Archives For wsj

IMG_9025We All Need To Keep The Learning Process Going

Spending Time With Successful People

How do I keep up?  Well it doesn’t hurt that I interview experts every month.  Last month I had the equivalent of an MBA course in HIPAA, preparing for and speaking with Marc Haskelson of the Compliancy Group.  Over the past several months I’ve had opportunities with former NSA and CIA agents, owners and presidents of highly successful resellers, and some of the highest producers at larger companies like Dell Secureworks, Accuvant, and Check Point Software.

Next month I’ll be hanging out with some million dollar producers in my own business in a 2 day planning and strategy mastermind meeting.  There’s nothing better than learning from your peers when you see them doing something great.

Morning Reading – Krebs, WSJ, Etc.

Another thing I do is read.  I always have a book going.  Right now I am working through an audio book on building your online platform, by Michael Hyatt.  I also read the WSJ CIO section each morning, and subscribe to Krebs on Security.  Here’s a tidbit from this morning’s post I found interesting … How do fraudsters “cash out” stolen credit card data? Increasingly, they are selling in-demand but underpriced products on eBay that they don’t yet own. Once the auction is over, the auction fraudster uses stolen credit card data to buy the merchandise from an e-commerce store and have it shipped to the auction winner. Because the auction winners actually get what they bid on and unwittingly pay the fraudster, very often the only party left to dispute the charge is the legitimate cardholder.”

Conferences Are Great For Networking and Learning

And today, as you read this post, I am headed out to Denver Colorado to attend the Information Marketers Summit with Robert Skrob, President of the Information Marketing Association.  IMA is code for online training programs like the Security Sales Mastery Program on my website.  If you’re in the high tech industry, you can’t afford to work so hard that you don’t have time to read, network, and attend training.  As you start looking at your 2016 two things I recommend doing. First, figure out when you are going on vacation, and block that time out.  Also block out any important days such as your spouses birthday or your anniversary.  Second, figure how what kind of training you need to get and how you’re going to get it.  If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.

© 2015, David Stelzl

PS. Don’t forget, many of you qualify for free training. I have several sponsors who are willing to put you through the Security Sales Mastery Program – normally $450/seat!  Contact me to find out if you qualify for a seat!

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9990016123_29d261209d_zHere’s Why Executive Level Prospects Should Attend Your Next Lunch & Learn

And What You Should Be Presenting On

Next week I’ll be speaking in Louisville, KY, at yet another lunch & learn – The question is, do people still attend these? Why should they?  Well, this morning’s WSJ article, Boards Struggle With Cybersecurity, Especially in Health Care, answers the question.  “Board members, [and any C-Level executive] need more education,” writes columnist Kim Nash.

Every company is facing these threats on a daily basis, yet only about 11% of the business leaders claim to really understand data risk.  This data comes from a survey across 1034 directors.  And while healthcare data is some of the most sought after by cybercriminals, the healthcare leadership rank as one of the least educated groups in this study!  On the high ranking side (high-tech companies), only about 31% have a thorough understanding.  In other words, most industry leaders are completely unprepared to make wise decisions when it comes to mitigating risk.

Healthcare Leaders Need More Security Awareness Education

Last year I experienced this misunderstanding as a speaker at a Healthcare conference in Denver. Every security related session I attended focused on compliance. HIPAA is important, but it has little to do with risk.  I started my session by asking the audience to set compliance aside for an hour while we talk security. They seemed surprised by the idea. After my session, several commented that they had no idea what was going on.  Kim Nash quotes Charles W.B. Wardell, III, president and CEO of executive recruiter Witt/Kieffer, stating, “In health care, the need for security knowledge is urgent, …Many [health-care] organizations are conducting risk assessments regarding their information security programs and preparedness and are alarmed at what they’re finding.”  Having personally worked with many security providers who perform these assessments, I can confidently agree – most of them are turning up urgent issues.

Study results presented in this article showed that just about every industry, other than IT, scored 20% or less on having a high degree of knowledge.  More industries reported “Some Knowledge”, but many reported “Little Knowledge”.

When Is Your Next Lunch & Learn? Fall is a Great Time. Now Is The Time To Plan It.

Should you be setting up more security-focused lunch & learns? The answer is, Yes!

