As a life-long product manager, I’ve spent my share of long days enduring booth duty. And many of those days were spent in futile attempts to contort my product’s capabilities into a booth visitor’s challenge in Houdini-like fashion. Booth days are physically taxing under the best circumstances, but the mental strain of repetitively forcing a square product into a round problem is far more exhausting.

That’s why last month’s Shared Assessments Summit in Baltimore was so refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, my back was pretty tight by day’s end, and I was looking forward to a seat at the bar when booth hours ended, but far from being mentally drained at the end of the day, my mind was fresh as a daisy. Unlike most shows, no one was there browsing, or simply using the conference as an excuse to sneak off to an Orioles game and a cold National Bohemian beer (“Natty Bo” in Baltimore-speak). To the contrary, attendees came with challenges, and they were looking for solutions.

(more…)

In John Cougar’s nostalgic anthem Cherry Bomb, he writes, longing for the good ol’ days: “That’s when a sport was a sport.”

Last week, I was longing for the good ol’ days when a data breach was a data breach…

As the world knows, on May 3rd, US Bank announced that hackers had stolen some of their employees’ W-2 information and other data from US Bank’s ADP Employee Portal.  This has been widely reported and understood as the May 3rd “ADP Breach,” a somewhat disingenuous moniker for the episode, as it turns out.

(more…)

IT Security teams scrambled yesterday to upgrade all devices running older versions of OpenSSL to 1.0.2h or 1.0.1t which will, according to the OpenSSL project team, “…fix several security defects with maximum severity ‘high.’”  It’ll be a busy few days, but because your organization has a mature security team led by an experienced CISO, you’ve prepared for the new release, put a plan in place to execute the upgrades, and in short order, will have all your Internet-facing IPs securely patched.

Mission probably accomplished by the time you’ve read this.

(more…)

I don’t know about you, but I hate the “spork”. That mutated plastic utensil that purports to serve as both a spoon and a fork?  In reality, it does neither the job of the spoon or the fork very well, and no one would choose a spork if given the option of a stand-along spoon and fork.

Ever wonder why we don’t have flying cars?  Pay attention the next time you have a long trip in your aircraft from the terminal to the runway.  Smooth ride?  Fast?  Not exactly.  It’s bumpy, awkward, slow.  At 30,000 feet, however, that “purpose-built” design performs pretty well.  Conversely, as Thelma and Louise discovered, cars make lousy airplanes.

(more…)

One of my first manager’s favorite aphorisms was “if I had more time, I’d write you a shorter letter.” I personally experienced a variation of this theme in college, as I found there was an inverse correlation between the length of my essay exam answers and my knowledge/confidence in the answer; the more I knew about the subject, the shorter my answer, while I did my best to blind the professor with words when I had no idea what I was talking about.

(more…)