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foxThe Apple Encryption Dilemma  is a Bigger Issue Than Most Think…

Yesterday FOX News Interviewed Me on The Apple Phone Issue…Watch The Video!

The VIDEO REPLY (CLICK)

Here’s the Fox News Article: http://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/local-news/93368477-story

Trump said, “They must open it.” It sounds simple, but he’s wrong in my opinion – Yes, terrorists are hitting our country and planning more attacks. The San Bernadino Phone could provide information that would stop the other attack.  But have you read Tim Cook’s letter on the Apple Site?  News reports like Donald Trump’s Interview miss the main point of it all.

The court is ordering Apple to change their operating system to make it less secure.  What do you think Apple should do?

Some things to think about….

  1. Security Experts spend decades developing encryption that will meet FIPS standards, allow for online banking, investing, and money transfers – even Apple Pay!  The government is asking them to now create a backdoor to it all.
  2. Nothing digital is actually safe in the long run – who keeps the keys to the new back door?  Does apple or the NSA. What happened when RSA lost their encryption keys? Will this happen again?  Who do you trust with your phone as it becomes more and more the repository of your private life?
  3. This is Apple – what if the next terrorist uses Blackberry or Android?  So now there are no secure phones on the market. Do government officials now get a special phone that can’t be tapped into? What if the terrorist is in the government?  Hmmm.  Can that happen – have we seen any military personnel involved in shootings. Texas?

What About Stopping Terrorists…

  1. Is this the best next step? Did our government have some indication this couple was getting ready to do something? My understanding is that they did – through Facebook. But were called off by their superiors.  Is this better than some profiling measures?
  2. What about gun control? I know this is a hot topic. But the truth is, all good security is based on DETECTION / RESPONSE.  You can’t keep bad guys out. Was there a response plan in place once this couple was detected?  Not a good one – in fact all gun-free zones are targets and Apple Phone encryption won’t stop it.  The bad people are armed – Government can’t stop that. Are the good people able to respond?  Not without a response plan that include self defense and stopping the attacker.
  3. Could government issued malware be used, like it was with StuxNet? Is this a better solution that compromising the security our businesses depend on?  This is simply the next step in bugging a phone or staking out someone’s house under court order.

I’d love to hear what you think….

© 2016, David Stelzl

 

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How would your clients respond?

(Watch the Video – it’s worth the two minutes) How would your clients respond to an interview like this one? I don’t mean the people in IT – the exposure is with those who don’t really understand computers but use them all day long, creating and using digital assets. Is this interview for real?  I think it is…I’m tempted to go out and try this.

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The point is, no matter how secure the perimeter is, people still talk. It reminds me of the men working on Wall Street who gave their passwords out to the 21 year old Facebook woman last year (Wall Street Journal Reported on this.) I talk about this in my new House & The Cloud book (Second Edition), and what you can be doing to help your clients change this.

One thing is for sure, passwords don’t really work. They’re like your front door at home. They keep out bugs, heat in the summer, cold in the winter, and curious children living next door. But that’s about it.  Is anyone seeing more sales in strong authentication technologies…please comment.

One opportunity is to get into the security policy business – if you’re not helping your customers develop strong policies and enforcement, you should be. Compliance requires it, and for those who don’t seem to fall under any compliance regulations, they still need it. Password policies should specify lengths of at least 8 characters, with numbers and letters, and a special character.  But they still wont really work. At some point we should be moving to something more secure. Some sort of duel authentication. I love my thumbprint iPhone 6 button! Of course, you don’t need a thumb because you can always guess the 4 digit login – or accidentally erase the entire phone by guessing wrong 10 times in a row. Somehow that’s not great either.

© 2015, David Stelzl

Big Fork Ridge TrackRemember when phones were phones?

Nobody thought phones would anything more – just a handset tied to a box with a rotary dial.

Wireless was neat. Remember when it first came out? You could walk around the house, go outside, and continue working on projects while talking…it was amazing.

This weekend was revolutionary for me. Equipped with my iPhone 6 and a $2 app called MotionX, I was able to pin point my elevation and location trekking through the Smoky Mountains over the weekend.  I also had weather and a way for emergency rescue to track me down if the need arose…

Being a late adopter, I could have spent over $300 easily, just a few years ago, and had a 1 x 1 screen with digital readouts of my latitude and longitude. I would have had to turn off my GPS while hiking to conserve my battery.  And when I powered up, it would have been painful to reconnect to a satellite.

This weekend was much different. The iPhone 6  with it’s larger screen had my topo loaded up before we left Charlotte. That was easy. I just searched with the app, found the location online, downloaded it in just a few seconds, and turned off my phone. When I arrived, I had already reviewed the terrain on Google Earth – printed out trailhead directions from AllTrails.Com, and had my starting position marked on the MotionX map. I also had back-country campsites reserved online – a requirement in the Smoky Mountains.  I opened the app at the trailhead – of course we didn’t have service, it’s the Smoky Mountains. But we did have satellite – and I was connected in seconds.

Yes, we really saw Elk on Our Trip!

Yes, we really saw Elk on Our Trip!

The app runs in background, so I shut off the screen, put it in my shirt map pocket, and headed out with my kids. Every 10 minutes Siri updates us on our position – she tells us how fast we walking, what our altitude is, and how far we’ve walked so far.  To check how much further… I can either have preloaded waypoints or just check the map on the screen.  I chose the latter since I was not able to download the waypoints and didn’t want to enter them by hand.