However, these groups don’t need product knowledge. They don’t need to hear sales managers, channel managers, or even you local SE talking about products, services, or esoteric technology jargon. What they do need is straight talk on trends, likely threats, big  mistakes being made, and why so many companies are losing the battle. They need intelligence they can use to make wise decisions regarding access to data, policy, hiring decisions, outsourcing decisions, and budget justification.

These are the kinds of things we’ll be addressing next week, and they’re the same things your clients and prospects need to hear. If you get push back on attending, you might want to point them to Kim’s article… (Access it on the WSJ website).

© 2015, David Stelzl

PS. Check out my new Security Website – it’s a work in progress, but here it is.

www.stelzlsecurity.com

DemandGenLogoWhat Happened to the Biggest Attack In History?

Last Thursday I was wondering where the FBI and NSA are; today I’m wondering where CNN and WSJ are.  Googling this attack today, I found just a couple of posts; none from any major news networks.  Does that mean it’s all resolved, or not real, or what?

On Friday WSJ mentioned that this might be overstated or old news all rolled up into one number.  But surely a small security Boutique in Wisconsin (Hold) doesn’t own this whole issue.

On August 5th, Symantec featured a blog post stating, “The New York Times has reported the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials by a Russian crime ring. These hackers reportedly amassed 1.2 billion username and password combinations, and more than 500 million email addresses from 420,000 websites through botnets (computers that have been infected with and controlled by a computer virus). The sites ranged from small sites to larger household names. Many of the targeted sites are still vulnerable.”

This is the last post they show, so perhaps they don’t know any more either.  Does that mean you can’t use the sound bites from this on your next sales call? No. Until we know more, it’s safe to assume that this type of thing is certainly possible, and that companies are in much bigger trouble than they realize. And it’s still a sound bite supported by credible news sources.  Just understand, if you get challenged by IT, that the news is somewhat sketchy.

Here’s a great sound bite from the above link: “Roughly 39% (2.76B) of the world’s population of 7.1 billion uses the Internet.” and 1.2 billion were compromised in some way according to the New York Times report.

Remember, sound bites don’t sell anything…however they are a critical part of the sales process. You can read more about this in the free version of The House & the Cloud << Download it here! 

Also, I will be talking more about this in a complementary sales training program being presented on August 12th – 4:00 PM ET.  It’s free to technology resellers – but you must register to attend.  << Click to register!

Hopefully we’ll get some clarification on this attack over the next few days – After just about every major news network reported on this global disaster, they should be responsible and follow up with either – more info, or “We jumped the gun – false alarm.

© 2014, David Stelzl

Entrepreneurship and the Big Company Mindset

“Many entrepreneurs are sworn enemies of large corporations, and many policymakers measure entrepreneurship by the number of small-business start-ups.” This quote comes from an article published in the Economist, March 2009.  Today, in the Wall Street Journal, guest contributor, Irving Wladawsky-Berger writes about disruptive technology and entrepreneurship in larger corporations – the need for innovation in these larger companies.  As I read this, I am convinced that IT personnel cannot really fill the role described by Wladawsky-Berger; this kind of thinking requires outside expertise from strategic partners.  Can you firm play at this level?

The Economist defined the entrepreneur as, “somebody who offers an innovative solution to a (frequently unrecognized) problem.”  Wladawsky-Berger comments,  “…The defining characteristic of entrepreneurship, then, is not the size of the company but the act of innovation.”  This sounds a lot like Seth Godin’s comments in his book, Linchpin.  If you have not read it, you should.  Today’s employees seem to be stuck in a rut of being average.  Innovation requires getting out of the rut.  But can IT actually get out of the rut of daily operations?  I don’t think so.  Having worked for two very large firms, one a bank, the other pharmaceuticals, the daily grind of IT, with it repressive, bureaucratic management and lack of leading edge training, makes it a place where innovators may enter, but policy eventually destroys.  Those coming out of IT generally have little ambition or innovation.  They have succumb to  a life of mediocrity.

What do Big Companies Need?

In today’s article, Wladawsky-Berger compares the small start-up to the large company with it’s complex (what I would call sluggish), collection of processes and systems – and people dedicated to keeping things going.  In my opinion, some are investing in continuous improvement, however many are just doing whatever they can to stay alive.  My clients are getting first-hand exposure to unprecedented financial pressures inside these larger companies.

