Entries by Alan Zeichick

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The billion-dollar cost of extreme cyberattacks

A major global cyberattack could cost US$53 billion of economic losses. That’s on the scale of a catastrophic disaster like 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. Lloyds of London, the famous insurance company, partnered with Cyence, a risk analysis firm specializing in cybersecurity. The result is a fascinating report, “Counting the Cost: Cyber Exposure Decoded.” This partnership makes […]

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Learn datacenter principles from ISO 26262 standards for automotive safety engineering

In my everyday life, I trust that if I make a panic stop, my car’s antilock brake system will work. The hardware, software, and servos will work together to ensure that my wheels don’t lock up—helping me avoid an accident. If that’s not sufficient, I trust that the impact sensors embedded behind the front bumper […]

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No more mansplaining: 10 commandments for male clergy – and all lay leaders

“Thou shalt not refer winkingly to my taking off my robe after worship as disrobing.” A powerful new essay by Pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler, “10 commandments for male clergy,” highlights the challenges that female clergy endure in a patriarchal tradition — and one in which they are still seen as interlopers to church/synagogue power. In my […]

Email exchanges about Russian involvement with Don Trump Jr. are despicable

This is what Daffy Duck would describe as “dethpicable.” Absolutely deplorable. We can now read emails exchanged last year between Don Trump Jr. (the president’s son) and Rob Goldstein, an intermediary with Russia. According to Mr. Trump, who released the emails today, the point of the discussion was the Magnitsky Act, which related to sanctions placed on […]

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Cybersecurity has a problem with women — and many opportunities

MacKenzie Brown has nailed the problem — and has good ideas for the solution. As she points out in her three part blog series, “The Unicorn Extinction” (links in a moment): Overall, [only] 25% of women hold occupations in technology alone. Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC), a nonprofit for empowering women in cybersecurity, states that […]

The Acting Director of the FBI is not a scammer

This is an amusing spam scam, if only because it’s so poorly written. Mr. Andrew McCabe, the Acting Director of the FBI, is certainly not behind this scam. Also, the FBI doesn’t send emails using Cyber Internet Services Private Ltd. in Pakistan, or refer people to Nigerian banks, or pay people via ATM card. If […]

Get the time-wasting monkey off your back

Here are a few excerpts from one of the most important articles on leadership ever published. “Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?,” from Harvard Business Review in 1974, equally applies to the business and non-profit worlds. The premise of the article, by William Oncken Jr. and Donald L. Wass, is that leaders too often take […]

With Petya, Malware Means Cyberwar

Analysts  believe that Petya is something new: This malware  pretends to be plain old ransomware that asks for $300 to unlock encrypted data – but is actually intended to steal passwords and destroy data. In other words, it’s a true weaponized cyberattack. email hidden; JavaScript is required Petya appears to have been modified specifically to make […]

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Just say No to Flash, CNN

CNN didn’t get the memo. After all the progress that’s been made to eliminate the requirement for using Adobe’s Flash player by so many streaming-media websites, CNNgo still requires the problematic plug-in, as you can see by the screen I saw just a few minutes ago. Have you not heard of HTML5, oh, CNN programmers? Perhaps […]

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Varjo offers a new type of high-def VR/AR display tuned to the user’s eye motions

The folks at Varjo think they’re made a breakthrough in how goggles for virtual reality and augmented reality work. They are onto something. Most VR/AR goggles have two displays, one for each eye, and they strive to drive those displays at the highest resolution possible. Their hardware and software takes into account that as the goggles […]

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Lordy, I hope there are tapes

I received this awesome tech spam message today from LaserVault. (It’s spam because it went to my company’s info@ address). There’s only one thought: “Lordy, I hope there are backup tapes.” Free White Paper: Is A Tape-Related Data Disaster In Your Future? Is a tape-related data disaster in your future? It may be if you […]

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Running old software? It’s dangerous. Update or replace!

The WannaCry (WannaCrypt) malware attack spread through unpatched old software. Old software is the bane of the tech industry. Software vendors hate old software for many reasons. One, of course, is that the old software has vulnerabilities that must be patched. Another is that the support costs for older software keeps going and growing. Plus, […]

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Business advice for chief information security officers (CISOs)

An organization’s Chief Information Security Officer’s job isn’t ones and zeros. It’s not about unmasking cybercriminals. It’s about reducing risk for the organization, for enabling executives and line-of-business managers to innovate and compete safely and  securely. While the CISO is often seen as the person who loves to say “No,” in reality, the CISO wants […]

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Streamlining the cybersecurity insurance application process

Have you ever suffered through the application process for cybersecurity insurance? You know that “suffered” is the right word because of a triple whammy. First, the general risk factors involved in cybersecurity are constantly changing. Consider the rapid rise in ransomware, for example. Second, it is extremely labor-intensive for businesses to document how “safe” they […]

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Dragonfly, butterfly, bee

Everyone loves bugs — at least, everyone loves beautiful bugs. Right? Here are a few photographed in Phoenix over the past couple of days. The desert here is full of life, from insects to birds to reptiles to plants. Sure, the temperatures may be hot. The forecast is for 117° F next week (47° C) but never […]

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A phone that takes pictures? Smartphone cameras turn 20 years old

Twenty years ago, my friend Philippe Kahn introduced the first camera-phone. You may know Philippe as the founder of Borland, and as an entrepreneur who has started many companies, and who has accomplished many things. He’s also a sailor, jazz musician, and, well, a fun guy to hang out with. About camera phones: At first, […]