Archives For Technology Trends

numbersHow Many Meetings Are You Getting Per Month?

How Many New Clients Have You Picked Up Over the Past 12 Months?

I hear this all the time, “It’s a number’s game.” If you make 60 calls, or some say 100, then you should get 4 – 6 meetings each month, and 1 will close. That’s the silliest thing I’ve hear in a long time. It’s like saying, if I put enough quarters in the slot machine, I’ll eventually win. Odds are odds. It doesn’t matter how many times you flip a coin, the odds of landing on heads are always 50%.

Not Numbers, Think Strategy and Value

Here’s the hard truth. If you have something people really need, know who to communicate to and how to communicate, you’ll connect. If they really need it, they’ll buy it. If you sell them something they really don’t need, they’ll figure it out. If your offering isn’t great, they’ll leave you shortly after signing.$1 HC Book Ad

In my newest book – Digital Money, due out in a couple of weeks, I explain to business leaders exactly why they need to rethink security. I show them what’s going on inside their organization that is destined to lead to disaster. And then I tell them why they can’t fix this internally, and what to look for in an IT service provider.

If you want to know what that service provider looks like, I explain the whole thing in my book, The House & The Cloud.

Don’t Be Fooled

The number’s game leads to business failure. Gartner, The WSJ, and many others are telling us, “The cloud is here, adapt or lose.” Margins on MSP business are shrinking. And don’t expect the data center business to come back next year. I heard that from someone yesterday. It’s not going to happen any time soon.

© 2016, David Stelzl

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hackerDo You Understand The Power Hacker’s Have?

And Most of Us Are Helping Them On a Daily Basis

This October I will be delivering a keynote at the Celaes conference, put on by Florida’s International Banker’s Association (FIBA). In this month’s FIBA newsletter you’ll find an article discussing The Hacker’s Most Powerful Tool – one you won’t detect with scans or traffic analysis…I’ve provided a link here for you’re convenience.$1 HC Book Ad

The big take away here is how all of us are involved in strengthening this attack tool – simply because we underestimate it. Read and discover one of the things your clients really do need to understand if they are going to regain control of their data.

© 2016, David Stelzl

2016-07-25_13-25-41Digital Money, The Book

David Stelzl’s Latest Book

 

It’s been a busy summer. Some traveling, lots of work, and lots of writing. It’s all in preparation for the fall. Most of my fall will be spent in front of business leaders talking about security. Central to these presentations is my new book, Digital Money. I have conferences booked with CPA associations, banker’s associations, distributor conferences, and several exclusive executive lunch meetings hosted by resellers and technology manufactures. It’s all in an effort to create awareness – getting business leaders involved in their data security programs.

What is Digital Money?

You’ve heard of fintech and cybercurrencies – these are all related. But the data itself if worth a lot of money too…it’s all digital money. From bitcoin and blockchain to intellectual capital and trade secrets. Even your personal data – actually, that’s where it all starts.

I’ve been furiously writing since the start of the summer – the Digitalization Megatrend affectively changes everything we know about security, other than the fact that companies all around us are failing to keep their data secure. We should all know that. It’s in the paper every day.

The book should be out next month (August 2016)! I have my editors and internal team reviewing it now, and the artwork is in motion! What is this book about? Here are a few teasers…

  • Don’t like the word, Profiling? – Making decisions about someone based on what they look like is nothing compared to the data aggregation effort going on in the Net – Did you know that everything you do, including driving newer cars, is being recorded digitally? Everything from cookie syncing to fingerprint canvasing, all designed to understand everything there is to understand about you. You are absolutely being profiled.
  • Data aggregators know far more than your spouse will ever know about you. They know what you believe, how you think, what moves you, what convinces you, and how to get the most out of your bank account.  What’s worse, they will sell that information – and some of it is extremely private.
  • They know about your health, your morals, your politics, your fears, your finances, and how to manipulate you. If you’re wondering who you will vote for in November, there’s a computer out there that probably already knows…and the Russians just hacked the Democratic National Convention computers to get some of that intel. (Note: the GOP systems were hacked not long ago). Will there be voter fraud this year? Yes – you can count on it.  No doubt the winner will be determined by hackers…
  • Social engineering is bigger than ever.  If Mitnik had the kind of data available on individuals today, his hacking efforts would he netted millions more.

Data is Essentially Digital money – A Look at Business Security

Social Media is growing because of data aggregation. Facebook is worth about 75 Billion simply because of the intelligence they have on you. The more social media grows, the more promiscuous end-users become with data that used to be secret. And the more data that get’s aggregated, the more hackers can convince users to open doors.

In this book I take a hard look at the  trends – what hackers are up to, how the latest technology trends are opening doors, and how big data and deep machine learning are eating away at companies that don’t take the right steps.

This is not an IT book – it’s not technical. It’s about data, business, and leadership.  If businesses are going to be secure, the leaders must lead. The alternative is to delegate it to the government, letting them impose millions of expensive, ineffective regulations that will ultimately cost small businesses to the point of bankruptcy.

It’s time to get serious about security.

© 2016, David Stelzl

networkThe Power of Data Aggregation

It’s All Part of Your Global Computer Profile

 

Don’t like the term PROFILING? Well, whether you like it or not, we are all being profiled.

