that our computer security policies are too restrictive. Unlike this package inspection, most of the time we explain the need for it. Its only with the employees that try to debate the issue to death that we then point to external requirements such as FISMA.