Huh. Light reading. Tolstoy, Dovstoyevsky, I-Ching. “Journey Without a Goal.” Must have a killer ending.

When I started this blog back in January I honestly didn’t imagine I would get this far, yet here we are at my 100th post.  Considering it’s a daily blog, that’s a lot of writing.  So before I take a well deserved (in my opinion) 2 week break to let all of you catch up on your reading backlog, I decided to take this post to reflect on some of the coolest things that I’ve learned through the last 100 posts.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that cloud is such a game changer for the entire IT, service provider, business customer and solution vendor market.  In fact, I recently submitted a great topic for VMWorld that identifies just how everyone fits I to the new cloud economy. There is a huge opportunity for organizations like Telcos and consulting firms to create new services to bring large revenue streams through cloud services, as well as auxiliary consulting services. 

The other big thing that I’ve learned is that as marketers (myself included) need to do a better job at educating the market on what cloud really is, how it works, risks and reward and even help them create achievable road maps. We’ve been too focused on pushing products and services and touting the cost savings without helping organizations properly understand why they need them in the first place.  Customers will reward those service providers who help them understand and solve their business requirements.

But most importantly, cloud and virtualization requires baby steps to ensure the right policies and security controls are in place to reduce future risks.

Oh, I think the explanation might be you’ve been fooled by a simple olfactory misdirection, a little bit like ventriloquism of the nose

There are two sides to almost every part of cloud, and for me, one of the biggest two sided coins is data mining. It’s impossible to exist in any form online without mass amounts of data being tracked and mined in the back-end. It’s a scary thing. While there are great free services like Google and Facebook, we all know that in return for these services we pay with our privacy. Other companies pay these service providers to make me a target for their ads based. And with more and more software and services placed in the cloud, the desire for companies to leverage these services as a source of data to help drive revenue will become more invasive. But there is an upside (in my opinion) to data mining, an upside that could help mankind advance through leaps and bounds. This upside is in science. Continue reading

Why don’t they ever bring back or remake good shows, like ‘BJ and the Bear.’ Now there’s a concept I can’t get enough of, a man and his monkey.

One of the reasons organizations hesitate to leverage hosted and managed services is because they are unsure of how data flows across these logical borders. It’s an understandable concern, as there is a lot of fear around privacy issues and that information is being spread way too easily. I mean, think of life before the Internet (yes, there was a time!) how hard it was to obtain information. Now we are more connected than ever. But is embracing digital content and the movement of it a bad thing? Actually, it’s a good thing. Continue reading

I’m sorry. This is the fun-vee. The hum-drum-vee is back there.

If you’re a marketer, you might have heard rumblings about a new tool from Yahoo (yes, you read that right) called Genome. It’s basically a product of both its Interclick acquisition and other advertising deals with companies such as Microsoft and AOL, muddled together to help “understand consumer needs, anticipate audiences’ future performance and develop efficient media buys.” It’s basically a way for regular marketing folks to leverage the vast collection of data and in-house analytics of Yahoo.

Personally, I think this is a smart move for Yahoo as we all can agree that they’ve fallen behind on the search and social market. But as an organization who has invested heavily (and actually use) analytic tools such as Hadoop, it’s a great way for them to create a new channel through analytics as a service.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen this type of service. Google Analytics and Google Trends were created for this purpose. But Genome is focused and designed for marketers through providing data from many non-Yahoo sources and even allowing for the integration of your own sources. It’s a huge market, as analytic services that fit within the limited marketing budget are few and far in between.

It’d be nice to see this as the move that saved Yahoo and made them a strong player in an emerging cloud market. As a marketer, these types of services are valuable, and to deliver them with an attractive cost model, it becomes almost critical for smaller organizations to adopt these services in order to remain competitive.

Yeah. I got the memo. And I understand the policy. And the problem is just that I forgot the one time. And I’ve already taken care of it so it’s not even really a problem anymore.

When you ask a security professional about the biggest security threat they think exists, there is a good chance it will be related to people. After all, no matter what security controls you put in place, it really comes down to human nature as to whether they follow such controls or not. It’s like I always say, “If you don’t give your employees some flexibility, then you might as well hire more security people to deal with the increased workload. So when it comes to fostering an environment of awareness, there are several views on what is the best way to deal with high risk applications such as Dropbox. Continue reading

Well we were thinking of something simple, but hey, if you want to destroy the stage, we’re all for that.

I was tasked the other day with trying to estimate the number of potential clients for a service I am working on. It’s a tough question because the market is still in the first stages of adoption. As for why more companies haven’t started to adopt cloud, it really comes down to one key thing: It’s not something you just do, it’s a huge challenge and takes longer than organizations plan for. Frankly my dear, it’s a pain in the ass. Continue reading

This caused the 1977 New York blackout. A practical joke by the great attractor. He thought it was funny as hell.

Most of Canada and the US’s power, water and manufacturing facilities leverage some kind of industrial control system (ICS). These systems are usually built on Windows and have some kind of front end backing onto the Internet, which means they are prime targets for web based attacks. Continue reading

Nyet! Nyet! No More! No! Not tonight! This son of b***h, all night he, “Check. Check. Check.” He trap me!

I love attending conferences, especially since you get such a diverse group of speakers covering a wide variety of not just security, but cloud issues too. One of the more interesting presentations I stumbled across was delivered by a speaker who spoke nothing about technology, yet presented some of the most compelling information on why cybersecurity is one of the hardest issues to manage on a global scale. Here’s what he spoke about. Continue reading

Evacuate in our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances

As part of its ongoing move towards becoming a major player in the cloud market, Dell recently slipped out an announcement with a surprising partner, Desktone. Desktone, most known for their desktop as a service (DaaS) platform which runs with both Citrix and VMware virtual machines is the newest offering available under the Dell Simplified DaaS service. For organizations looking for a solid VDI model, this might be just the trick. Continue reading

Bye baby kitties. Damn Silent Bob, show some heart.

As someone who works in the IT security industry, I work with a lot of vendors.  I used to work with a lot more, but as a side benefit of streamlining business, I’ve been able to cut down my vendor pool.  At first it was a bit of a shock, but after a year of trial and error, I’ve learned a few great lessons that I think are a perfect strategy for any organization looking at updating their infrastructure, outsourcing or subscribing to a hosted cloud model. Continue reading