Cyber Security. Is Your Network/Workplace safe?

So... care to comment?
So… care to comment?
Most network administrators have some sort of checklist that they keep and then periodically check to make sure all the items on the list are in working order and operating the way they are intended to. In fact anyone in the “security” business will have a such a list if that is their major job responsibility. The world of IT however adds a few layers to the “is the place safe from someone breaking in?” question. The double lock on the front door, or a few keypads to get there is fine for the foot traffic break in but the true “hack” you better start with knowing a few terms like “encryption”, “backdoor”, “redundant” and a few more. When meeting with clients for their online look I have my standard questions on what their expectations are from the site, as well as how many folks they think will show up, etc. Most of these have been around for a while. But with network security you really need to think out of the box at time and abstract thinking is where the barriers will come from to protect the assets from the bad guys.

The list provided here at is a good start. There are a few more we add to the mix, but the answers may not come as easy. It may mean a change to hiring policies in a number of areas of your organization, to maybe a complete overhaul in areas you thought to be secure. It also important to remember that you will and should be asking these question on a pretty routine and frequent basis as technology improves in this area and its usually because the guys and gals who break in have perfected a hack or exploited a vulnerability. All of these is what makes hiring that IT Security person a challenge to hire and often keep.

The Video – What Can Go Wrong Legally

You spend lots of time and effort in making a video. It is certainly worth a whole lot of likes, shares, tweets, re-tweets and from all indications it may be the next video to go “viral”. What a score this will bring about. But, did you show the last version to legal? Maybe you should have shown Legal the pre production piece. There are many things to look at before showing off and sharing that video with the world. To name a few Cookie Practices, COPPA and Mobile Data Privacy. There are others also. A recent post on, in the legal news area by Baker Hostetler look as these and more. Its a multi part series but well worth the read before you post that next video.

Twitter Explained

twitter-logoThis site does a pretty good job of quickly getting to what Twitter is and some of the terminology. Its concise and has many example. If you are confused by what and how to use Twitter this is the place to catch up on the details quickly. Once you do you can catch my tweets at @paulvalach and @pmvproductions. There are also some other funny, informed, useful and sometimes just plain silly folks, here are a few of my favorite:

@TheLawOffice -legal insights along with a couple of daily publications
@FartingMoose – funny, outrageous, eclectic posts
@TheCoffeeShop – Conversaional topics, hints and tips, coffee stops and specials
@BagofPopcorn – movie things, actor news, pop corn
@DeckParkTunnel – Phoenix related stories, traffic alerts, Arizona News, sometimes humor

I think you will enjoy of you follow. Some of these have great friends also.

First day of School (Law School) and others.

I came across this article in a daily publication called appropriately The Shark Fin, its about the legal world. This article though talks about a law students FIRST day of class and how to prepare for it. Taking a look at the last day and what will be needed to make the semester a success. Law School teaches using the “socratic method” which is very different from the traditional lecture and testing that is done across the educational universe. After reading the reading the article I saw where this type of teaching can be and probably is done in topics where ideas and decision making on facts are performed. Perhaps even if on one or two topics the standard PowerPoint slide show or just writing in the white board will go to the wayside. The other take away I had was that if students utilize some of this even in the most boring lectures or materials their knowledge will expand and can be used later on discussion questions or perhaps have even a better base for future classes and how some of these “knowledge points” interact in a 101 to a 102 or a 100 to a 200 level class. And if you are an educator I would encourage you to teach a class this semester using the “Socratic Method”, it is quite fun actually and it definitely shows you who read the assignment and who did not.

Where Does the “X” Go?

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So… care to comment?
The story goes like this:

A top manufacturing design firm had hit a snag. Their new product was ready to go but all of a sudden there was a problem. It stopped working and no one knew what was wrong. Even the designer was stuck, and the release date was around the corner. Without a fix the competition would win the battle meaning they may as well close the door as this product was the gateway to the next ten to twenty years. Finally they outsourced the problem and called in the top guy in the area. The man gladly came down, they all shook hands and he agreed to look. They handed him the product and the designs on paper. He looked down moved a few sheets around, picked up the product then picked up one of the sheets of paper, took out his sharpie and made an “X”. “Your problem is here, easy to fix”. He then left. They were ecstatic and told him to send the bill. The product released on time the next day. In two days the bill arrived and it was for “$25,000”. The company was aghast. Really, $25,000 for about five minutes of work? The CFO was a tad miffed and called the man saying “look, we appreciate your contribution but $25,000 seems rather expensive for the little time you spent here. If I sign this check for that amount I will more than likely be called in front of the board and may in fact loose my position. Can you break this down, itemize it? I want to pay you what you think is right.”. The next day an envelope arrived via delivery with another sheet of paper. The new bill was for $25,000.79. The itemized list showed two items New Sharpee .79, Where to mark the “X” $25.000. The CFO had the courier wait so he could send a cashiers check back the same day.

This story came to mind after reading a recent article in the ABA Journal about top firms (those with 100 plus lawyers) starting a major layoff especially in recent times due to the recession. One major reason given was that clients were often taken aback by legal fees of $250 hour for what seemed like secretarial or clerical work. Perhaps these fees are a case of “where to draw” or in this case “where and what to file”. But it does bring about the worth of work being done.

We see this in our world with Social Media presence. The value of your website, post on Facebook, look on LinkedIN. There certainly are a lot of players and unlike a lawyer anyone can play in the Social Media world. There is no court needed to open a site or type in some HTML to maximize Google’s new search algorithm. You just need to know the latest then keep up with the changes. The key really is knowing the latest. It is like the latest law on some interstate commerce that allows you ship or sell or stops your competition from doing so. The big thing is the fairness of the price. If that expertise made you a millionaire or multi millionaire the $25,000 was a fair price. If it saved your company from extinction then it is also fair. Should the price of been higher in these cases? Maybe. But not many people these days take stocks, or options for their service. Too many have been burned by promises of fortune and fame. Cash rules.

When picking an SEO or website firm get the plan. They should be able to outline in reasonable detail what the strategy is for the next few months. These strategies by the way are all over the Net including here. The implementation is the hard part, picking some of the words or terms is where you win big or not. And keeping to the plan is also important. One placement does as much good as eating that one diet meal, or having no dessert today.

Social Media Stats That May Surprise You

There some new stats out, and leave it to a law site to show them off. Seems the older folks are getting into this Social Media thing pretty nicely. Most increases are in the 40+ age group. This includes places like Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Which also means if your sole focus as a business is the 20 or even 30 year old you are missing out on some bucks, and these folks usually actually have some real bucks and aren’t waiting for their last minimum payment to clear before they can use their card again. In all of this don’t forget that your plan also needs to include the way people are finding you that is smartphone (Android and iPhone) as well as all the tablets out there. Yes “old” folks know about mobile technology.