ContentWatch Security Blog

Thu

Feb 23, '12

What's so bad about BYOD?

These days, if you don't know what BYOD stands for, you've just never seen the acronym. Companies around the world are implementing this long-term, "cost reduction" plan. In essence, it's happening as your employees bring their own mobile devices to use at work. If you are not seeing the challenges, your IT guys do.

Tue

Feb 21, '12

Police Pornography Viewing

Are your employees productive in the workplace?  A police chief in Vancouver, Canada discovered that even in his own police department he had to raise this question.

Fri

Feb 10, '12

The Fine Art of Successful Sales Interviews

A job interview is a tense interpersonal engagement.  The relationship is really an atypical situation but the stakes are quite high.  Even the most polished sales folks don’t get much practice being interviewed.  But, when the time comes, job seekers put on their best clothes and brightest smiles and hope to impress.

As an interviewer, your goal is to extract as much valuable information out a brief encounter and stake your interview skills on the new-hire’s success. The hiring decision packs a financial wallop if made well, or similarly if made poorly.

The best approach to a job interview with sales personnel is to get a vision of past sales success.  If you ask any job seeker what she “would do” in a given scenario, she will tell you what you want to hear.  However, if you ask detailed questions about past sales from prospect-to-contract stage, you get a good feeling for a salesperson’s prospecting skills, how they approach and work with customers, what type ofrelationships are built, and how they deal with pricing pressure, among other things.

You can get a good sense for a person’s sales skill set and how success is achieved by asking many questions about what she’s done, not about what she’ll do.  Most people repeat behavior, over and over again.  Get the job seeker to paint a clear picture of their behavior.  That picture is worth a thousand interview words.  Then, get professional references from past customers and call them all.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.

Fri

Jan 27, '12

When Targeting a New Customer Base, Avoid “dabble”

To achieve optimal sales results when segmenting and targeting a new customer base, it’s extremely important to make an appropriate level of literal and perceived investment. Many times, businesses operate with a minimalist approach when expanding into new markets. In practice, it’s an approach where you ‘dip your toe into the pool’ to gauge the market temperature. It is manifested through a scarce investment in time, people, or resources. Many companies assign few resources to manage a new targetmarket, to recruit partners, and to find customers. They react to market inquiries and interest.

Wed

Jan 18, '12

Standing Up for Mobile Security

I recently read an article about Chris DiBona, the Google Open Source Program Manager, unleashing a complete rant about the lack of a need for an Anti-Virus program for Android and iOS.  The Manager went as far as calling companies pushing this technology “Charlatans and Scammers”.

Tue

Dec 27, '11

Is Your Doctor distracted by his iPad?

Smartphones and tablets can be hazardous to your health. Consider that truck drivers and cabbies, police officers and road construction workers, and doctors and nurses like Facebook, texting, and Angry Birds just as much as you. And they do these things while at work, just like you.

Thu

Dec 8, '11

BYOD Has Its Risks

It's a fact.  Most IT Departments let anyone "bring their own device" or BYOD to work.  It started with the C-level group using iPhones.  Then, Android Phones became prevalent, powerful, and cheap. And, iPads and Android tabs are gaining momentum, either replacing a laptop or being used in addition to it.

Everybody's got a cool smart phone or tablet now and the ratio of these devices to PCs is going upside down.  In fact, one of the IBM creators of the first PC was quoted recently as saying “the PC is essentially dead, going the way of the typewriter and incandescent light bulbs. (Source: “With Spinoff, HP Looks Like IBM in 2005, Wall Street Journal, Aug 19, 2011).

The problem is that IT can't keep up with the cost of ongoing phone upgrades, increasing data costs, provisioning of duplicate devices for employees, data security risks and, more importantly, with the day-to-day management of these additional phones and tablets.  The tools to manage en masse are not here yet.

One glaring security challenge for IT is this… 82% of Small-Medium Businesses (SMBs) and 66% of large enterprises allow non-IT managed devices to access corporate resources. (Source: iPass Mobile Enterprise Report.)  That fact means your company data is at risk of loss.

Other security risks for mobile devices include malware and malicious apps.  Malware can infect your phone when you visit infected web sites -- which lead to data loss. Malicious apps can undermine other services on your phone, for example, to run up your text messaging count or costs.

Mobile viruses are not prevalent today due to the nature of mobile operating systems (the OS is very closed in the case of iOS and very open in the case of Android).

As time goes on, solutions for mobile protection and management will evolve and mature, to keep up with demand. The mobile security market is estimated to be in the multi-billion range and that means things are going to get exciting and tools are going to be here soon.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.

Wed

Dec 7, '11

.XXX Domain Names Go on Sale!

After years of rejecting its applications, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to give the adult entertainment industry the .xxx top-level domain, a move that results in the establishment of a virtual red-light district on the Web.  This week, the sale began.

Today, most web site names end in .com, .net, .org, .gov, or .edu.  The implication of this proposed change is that an adult content / pornographic web site will have the option of using the .xxx domain name.  At first glance, this would seem to make it easier for parents or parental controls software vendors to monitor and protect children and teens from objectionable sites. 

In reality, this change would potentially make it very easy for a curious child to quickly get into trouble.  I envision children getting immediate access to X-rated materials by innocently typing in almost any word with a .xxx name.  Exposure to such images is not quickly forgotten or erased from a young memory.

Knowing how well-funded corrupt businesses operate, I expect pornographers to co-locate their content on existing .comdomains and also on the new .xxx domain, thus increasing the prevalence of pornography sites.  Pornographers won’t likely voluntary give up their successful .com addresses to locate solely on the .xxx domain.  As a result, pornography content will be more pervasive. 

As the owner of a few reputable web sites, I have considered what will happen when .xxx domains go on sale and reputablecompanies are a bit slow to purchase their .xxx domain name to simply protect them.  Our company will jump to buy www.netnanny.xxx to avoid the trouble a pornographer can wreak if they do any URL spoofing based on our brand name.

The other overriding challenge is that there is no real legal regulation, in practice.  Indeed, Internet pornography is hardcore obscenity and it is illegal.  But it is so ubiquitous, it is not usually prosecuted.

It’s not likely that Congress would be able to pass a law requiring pornographers to conform to the .xxx domain.  And even if passed, such as law would be relatively unenforced in federal court, if the past is an indicator of the future. Historically, efforts by Congress to regulate smut on the Internet have not been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In short, as .xxx domains go on sale, we will see an increase in the pervasiveness of pornography and its accessibility.  Ironically, the Internet is used for so many good things too.