My phone was on the entire time. The next morning, in 15 degree weather, my battery was looking a little weak. So I plugged into my Anker portable recharger!  In minutes my phone was back up and running – which lasted me through Saturday and Sunday.

It’s a little off topic, but not really.  The point here is technology is getting faster, smaller, and cheaper. How much longer will the $300 GPS be a viable solution? I can’t imagine the average hiker buying one – the $2 app does it. What about PCs? How long do we have? Servers? Storage?  I agree, we will continue to need some of this hardware. But the cloud is changing the value of infrastructure. The iPhone is one example of a computer most of us can’t make a living selling. It and the tablet are changing the way we compute.

How long will it take you to retool? Can you continue to live on basic managed support services and infrastructure resale? As we move into 2015, we should all be thinking about the future of technology sales. What will still be worth paying for? Security will. Security Managed Services will. Consulting will – when it relates to the business. Virtual CIOs and CISOs will be in demand. Custom software will…. Networks, storage, computers….not so much.  What are you selling in 2015? What about the year after that?

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. I also took all of my pictures with my iPhone – leaving my $350 outdoor point and shoot, and my Canon SLR in my home office collecting dust.  Back in the car I made calls, checked in by phone with those back home, and more…

Did you attend the Ingram Micro Advanced Technology Webinar on Accelerating Security Sales using The House & the Cloud?  We had nearly 300 registered for this event yesterday…if you missed it, or if you didn’t know about it, Ingram Micro did record the session and has made it available online.  Here’s the link for the playback:

CLICK TO HEAR DAVID STELZL’S HOUSE & CLOUD PRESENTATION

Don’t forget, you can also request a FREE copy of the House & the Cloud Book here…(CLICK), and there is also a live audio program available on how to sell using the House & the Cloud sales model (CLICK and scroll down to the MP3 on Executive Selling).

In this session we covered several important topics including:

  • Problems with the current approach resellers are taking to both sales and marketing.
  • The problem with most assessments – which leave the sales person with little hope to sell follow-on project and managed services business.
  • The problem with most sales presentations – leading to boring company overviews that drive your audience to their Blackberries and iPhones rather than listening to you.

From there we moved into several concepts that build a strategy that will lead you up the ladder, into your decision makers office.  We talked about how to get to the right people and what to do when you get there.  In the end, there must be solid justification.  Listen in and see what I am talking about.  Thanks for listening!

 

© 2012, David Stelzl

 

The Ipad – Here are some sound bites: (Source: Wall Street Journal)

1 year old

90% market share

14.8 million devices sold

9.5 Billion in revenue in one year!

200 Million Apple Accounts world wide

And a new version out this month while the competition is still scrambling to compete with the first  release.

Innovation is key.  At the 2011 RSA conference, one of the most interesting presentations came from the founder of Palo Alto, Nir Zuk.  He talked about innovation, and repeatedly asked his audience who was using what – brands of cell phones, operating systems, etc.  Through this interaction he showed that many of the technology leaders just aren’t innovating any more, and people are moving to new technology – following the innovators.  These companies that lack innovation stand to lose significant market share if they continue.  This is a wake up call…not just to those with an iPad look-a-like, but for Microsoft and anyone else with significant market share.  Companies that are innovating will win over time.  The problem is, many of these new innovations compete with the margins resellers have depended on!

Example:  How many resellers are still selling PCs to make a profit.  Perhaps yours doesn’t, but there are thousands of SMB focused resellers still in this game.  Will they start selling iPads?  Well, maybe, but that is not very strategic.  A $500 device, already set up with an operating system that doesn’t require a daily reboot to recover from the blue-screen isn’t going to make up for the loss.  And with other technologies commoditizing and companies like Google putting free tools online (Have you tried Google Apps?), the market is bound to change – expect resellers to be out of business within a year if they are waiting on the economy to pick up, hoping to be placed back into the business they drove two years ago.

Innovation for Apple means, new cool looking products that appeal to the new mobile generation.  But to the reseller and high-tech sales person, it means finding new ways to help clients innovate, automate, secure, and become efficient.  It means finding new areas to help companies with technology that puts them ahead of their competition and cuts cost out of their current IT program.  And it means helping them secure what they have before they lose everything.

© 2011, David Stelzl

When little gadgets like the iPad command greater attention than just about anything you sell, the technology business is in trouble.  That is, unless you have something greater than the product to vend.  It was bad enough that half the emails I was receiving said they were sent from the iphone (which we Verizon customers still don’t have), but now the other half are coming from the iPad!  Where are we headed?  I’m changing my signature to read, sent from my MacBook Pro, which supports more apps, has a bigger screen, and consumes more power! (Right about now I am loving the fact that I upgraded from Microsoft Windows earlier this year.)

The real issue of course, is that the product can’t be the center of attention.  If you you work for Apple, perhaps your real value is innovation.  If you are a reseller it must be intellectual capital.  If you work for just about any product company, you had better have some niche, or you’ll be what Geoffrey Moore once called the Chimps, always trying to steal market share from the Gorilla.  Or, perhaps you’ll learn the same lesson we all need to learn…that the message, the marketing, and the intellectual capital are more valuable than just about any product.  Certainly in the long run this is true.

© David Stelzl, 2010

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