Archives For Wall Street

Punched in the mouth for an iPhone? WSJ reports this morning that mobile device theft is on the rise (Fighting the iCrime Wave)…not just the data, but the entire device.  And not because they left it laying somewhere in the open – these devices are being taken by force!

How many of your clients are running around the country with iPads and iPhones, full of data, without passwords, encryption, or any sort of tracking application to wipe it clean in the event of a lost or stolen device?

I can remember not too long ago standing in a NYC subway in the evening, with my computer bag, wondering how many Macs are stolen when there just aren’t a lot of people around.  It seemed so simple to just grab my bag, push me off the platform onto the tracks, and run.  In this article a guy tries to chase the thief only to find himself knocked out cold on the platform, with a bloody lip.  With eBay and Amazon Merchant services, selling used electronics is so easy a high school drop out can do it.  And the resale value, in my experience, is pretty good.  I recently sold my Blackberry boat anchor for much more than I personally thought it was worth, in just a few days.

All of your clients have one of these devices…the device itself should be insured.  After all, it’s really not worth chasing a criminal through the subway to get it back.  But much more important is the data on it.  While most of these devices are quickly turned over for cash, much stress can be alleviated by having a data protection plan in place.  Make this part of your security assessment process – make sure your clients have passwords, encryption, and tracking software that will wipe the device clean.  Then encourage them to let it go if someone takes it from their hands, and just file the insurance claim for a new one.

© 2012, David Stelzl

 

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If you sell, you should be reading Wall Street…that is, if you want to call on decision makers.  This morning’s article on Cisco is important information if you resell Cisco, especially when your clients start asking, “Should we stay with Cisco?”  Statements like:

  • …shares languishing at 1998 levels
  • …the company’s problems run much deeper than a few disappointing quarters
  • …a byzantine management structure
  • Mr. Chambers…seems to be repeating mistakes.

These are tough accusations.  In Rolfe Winkler’s article he notes that most of Cisco’s revenue comes from core networking, and Juniper is taking market share.  Is the product bad?  I don’t think so – core networking is a commodity business and Cisco has been the long standing champion and has delivered strong networking technology – still does.  I can’t comment on the reasons why market share is slipping – perhaps Wall Street has a good handle on this.  However, my video recorded just about one hear ago – The History of the Channel stands out in all of this.  The reseller must have a value proposition that does more than point to a vendor’s product.  Recent Cisco acquisitions and their move away from security over the past decade (which I see is starting to rekindle) have put resellers in competition with their other vendors (like HP), but have not given them discontinuous innovation to take to market (such as Unified Communications eleven years ago).  This has placed the Cisco resellers in the middle of Geoffrey Moore’s Technology Adoption Life-Cycle, where margins are at their nadir, and competition – it’s zenith.  What is the solution?

Your value proposition must proceed the product sale.  Helping clients solve business problems is a business level sale.  Technology is used to help solve the problem, but only after the theory has been sold.  None of this depends on a vendor brand…their brand “stamps” stability on the solution once that phase of the project comes into play.  So what should resellers be selling?  Risk mitigation, ROI, Efficiency, competitive advantage…the same 4 things I’ve been writing about for years.  It’s your brand that matters at the start of the sale, and your position as an adviser will largely determine which product gets the budget.

I’d love to hear your comments on this article!

© 2011, David Stelzl

Unexpected Shutdown!

February 26, 2010 — Leave a comment

Imagine your website or Internet access being unexpectedly shut down as a result of a court order!  This morning’s Wall Street Journal has such a report.  The victim here is Stephen Paluck who’s address was apparently discovered by Microsoft in a search for botnet-type activities.  Of course Paluck claims he is not involved in illegal computer dealings, and this is likely the truth.  So what is happening?

Here is the scoop and the article reference:

  • Pg A3 of the Wall Street Journal – Microsoft Battles Cyber Criminals
  • What they’re up to: The court order was issued to Microsoft to, without notice, “take down a global network of PCs suspected of spreading spam and harmful computer code.”
  • Possible issues:  Cybercrime is a problem, however these botnet nodes are people’s systems, and are used to conduct business.  So if they are also compromised and operating as Zombies, there needs to be remediation…however, just cutting them off might be rash.
  • Your clients:  This has already happened – meaning it will likely happen again.  If your clients are infected and part of one of these networks, they may be next.  Imagine just being cut off from the network – the impact is big!  This calls for regular assessments and a cleaning up of the network so your client is not part of the bot problem.  Paluck was shut down because his system was compromised (at least that is the most likely case), so if it had been clean, he wouldn’t be writing letters by hand today.

Up to $30 billion in Cyber Security – The US government is right now in the midst of evaluating the state of security across US Internet infrastructure; I don’t expect good news to come out of this.  Budgets aren’t yet established, but it’s going to be in the billions, and numbers like 30 billion are being tossed around.  Who will get these contracts?  Will they go to firms that really understand security?  If you have connections in the federal space, and a team that understands security, I’d start making friends with Information Assurance and talking about it. Another option is to start a federally focused sales team (be aware you’re going to need some certifications to do this).  A recent Wall Street article states the alternative,

 “Some intelligence officials worry the government’s clunky contracting system will end up awarding contracts to familiar big companies that lack the highly skilled technicians who gravitate toward smaller firms.”  Do you think Northrop Grumman and Lockheed have the skills to pull this off or is the money better spent on smaller more specialized security focused firms?  I’d love to hear you opinion on this.