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Thanks to NetGain, Cisco, HP, and VMWare for sponsoring yesterday’s business leader event in Cincinnati.  We had over 40 business leaders for this educational event…

Eye Opening, Compelling, and Scary…

Eye opening, compelling, and scary.  These are the comments I heard after sharing some of the growing threats I see coming our way in the coming year.  Our material on cyber crime trends was well received and much-needed by many of the executives I spoke with during the seminar. Small businesses are being affected by security breaches every day, yet many are unaware of what is really going on inside their servers and mobile devices…According to the Wall Street Journal, most business leaders (over 75%) believe they are fine, yet Visa tells us that 90% of their business fraud cases are SMB related!

Individual Conversations

I spoke with one CEO of a Cincinnati based law firm after my session.  His business deals with highly sensitive legal information – the kind of information that, “Can’t get out!”  He was concerned that, while his company uses passwords and firewalls, he has no way to monitor who is accessing what, or to see if systems are being compromised, or to know if internal people are emailing sensitive information in an insecure way.  We talked about the cost of implementing technology that does this type of monitoring – “It’s out of reach for the small business.” he said.  This is led into a discussion on the value of using a managed solution through a third party provider…

In another conversation, I spoke with a man running a healthcare company.  He was concerned that his staff didn’t really understand how to assess their current security posture.  This is the case with most small business. They don’t have the tools or the expertise to do this in house.  Here again is an opportunity to engage an outside provider of assessment services, which NetGain, our hosting company has, to help ensure their applications are unaffected by today’s malware threats.

In the afternoon we heard from representatives of Cisco Systems and VMWare, as well as Microsoft, sharing how their companies are working to provide more secure products to protect these companies from growing threats in the coming year.  NetGain concluded the meeting by offering to meet with these businesses one-on-one to review their security needs, something every business should be doing on a regular basis.

© 2012, David Stelzl


We’re continuing today in our workshop, switching gears from security trends to  sales and marketing strategy.  How successful are you when it comes to moving up and connecting with decision makers?  Many sales people will have a meeting or two upstairs, but how many are maintaining these strategic relationships.  I have found that maintaining these relationships requires some serious attention to delivering regular value at the executive level.  Being a nice guy only goes so far…

Selling high tech solutions means staying on top of the IT and security trends.  The sales process is changing – sales people that fail to move up to a more strategic level conversation are going to miss the boat.  If you find yourself getting lazy with new trends and technology, because your large accounts are keeping you busy, you just might find yourself without a job down the road.  Don’t let success destroy your future.  A few links on recent trends to get you started…

  • Super cookies : A new stealthier way of collecting browsing history, allowing marketers to build more complete profiles of an individual.  These super cookies are legal, and are not deleted when you delete or deny cookies in your web browser.
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act – it sounds like you have a right to privacy, but in reality the US Government has the right to secretly obtain information from people’s email and cellphones without a search warrant.
  • Virtualization requires a different approach to security, but also offers some new approaches to end-point protection.  Cisco, VMWare, and others are working on this right now.
  • Federated IT approaches – this may change some of the politics when calling on larger organizations.  Cisco and Microsoft are both doing this – how does this affect your future sales strategy? Will this make companies more secure or less?

© 2012, David Stelzl