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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. 

Luckily I review my hotel bills – but imagine my surprise when my credit card was hit with over $200 for drinking a bottle of Fiji water at the Aria in Las Vegas.  They were of course happy to refund the money, but no customer wants to pay the bill, then wait for the credit, and in the mean time have to take the time to look up the hotel bill, call the hotel, wait on hold, and explain the problem in the midst of a thousand other pressing demands on their day!  Paying attention to details frees up your customer to concentrate on the work they care about…

© 2011, David Stelzl

Day 2 - Las Vegas

In both sessions I conducted this week, speaking on the power of the discovery process and how to leverage it to expand deal size, I polled the audience on a very important question; “How many of you believe  the decision makers are reading your assessment reports?”  Almost every attendee responded yes to the question – “Are you conducting assessments?”  Only 1 or 2 out of nearly 100 believed decision makers where reading them.

Sadly, a handful of attendees didn’t see this as a problem!  I asked them to relate this deliverable to a prospectus that might be used for investments.  The purpose of conducting an assessment, in most cases, is to find the issues and persuade the company you are working with to take action.  If they don’t take action – you’ve failed.  In other words, if there are indeed, urgent issues discovered, and there almost always are, then when the company fails to take action, they are missing something big.  You, being the one who really understands the issue, must see it as your responsibility to show them why it is so important, and how it should be addressed.  If IT people see it, but those responsible for budget don’t, what good is it?

So why do so many of these documents go unread?  Simply because they are assembled without decision maker involvement, and written without decision makers in mind.  Take a look at the documents you are writing (or which are written by your team) and ask yourself, “Would my business level clients be interested in this, or would they even understand it?”  If the answer is, “No,” some re-engineering is needed.  For those who still don’t see this as important, perhaps a wake up call is needed.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Driving Through West Virginia

At the RIO this week!  I’ll be speaking to Cisco resellers on August 4th, during the Defcon conference.  If you have not signed up, there may still be some room – sign up here:  (CLICK).

But first, I’ll be stopping off at Verity College in Indy to speak to their staff on Entreprenueiral Thinking on August 3rd, then on to  the Indianapolis Home school conference addressing student and parents on two topics; Raising Entrepreneurs and How to Start a Business.  Hope to see you at one of these events.

© 2011, David Stelzl