In my new book, Digital Money (due out this summer – 2016), I uncover some of what is actually happening out there as your’s and my data is tracked, sold, aggregated, and used for both good and bad…put in the wrong hands, this can damage your business and personal life.

Your Car Knows More About You Than You Know About Your Car!

Take cars for instance – the new cars are just computers on wheels. This morning’s WSJ explains that your car (if you drive something fairly new), is collecting data. It knows (and records) where you go, how far you drive, how fast you drive, and even how much you weigh!

That data alone may not matter much to you…but there’s more.

What About Your Personal Life – How Personal Is It?

Data Aggregators are largely unknown companies that buy data from anywhere they can get it. Facebook, stores you shop, Google (sites you search or use), all of your purchases – in line-item detail, and anything that can be found online.

As examples, “Statlistics” – a company headquartered in the northeast, advertises lists of gay and lesbian adults and people suffering from bipolar disorders. These people may or may not have disclosed their alternate lifestyle, yet the computer knows, and is willing to sell that information to the right buyer.

Another one, “Paramount Lists” sells the names of people with alcohol, sexual, and gambling addictions as well as people desperate to get out of debt.

“Exact Data,” advertises lists of people who had a sexually transmitted disease, or who purchase pornography and sex toys. This data comes from stores and sites you browse or shop on.

Your data is collected and sold as another revenue stream – and you can assume that all of the stores you use, do this. That data, aggregated and analyzed against all of the other things you do, allows deep machine learning computers to predict, guess, and profile all kinds of things you had no intention of revealing. And it’s more accurate than you might think.

Security Is More Important Than Ever

Data importance is growing – and with it comes a much greater need to protect it! Are you in the security business? It’s the one major technology area that is not commoditizing…

P.S. Want to Learn More About How to Become a Serious Security Provider?  <<< You can start here for just $1.00 with my book, The House & The Cloud. I will even pay the shipping…. (CLICK to learn more).

encryptionAre You Protecting Your Clients From Ransomware?

This is likely one of their biggest threats – but if all you do is basic firewall management and backups, this attack won’t be stopped. Ultimately your client should be asking you – how did YOU let this happen.

Not that your client’s will all pay for more intelligent security, but it’s your responsibility to tell them – let them make the financial choice, knowing the risk they are taking.

Zepto is new – it’s dangerous.  It’s a varient of the Locky Ransomware, reportedly responsible for encrypting files at three major US hospitals;  Kentucky Methodist, Chino Valley, and Desert Valley.

This month, researches estimate that this one attack was carried to over 140,000 systems in just a few days. As social engineering evolves, people are tricked more often. Getting an email from your boss or higher level executive demands a response. And when there’s an attachment, it’s hard to call upstairs every time just to make sure it’s real.

This type of attack is gaining momentum – it’s highly profitable. And to date, the only consistent recommendation is to maintain good backups. But restoring dozens or even hundreds of systems could put a business on hold for days or even weeks.

In the case of Locky, one report estimates a group of hackers earning somewhere in the neighborhood of $12 Million in  single month! Software developers building these attacks may be earning up to $100,000/month!  This is big business and it’s not going away.

So What Should You Be Doing?

First, understand that basic firewalls and anti-virus software are not stopping these attacks. So you can continue to say things like, “My clients are too small to pay for more security,” or you can get real with them and let them know they can afford to take the risk. Like buying life insurance or equipping their homes with updated alarms, they may choose not to. As long as you’re making the right recommendations, you’ve done your part.

Second, start looking into “Detection” technologies – security technology that detects. FireEye was early to the market with sandbox technology, but today, there are similar solutions built and priced for almost any size business.

Finally – backups are still your fall back plan. I’m always amazed to see how many small businesses continue to limp along with outdated back up technology…they claim it’s just too expensive to upgrade. If you’ve read, The House & The Cloud – you know why. Without the Impact vs. Likelihood graph sitting in front of them, they don’t understand their risk. Without that, how can they make a decision to spend more? They can’t.

© 2016, David Stelzl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

downgraphIs Managed Services on the Decline?

I’ve Been Predicting This for 2 Years…It’s Here

This week the Wall Street Journal backs up exactly what I’ve been saying. Not that Managed IT, or Managed Services is going away – it’s not.  In fact it will grow. However, it’s the big guys that will profit – Microsoft, Amazon, etc.

Your business might be extremely healthy right now – but health is not always easy to measure. Are you measuring the right things? And if you do have to transition over time, how long will it take?

Big Cloud Providers Are Taking Over

“As more businesses move to the cloud, managed services firms say they’re being forced to change the way they do business”…your competition is “worried about competing [not with you, but]… with Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and other big cloud firms,” according to a new report released last week…WSJ

Your clients and prospects, as they get more comfortable with cloud technology, and see larger firms, like Johnson & Johnson, moving their entire operation to the cloud, are starting to go directly to the larger cloud providers – as reported by CompTia this past week.

So while the market is expected to grow about 12.5% annually, you can expect margins to shrink by about 50%!   How healthy will your bottom line be if that happens?

It’s time to start thinking about your value proposition, and the next paradigm shift for resellers…basic IT Managed Services may be coming to an end as your core offering.

© 2016, David Stelzl