I was asked recently about how to manage multiple and different personalities by a potential client. The client drew similarities between his days in management with a manufacturer of denim clothes with and mine managing a consulting firm. Initially I had a tough time drawing a parallel, but as he explained more it became almost glaringly obvious. I was also asked how I managed those personalities when project expectations are at best “unreasonable”.
He stated managing the “unreasonable” periods were the hardest. For him this could include tight customer deadlines or a shortage in raw product. That would cause timelines to compress and the team to become stressed. In his field he has to deal with fashion designers, textile manufacturers, retail buyers, and factory workers. I remarked that is certainly a varied group of skills and personalities to deal with. Especially in a time of crisis.
When you leave your house to go shopping I am sure you lock your door on the way out. You may even set your alarm. Once at the mall you lock your car and maybe park under a light if you know it will be dark when you leave. Simple steps to make sure you keep the things you care about stay safe. So the question can be asked, if you keep your personal life safe shouldn’t you follow the same approach for IT Security?
There is an old saying “Security never goes out of style” and no matter what the latest technology trend might be security is always part of the conversation. Your company is responsible for a number of different types of sensitive information. Common items include personally identifiable information about your employees, your organizations financial information, customer data and your organizations intellectual property just to name a few.
Early in my career I thought the role CIO (Chief Information Officer) and CTO (Chief Technology Officer) were interchangeable positions. It did not take me long to come to understand that each role is different and the importance of each role is rooted in the user community it serves.
While both roles are C-level, it is not uncommon for a CTO or CIO to shift into one or the other over the course of their career. The primary distinction between the two roles is pretty easy to understand. The correct title is based on the person’s interaction with the business, the technology, and its clients.
One of the most difficult tasks for a company is choosing a new software or SaaS application. Especially when that software is mission critical to the business. It becomes that much harder when you have more than one person involved in the selection process.
This endeavor usually includes a bunch of software demos, many spreadsheets tracking the features and benefits, and sales collateral from all the vendors all over your desk. Very quickly the whole process can become a blur with each software package resembling one another. Opinions come from all sources… family, vendors, and even your close competitors will offer their two cents on the subject. But do their suggestions even fall inline with your need?
You have taken the plunge. You have moved a mission critical application to the cloud. Hooray! Now its time for ease of use, access from anywhere, anytime and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). This is going to be great….until its 10 PM and you run into an issue that requires assistance. Will your new Software as a Service (SaaS) provider be there to help you find your way?
The good news is that many of the SaaS providers really understand that when you need help, “YOU NEED HELP”. Support is easy to access via chat, FAQ’s and support forums, even phone to address the need for immediate support. Others have gone one step further by creating a video library to show users how to perform a number of the common tasks found in their software, the ultimate in intimate self-service while keeping the do-it-yourself feel.
A few days ago I was speaking with a friend of mine who operates a Managed Service Provider (MSP). He shared with me a story about a client of his who was recently hit with ransomware. In this conversation he told me about the cost of the event (it was heavy) and amount of downtime his client experienced (it was multiple days). Later I will share one other startling fact.
So, what is Ransomware?
Similar to malware or a virus, ransomware is a malicious software created by blackhat hackers. Unlike, a viruses and malware that can impact network traffic, install key loggers or Trojans, or potentially delete data ransomware locks out an individual or company from accessing data. Those users are greeted by a message demanding payment for a release of the restriction.