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Fun Leadership Technology

Risky Business: Perspectives on Information Security Risk Leadership

Information security risk management does not end at the datacenter or the office building. Security architecture is a discipline that requires the ability to draw connections between disparate concepts and combine them into a cohesive strategy for securing the enterprise. Questions like, “How do we enable the business to attain ‘speed to market’ while minimizing risks,” are central to the field of practice. This necessitates a balance between art and science. What follows is not your typical cybersecurity thought leadership. However, it demonstrates that to be comfortable and calm in fast-paced environments is a transferable skill set. Knowing when to go fast and when to slow down a project is an art. Also, the ability to make work fun means that one is comfortable in the role. To illustrate these concepts, hope you enjoy my video: https://lnkd.in/gy4FYTR.

Categories
Humor Opinion Technology Work-Life Balance

SMS: “Technological Enforcement of Good Behavior”

One of the best things I ever did was get rid of text messaging on my phone. I coined a term for this years ago, “technological enforcement of good behavior.” Setting expectations is a good thing because then people have a realistic timeline for response. After having been an on-call SOC IDS engineer, those text alert sounds and visual notifications made me react like a military vet hearing a gunshot every time.

In the days when it was just us techies, SMS was useful because all of us used it for its intended design, “Short Messages.” These included such literary gems as, “Meet me on raised floor in 10,” or “Patch failed. Reimaging.” Nobody tried to have conversations over SMS because we were busy and nobody wanted to walk around staring into a screen like someone staring into one of Piers Anthony’s Xanthian hypnogourds.

Ditching SMS meant I never had to deal sneak attack messages like these again: 

·    “I know you told me not to text, but…”

·    “I know you said not to text you while you’re at work, but…”

·    “I know you’re having surgery, but…”

·    “I know you’re sleeping but…”

·    “I know you just sent money to me two weeks ago, but…” 

·    “Your [insert relative] died” with no preamble or warning during mission-critical conference calls.

·    “Your friend [insert name of late friend] died,” while I was on my first real vacation in years.

·    Having my privacy violated by being added to group texts so that a bunch of people now had my mobile number, even though I never agreed to give it to them.

·    Drama over text messages like, “He broke up with me,” “he didn’t text me back within 1 minute,” or “Come over right now and help me with this [insert self-created emergency/emotional meltdown/find a job/‘drama of the day’].”

·    4 AM Sunday morning after I worked all day Saturday, played a gig all night, then finally got to sleep at 3:30 AM, “I’m going for a walk.”

·    1 AM on a work night, “Hey, what are you doing?”

·    On my birthday, “Happy birthday! Your [insert friend, relative, or acquaintance] was [insert horrible event]. You need to do something about it right now. I have [insert illness].”

·    “I sent an email to you.”

·    “I left a voicemail for you.”

· “Why haven’t you responded to my texts? I’m so upset!” after the people had been told countless times that I hate texting, but the people still ended up angry with me for not responding to texts. These usually came in during work, during a gig, when I was at the hospital, spending time with family or friends, driving my stick shift car, or riding my motorcycle. You know, when it was physically impossible to respond.

·      Text spam, scams, and political messages 24×7 because some wonderful person posted my phone number.

The few fun texts were buried by all the drama and junk. I’ve experimented with turning SMS off many times over the years, and each time I try it again, I can’t stop that reflexive reaction to the alerts. Besides that, people exhibit the same behaviors every time I turn it back on, no matter how many times I nicely ask them to respect my texting boundaries and communication preferences. The fine examples above ruined any chance I had to learn to enjoy texting. With email as my only form of text-based communication, I never have to be treated like I’m on call again!

Best of all, I’ll never be blindsided with bad news until I’m in the right environment to deal with it. Those “bad news” messages always made me feel like someone had emotionally “Goatse’d” me. DO NOT look up this reference if you don’t already know it.

SMS: Technological Enforcement of Good BehaviorBesides that, normal human interaction is so much better than being typed at. I love taking time to meet and speak with people, and really only use email to set up times to do this. Texts always made me feel like I was communicating with an AI anyway.

