Archives For iot

cloud1Where Should You Focus Sales Efforts in 2016

The trends are important.  Whether you resell technology or sell for a vendor, you need to know what CIOs are up against…if you call on the SMB, think of the owner as the part-time CIO. Both are going to leverage technology if they plan to grow.

Know the Important Trends Before You Make Your Next Sales Appointment

Regardless of what President Obama claims, WSJ continues to report a shaky economy. That translates into tighter spending.  This morning’s WSJ reports three significant trends…

  1. BIG DATA is where the gains are. Big data represents a promise for future decision making – better decision making. Especially in the enterprise, data analysis can lead to better marketing, better hiring, and greater efficiency. The value proposition here is Competitive Advantage! One of the four key value props I wrote about in From Vendor to Adviser.
  2. CLOUD is strong. People are moving to the cloud to achieve greater efficiencies. That means they want to see a reduction in TCO – Total Cost of Ownership.  This too is one of the four value props I describe in my book.
  3. Third, there is a slowdown in SECURITY – but the WSJ is talking about new companies and IPOs, not security spending. IT Spending as a whole is down by more than 5% this year as compared to last (According to recent WSJ reports), but security spending is up.

If you understand Cloud and Big Data (And we should mention IoT as well here), you know that using these technologies demands a change in the security strategy. Tie the two together and you’re well positioned to drive security business. If you call on the SMB market, you should be adding the DETECTION side of security to every existing contract – it’s an almost guaranteed up-sell opportunity.

© 2016, David Stelzl

PS. I still have some seats in the SECURITY MASTERY SALES PROGRAM – These are for resellers only, sponsored by distributors and manufacturers… Where You’ll Learn Exactly How to Make Security Sales Happen. (CLICK)


Las Vegas Hotel Rooms are GreatSmall Businesses Need More Security Awareness

Just a few hours from now I’ll be presenting to business leaders in Las Vegas – Sponsored by ProStar

I think one of my favorite things about coming to Las Vegas is the hotels – always a great deal, and if I had brought my entire family (7 kids and one wife), we would all fit in this room (yes, that’s a picture of my room this week.) I could’t fit the entire room in the picture above, that’s just the living room and dining area.  But on to today’s event…

Important News Items (Sound Bites) You Should Know

Last week’s Gartner event bought out the importance of IoT – The Internet of Things. Expect this to be big business in the coming year.  Everything is going to be connected, if it’s not already. This morning’s WSJ reports that 64% of people surveyed think they can manage IoT security…keeping people out.  93% agreed that hacking into someone’s IoT was a form of burglary (which causes me to wonder what the other 7% think), but 64% are concerned that their IoT will be hacked.  Something’s not adding up here.

First, 100% of IoT implementations can be hacked. 100% of it should be considered theft, and it would be foolish for anyone to say they can manage their security without a problem.  We should all be concerned about this – I’ll be addressing this today in our meeting. The more we connect, the easier it is to manage life and business – with the exception of security. IoT is not a security improvement, it’s a downgrade in security.

The Amazon Web Services Event kicked off Last Week in Vegas…What About Cloud Security?

We know from earlier reports that 80% of small businesses will be on the cloud in the next 4 to 5 years. This statistic is old, so we are more like 4 years out now. I expect that to accelerate.  “Researchers in Massachusetts are raising new questions about the security of all multi-tenant cloud environments,” writes Brandon Butler, for Network World.  In a recent interview I did with Sklar Technology in Richmond VA. I pointed out that cloud vendors probably offer a safer world for SMB data than the SMB business itself can provide. I still believe this.  But after conducting numerous follow up assessments across the attendees of last week’s event, Sklar found companies using the cloud but severely lacking in security. They discovered companies with no back up at all, PCs infected with Bots, and host of other issues. These small businesses need security, but they don’t have the time or the resources to keep things up to date and guarded against evolving threats. As Butler points out, the cloud is not secure. In his article he reports that researchers were even able to steal the encryption keys used to lock down the Amazon Cloud data. Now that vulnerability has been patched, but software problems never go away. There’s always one more vulnerability waiting to be discovered. Each one is a likely entry point for hackers.

Today’s Event

Today’s event is just what Small Business Leaders Need. We’ll be meeting over lunch at the JW Marriott, just about 15 minutes off the “Strip”.  ProStar and their partners are hosting this to help educate the Small Business Leader Community – it’s invite only, but completely paid for thanks to the generosity of ProStar and their vendor partners.

© 2015, David Stelzl

PS. Are you a technology reseller?  If so, you might be eligible for free security sales training through the SVLC Security Sales Mastery Program.  We have multiple security sponsors willing to help resellers ramp up these important concepts. Contact us to see if you qualify. 

gartnerIoT – The Internet of Things Changes Security Forever

This week at Gartner, the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the top 10 things to watch in 2016. Everything is digital – it’s the digital megatrend.  Software makes it easy to build things, change things, and connect things.  And this of course, leads to better customer experience, one the most neglected areas in past business plans, and an important focus for companies who want to grow in the coming year. Connecting things is part of the new customer experience.

