As an executive and someone responsible for outreach on behalf of my organization, I do a ton of talking on Information Security matters. I also get to see a fair amount in the post-mortem analysis of some fairly interesting technical exploits. Time and again information security practitioners and the executives they work for want to know what they should be doing to protect their enterprises. The simple answer is frankly to just do the basics (at least as a starting point). Now, that answer can be misleading, as the basics or fundamentals require steady adherence to principles which require qualified teams to take a systematic approach to keeping an enterprise safe from would be attackers. But, if you are great at the basics or fundamentals you will be in better shape than most. Continue reading → Why the InfoSec Fundamentals aren’t so Fundamental
For those of you who have seen Matt Damon in The Martian, there is a great line following the character Mark Watney’s discovery of his rather dire predicament, where he states, “I’m going to have to science the (expletive) out of this.” It’s a great line and eerily representative of how many of us feel when we are about to tackle a huge, perplexing problem. Over the last decade, the tech field has experienced an explosion of firms in the Cyber Security arena. Attendance at nearly any vendor based symposium/seminar will show you that there is no shortage of products being developed which claim to offer the singular solution necessary to protect networks against the ever-present dangers of hackers and the Advanced Persistent Threat posed by nation states. Here is the problem, the tech industry can’t completely science or tech their way out of this dilemma. It is the clear truth which we are long to embrace. Continue reading → Pirates and the World Wide Web: Solving the World’s Cyber Security Dilemma
Today’s police officer faces an increasingly difficult environment. From the start of his or her service until the very end, law enforcement officials are required to make decisive judgments in crisis scenarios where life and public safety are the variables looming over their decision-making abilities. There are a few truisms we find in the post-mortem of nearly every crisis encounter. First, law enforcement officials fall back on their training in moments of crisis. The human body is a like a machine during these moments, using its impressive recall ability to nearly immediately evoke action; with very little thought. We are taught that our repetitive training and muscle memory will take over during those crucial moments. Secondly, if given the time to make decisions in both life-threatening and non-threatening scenarios, you want your officers equipped with another important characteristic. You want them to be leaders.
What happens when leaders are not empowered to make critical decisions? My analysis of the issue was prompted by me being witness to, in fact, participating and being challenged with this very problem. In this particular scenario, our leaders are struggling with the paradigm of doing more with less, but not really being empowered to make decisions based on risk-variables and live with the outcomes. How can you really develop leaders without giving them the power to make impactful decisions? How can you expect your leaders to grow, if you don’t allow them to fail? One thing is certain, if things don’t change, you may never see greatness. Continue reading → “Mediocrity is the Enemy of Greatness.”
Occasionally, I will have an experience which absolutely inspires me. It can come from any number of sources and often from places where I would least expect it. A dear friend was recently diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness. It is the worst kind of illness, as it promises to strip away his vitality and his ability to make his own steam until it strips him of life. These are near certain facts; yet he virtually stands tall and makes those around him feel as though they can rise to their own challenges in a similar way; with grit, resilience and yes, a good attitude. Continue reading → Grit, Resilience and a Good Attitude
Anyone who knows me could probably guess that I disagree with 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and his decision to sit during the playing of the national anthem. His inaction has initiated a firestorm of controversy. My initial reaction was a visceral one and I needed time to digest the “why” of my reaction and feelings on the subject. I’ll admit, I can be cautiously deliberative, even slow to getting to these timely issues, but I’m willing to finally take a stab at it. These are volatile and interesting times and the domestic landscape is wrought with tension about a myriad of subjects, not the least of which are the inequities associated with our treatment of people of color in several facets of American life. So, while I agree the topic deserves to be discussed and that action is required to ensure these discussions bear fruit, I disagree with how Mr. Kaepernick has chosen to bring light to the subject and here is the “why” for me. Continue reading → I Simply Disagree
Students of the discipline of leadership frequently debate which of the many traits among leaders is the most important leadership trait to possess. There is an argument for integrity, but we have all seen that men and women can inspire people in one facet of life whilst being untrue to themselves and others in other more compartmentalized places. There is an argument for vision. Clearly an important and vital component of a leader. Without a clear depiction of what you are working towards, it can be difficult to lead people to the promised land. Each of the critical characteristics or traits carries their own weight, value and relative importance. When you compare even a handful of the known leadership luminaries, like King, Gandhi and Mandela, there is one trait which rises above all others and that is the trait of COURAGE. Continue reading → Courage – The MVP of Leadership Traits