Wladawsky-Berger writes, “For a startup, a disruptive innovation is an opportunity to take on established companies with new products that offer significantly better capabilities and/or lower costs.” We certainly see this in the technology business.  Large companies with their end-to-end solution, competing with single product start-ups offering best-of-breed point solutions.  He describes the large company reacting to innovation as if they are being attacked. Wladawsky-Berger calls this a big mistake.  I have summarized his recommendation on what big companies need:

1. First, realize that the company with larger companies have several years before the start-up really has something.  But you can’t ignore the small company’s innovations – early recognition is key.

2. Get a plan together to compete – change and innovation is inevitable, so get ready.  Denial will kill these large companies.  (What if US auto manufacturers had done this a few years back?)

3. Consider how to integrate new innovations into the already-existing bigger solution.  I just got off the phone with the president of a technology company that offers a comprehensive MSP platform.  He admitted that he can’t keep up with all of the security product innovation out there, so instead, he has developed a simple way to integrate their new developments into his architecture.  This sound like a Ray Norda comment – if you remember Novell and Ray’s frequent comments about co-opertition.

4. At this point, the larger company may either help that start-up bring their product to market, or acquire them, making them part of the larger solution.

His conclusion on this: “With few exceptions, the assets that have made a company successful over the years are invaluable if properly deployed – from their products, services and loyal customer base to their brand reputation and financial strength.”  By leveraging these, the larger company can hold their position as they partner with the smaller firms.

Where Are They Going to Get It?

Part of the discussion here points to a flexible IT architecture that allows the larger company to take advantage of the innovations coming out of these small start-ups.   Solution providers have a unique position here, acting as a strategist and IT adviser to the CIO who must provide the infrastructure for change, but who does not have the time or ability to stay on top of new technology developments.  Some companies, like Cisco and Oracle, have recently announced changes to their IT direction to provide a more responsive IT organization at the field level, but most are not doing this.

In the mid-market and down, IT people don’t have the skills or experience to contribute anything at a strategic level. As you move up to the enterprise,  there may be some higher-level skills, but the bureaucracy of that organization has built a wall, blocking any meaningful contributions from IT.

As a solution provider, selling or marketing, or perhaps providing that presales consultant aspect, you have an opportunity to be that strategic adviser.  All it takes is a passion for doing it – enough interest to read, study, ask questions, listen to answers; Followed by the confidence in yourself and the team behind you, to make your way into the board room with answers.

© 2012, David Stelzl

Interesting article today related to my ongoing theme and future book on Raising Entrepreneurs.  Writer Jeff Opdyke (so close to John Updike he was destined to write!) comments on his thirteen year old getting a job.  Actually it’s a great write up as he contemplates the reality of teaching his young ones how to work and instilling some kind of work ethic.  The disconnect comes with thinking work is somehow a deterrent to having a great childhood!  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The problem here is that we’ve associated work with jobs at a fast-food restaurant or blue collar operation.

Sure, not every child comes from a family where opportunity is readily available (although many can make it happen if they really try – most won’t)  But certainly John’s do.  Stop thinking about work as something a teenager goes out to do and start thinking more in terms of the entrepreneurial experiences available along side a parent or sibling.  The writer actually comes close to making the right connection when he references the traveling and learning experiences his thirteen year old is already engaged in.  Think outside the box.  What can he do to incorporate this child in his own work in a more profitable way?

We’ve created worldview that assumes all well-off families have children that will follow suite without experiencing the work we did to get here.  That’s just wrong.  From there, we assume that teen years should be spent playing ball, and then somehow, magically, one is transformed in their college years, into a hard working, creative entrepreneur.  This is also not true.  The time to start is now!  In those early years, finding exciting ways to make money.  My kids are bee farming, building things, creating jewelry, building blogs and websites, and writing books.  They are making money through their own creative efforts, and daily, they consider how else one might creatively start a new line of business.  It’s a game in a way.  What need can I meet, and how can make it a win/win that produces profit for me and value to my clients?  Are they somehow missing out on a great childhood?  I doubt it.

You can read John’s article here (and I do recommend reading it): http://online.wsj.com/article/SB128121678189825407.html?mod=iGoogle