Categories
How To Technology TipsandTricks

How to Get the Internet Speed You Pay For: Is It Me or My ISP?

Those of you who know what I do for a living during the day know that it’s not only my career but my personal mission in life to help people. I got fed up with ISPs promising certain speeds, but not actually delivering. They always have some excuse and blame the connection on your equipment or wiring. Then they want to sent a technician to your home to fix the problem. Do not believe what they tell you until you verify it yourself. Instead, use the information below to hold your ISPs accountable for delivering what they promise. Here are some easy steps to help you get what you pay for:

Do not pay for internet speed you cannot receive. Check your wireless card and modem to see if they are capable of the speed you pay your ISP for. If you have an older card that only supports a 30Mbps connection, you should not pay for premier or gigabit service because the card cannot go any faster. Example: You can ride a bicycle (your card & modem) on a road with a 75 MPH speed limit (your ISP), but you cannot pedal a bicycle that fast. Therefore, you should stay on the bike path.

If you have a card and modem that are capable of certain speeds and you are paying for those speeds, make sure you get them.

Test your internet speed. Go to http://www.speedtest.net/ and click the “Begin Test” button. It will show your upload and download speeds. It is best to do this from a computer that is directly connected to your modem, not through a wireless connection.

Take screenshots of these tests and save them in case you need to report service issues to entities such as the FCC, Attorney General, BBB, etc. To take a screenshot:

    1) Press the [ALT] and the [Pause/Break] keys simultaneously

    2) Open Word or Paint

    3) Press the [CTRL] and the [V] keys simultaneously

Test your internet connection:

  1) On Windows computers, go to Start/Run

  2) Type “cmd” then press the [Enter] key

  3) At the command prompt, type “pathping www.microsoft.com” then press the [Enter] key

  4) Wait. Wait some more. Eventually, you will get a screen full of what may look like gobbledygook to you, but is really showing you if there are any issues with your connection.

   5) Is it me or is it my ISP?

       a) If entries 0 and 1 show 0% Lost/Sent, your connection from your computer to your modem is good. If they show any packet loss [any number (e.g., 5%, 7%, 24%) in the in the Lost/Sent column], this connection is bad and the problem could be your network card, wire, or modem.

       b) If entries 1 and 2 show 0% Lost/Sent, your connection from your modem to your ISP is good. If they show any packet loss, this connection is bad and it could be either your modem or your ISP’s gateway.

       NOTE: a and b could also be your home’s wiring (inside or outside). However, the problem is most like a malfunctioning filter. If you do not subscribe to the ISP’s top TV tier, they install a filter on the outside line to keep you from getting channels to which you do not subscribe. These filters frequently interfere with internet service speeds because the TV and the Internet use the same lines.

      c) If entries 2 through the end of anything that shows your ISP’s name (Cox Communications is the example below) show 0% Lost/Sent, your ISP has good connections at their company. Example:

          2 10.81.64.1

          3 100.127.71.36

          4 70.169.74.150

          5 langbprj01-ae1.rd.la.cox.net [68.1.1.13]

         If they show any packet loss, your ISP’s internal connections are suspect and the problem is on their end.

REPEAT THESE TESTS EVERY MONTH OR SO

I found that ISPs tend to deliver high speed, then gradually lower your speed over time…the dreaded “slow fade.” I suspect they think you will not notice and will end up buying a faster speed package…Anyway, their reps will tell you they do not do this and that it is not possible. However, internet connection speeds are lowered via network prioritization, bandwidth throttling, traffic shaping, and even by downgrading your connection based upon your modem’s MAC address. Look these terms up online; there is no space for the definitions here.

I hope this post saves you a few headaches and some money!

____________________

Note to my techie friends: Yes, I used Windows as the example. Yes, there are other operating systems out there. However, if you’re running Ubuntu, RedHat, Mandrake, etc., you probably already know how to do all this troubleshooting and you already do it regularly, right? 😉