Presenting a Webinar on Delivering Data Security with Hadoop and the IoT

July 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

On August 9, I’ll be teaming with Reiner Kappenberger from Hewlett Packard Enterprise to explore some of the most pressing security implications of Hadoop and the Internet of Things (IoT). Hosted by the IT GRC Forum, here’s what we’ll be covering:

The Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay, and Gartner predicts there will be over 26 billion connected devices by 2020. This is driving an explosion of data which offers tremendous opportunity for organizations to gain business value, and Hadoop has emerged as the key component to make sense of the data and realize the maximum value. On the flip side the surge of new devices has increased potential for hackers to wreak havoc, and Hadoop has been described as the biggest cybercrime bait ever created.

Data security is a fundamental enabler of the IoT, and if it is not prioritized the business opportunity will be undermined, so protecting company data is more urgent than ever before. The risks are huge and Hadoop comes with few safeguards, leaving it to organizations to add an enterprise security layer. Securing multiple points of vulnerability is a major challenge, although when armed with good information and a few best practices, enterprise security leaders can ensure attackers will glean nothing from their attempts to breach Hadoop. In this webinar we will discuss some steps to identify what needs protecting and apply the right techniques to protect it before you put Hadoop into production.

If you’d like to join us, register here.

 

Helpful REST API 101 guide available online

July 1, 2016 Comments Off on Helpful REST API 101 guide available online

For software developers and architects tasked with creating programmatic interfaces to their applications, there’s been a longstanding debate between utilizing the structure and standards of SOAP-based Web services versus offering the freedom and flexibility of REST APIs.

In the midst of all these deliberations, I’ve observed a great deal of confusion about what, exactly, defines a REST API. SmartBear has come up with a helpful resource that provides a nice overview of the origins, attributes, and goals of REST APIs. You can view the guide here.

 

REST 101

If you’re interested in learning more about REST API design, development, and testing, check out my other postings on the subject.

What do all effective custom demos have in common?

June 29, 2016 Comments Off on What do all effective custom demos have in common?

Selling a high value, technically sophisticated product or service usually means showing it to the prospect before they’ll buy. This makes the demonstration an absolutely essential task, yet many businesses – both large and small – take a very haphazard approach. Naturally, these oversights often lead to unwanted outcomes and lost revenue.

I’ve been involved – as a spectator and participant – in an uncountable number of these events. Based on my years of experience, here’s a subjective list of what the most successful demos achieve:

  1. They’re concise
  2. They’re bulletproof
  3. They’re repeatable
  4. They’re adjustable
  5. And most importantly, they’re part of a well-designed sales cycle

I’ll be writing about each of the recommendations in future posts, but for now it’s worth pointing out that I’m not talking about something that’s shown to just anyone (such as you might find in a recording or on a website). Instead, these suggestions refer to custom demos that are directly linked to a sales effort.

If you’d like to discuss how fine-tuned demos can help you win deals, feel free to email me.

Informative Forbes article about men investing in women-founded ventures

June 18, 2016 Comments Off on Informative Forbes article about men investing in women-founded ventures

I wish my schedule had permitted me to join my Astia Angels colleagues at this year’s United State of Women (#StateofWomen) event in Washington. Convened by the White House, it brought people from all walks of life together to share ideas about advancing gender equality, a mission that’s very important to me. I’m also a firm believer in using entrepreneurship as a vehicle for making this happen.

Geri Stengel has just written a very informative article on the significant role that male angel investors can play in helping support women-led ventures. This is particularly urgent given that the vast majority of angel and venture investments continue to omit companies founded and/or led by women.

Forbes

 

This gap was a big reason why I joined Astia Angels. I’ve long believed in – and witnessed first-hand – the power of diverse leadership teams. To support our quest to propel women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, we draw on a diverse, far-reaching collection of highly talented investors, each with their own unique background, perspective, and relationships. If you’d like to learn more about Astia Angels including our investment philosophy, portfolio, and even becoming a member, please get in touch: I’m always happy to answer questions.

Yet another reason for local backups

May 6, 2016 Comments Off on Yet another reason for local backups

I’m an enthusiastic user of cloud computing. I’m also a dedicated adopter of information protection strategies such as local backups. When combined, both techniques are excellent ways to protect your data while providing access anywhere you may happen to be.

Merely relying on one or the other by itself introduces significant risks, however. For example, have a look at James Pinkstone’s recent writeup about how Apple Music uploaded and then deleted his local music library.

vellum

Gigantic external hard drives are inexpensive and convenient: regardless of your chosen cloud computing service, consider keeping a local copy of your data (and beware of products that are overly aggressive about siphoning and uploading your information).

Seven easy ways to scare off an angel investor

April 22, 2016 Comments Off on Seven easy ways to scare off an angel investor

I’ve been an angel investor for nearly two decades. While the investment climate is highly dynamic, what’s unchanged is that pitching to angels is always a challenge – we’re often skittish and faddish at the same time (just like venture capitalists, by the way).

During the past 20 years, I’ve read and heard more presentations than I can keep track of. There are probably 500 ways to chase away potential investors (and probably 5,000 articles and blog posts about what not to do), but in my experience, here are seven of the most effective ways to guarantee a ‘no’.

  1. Insist that there’s no competition
  2. Ask for nice, even, round numbers – with no logical linkage to your budget or sales projections
  3. Make overly optimistic behavioral assumptions for your customers
  4. Casually describe all of your hobbies and side-projects

  5. Paper over intellectual property and regulatory issues

  6. Point out that you’re building a business to hand down to your children

  7. Counter an investment offer with non-standard terms

I’ll be describing these observations in future posts, so stay tuned if you’d like to learn more.

Excellent article about FBI’s iPhone crack

March 30, 2016 Comments Off on Excellent article about FBI’s iPhone crack

Bruce Schneier has long been one of my favorite technology authors and bloggers. He manages to write about extremely complex topics in a very accessible way – a notably rare and highly admirable skill. His latest article explains why the secretive approach that the FBI is employing to unlock iPhones will eventually harm innocent users unless Apple is notified of the device’s vulnerability.

schneier

The problem with computer vulnerabilities is that they’re general. There’s no such thing as a vulnerability that affects only one device. If it affects one copy of an application, operating system or piece of hardware, then it affects all identical copies. A vulnerability in Windows 10, for example, affects all of us who use Windows 10. And it can be used by anyone who knows it, be they the FBI, a gang of cyber criminals, the intelligence agency of another country … anyone.

This is precisely why Apple needs to understand what’s happened. Otherwise, the next entity to break into iPhones may not be doing so in the legitimate and honorable interest of solving crime.

I read Bruce’s blog regularly, and recommend it to anyone interested in security and information protection.

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