Example: When it comes to home security, controlling your HVAC, or even turning on your oven to get the dinner started, you want to do it with your phone. We are coming to expect this…

Things in cars that used to be mechanical, like the gas peddle, are now digital – in many of the cars being built today, the peddle is actually controlling a software switch to tell the engine to speed up.  In the hospital, drugs that used to be injected into IV systems, are now dispensed with software. It’s all connected. In theory its more accurate and easier to update and modify.

The problem is, security in this new world has to change.

You’ve seen the car video – the one where the hacker breaks into a car his friend is driving to demonstrate that, not only can he access the car, he can completely take control of it. This is the case with much of the critical infrastructure around us including dams, sewage systems, elevators, and the future drone mail delivery system Amazon keeps talking about.

As Gartner speaker Christian Byrnes pointed out this week, lives are at risk as we move this direction. The IoT is going to happen, but how will companies secure it? This is exactly how Target was hacked, through the HVAC system.

Today I will be addressing business leaders in Richmond Virginia, at a special luncheon held at the Jepson Alumni Center. Thanks to Sklar Technology Partners and their technology sponsors for making this important session available. Small businesses in our country are under attack, and many of them don’t know it. Their technology vendors will encourage them to move to the cloud, connect to their customers, and leverage all kinds of technology (such as IoT) to create a more connected business. All of this will help them grow if they do it right. But without the proper security in place, it may lead to disaster. And as Byrnes pointed out in his session this week, “When people start dying, it can’t be good for business.”

© 2015, David Stelzl

IoT Brings Danger – And The Executives Around You Don’t Understand!

Do You Sell Technology? What About Security?

If your company sells technology, and specifically security technology, your firm has an important job to do.  It’s frustrating when marketing efforts seem fruitless or when prospects seem to have no real needs. Or when executives refuse to meet with you, insisting that your meet with IT Administrators.  But the truth is, they all have an urgent need. And your technology firm could be helping them.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a game changer. I’ve posted the TED video above because it speaks to the future when just about everything is online. Even the chair sitting next to the speaker.  The IoT can mean a lot of things. It offer all kinds of efficiencies, like resetting your A/C while away on a trip, to using your smartphone to control your home security system, or maybe a deer cam deep in the woods.  But there’s a problem no one’s really addressing.  It’s a big opportunity if you’re ready for it.

So Where’s The Big Opportunity?

It’s the threat that stands behind the chair in the TED video. Target was attacked through an HVAC connection.  But an article posted in the Wall Street Journal today sheds light on a much bigger issue. Critical Infrastructure Devices on the Internet.  Stuff that’s connected that no one is really thinking about.

The U.S. tops the list of connected critical infrastructure.  Rachael King, one of the WSJ writers I follow daily, writes, “control systems used in utilities, health care facilities and transportation systems are connected…to the Internet…In many cases, the operating companies are not even aware…” That last sentence is the key. The people running the companies you call on have no idea what’s connected and how that exposes them. In fact, Rachael goes on to point out that “Most of the systems that are exposed seem to be accidental…and the result of poorly configured network infrastructure.” In other words, no one really knows until a thorough investigation takes place.  IT is making mistakes, and no one really knows until it’s too late.

This is a topic for your next Live Event Demand Generation Program!

Next week I’ll be speaking about these things in Cincinnati, Ohio.  It’s an educational event with a big opportunity on the other side.  My goal is to get business leaders thinking about this. No one has it covered. The question is, can we convince them to take a closer look?  If we can, there’s an opportunity, because 95% of the time we will find evidence of data exposure or critical devices or data accessible from outside the firewall.

One of my coaching clients recently took a job with RiskIQ.  This is cool technology.  The idea is to profile the attacker. To take a look at a company’s assets from outside the firewall. Using some pretty sophisticated scanning technology, this company will scour the Internet to find data that belongs to a given company. That data might be unstructured date on a Sharepoint server, or it might be stolen data being sold in a chat room.  In most cases they’ll find something that isn’t supposed to be outside the firewall. And when they do, it’s a surprise to the CIO. But it’s also an opportunity – a project opportunity.

While you don’t have to use RiskIQ, these types of issues demand something more than simply scanning the perimeter for open ports.  In my book, From Vendor to Advisor (pg. 139), I describe an executive approach to discovery. The security message demands a executive audience. It requires involvement from the people who are liable when a breach occurs.  Preparing to deliver this message might be the key to your future value proposition – the thing that sets you apart from the average reseller.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. Looking to Make Quota This Year?  Make sure you have a copy of my security sales book, The House & the Cloud… Get  the free ebook version (CLICK HERE TO GET IT).