Incite 5/18/2011: Trophies

As mentioned last week, I’ve been mired in the twins’ baseball/softball playoffs the past 2 weeks. That ended Saturday, with the Rothman clan going 1-1 in championship games. XX2’s team lost a close game and took the runner-up trophy. The Boy’s team eked out a win after dominating the league most of the year to take home the victory. It’s funny, you’d think there would be angst and disappointment coming from the girl, and happiness emanating from the boy. But that wasn’t exactly the case. Both reacted pretty similarly: they loved their trophies and were a little disappointed the season was over, so they won’t be playing any more. I get that they are only 7, and the very American need to win hasn’t yet taken root. And I hope it never does. Both teams made it to the championship game, so they got extra trophies. The Boy’s championship trophy had maybe 3 inches on the runner-up trophy. But they were both very proud to get the extra hardware, and so were we. It’s funny – both games went down to the wire. Both were somewhat impacted by poor officiating. And both games had parents or coaches (or both) in an uproar about mistakes made by 14-15 year-old kids making about $15 per game to umpire. The kids couldn’t care less. Sure they had a little trouble understanding why they were called out or why a run was allowed to score when it didn’t make sense. But they got over it within seconds. Some parents were still stewing two innings later. Part of me feels like I’m getting soft, and that focusing on just doing well, as opposed to winning and beating the competition, will hurt my kids later on. Plenty of kids are being trained by their folks to step on the throat. Maybe those kids will win the game of life, whatever that means. I just know how unsatisfied my quest for victory left me. And it wasn’t like my parents pushed me to win at all costs. I was born with that drive and have had to spend years slowly retraining myself to focus less on winning and more on doing what I love, which will likely always be a work in progress. So far it seems my kids are happy to focus on the trophy and not the win. Maybe that will change and then I’ll have a decision to make. Do I discourage that behavior? I’m not sure, but I doubt I would actively interfere with their desire to win. I had to learn the lesson myself the hard way, and I suspect my kids will likewise need to figure it out themselves. I am not bashful about sharing my experiences, so when they ask I’ll provide my opinion. But ultimately they’ve got to figure out whether the trophy will be enough. Photo credits: “Trophies” originally uploaded by TexKap Incite 4 U Are devices or (lack of) performance killing AV? I’ll preface this entire discussion with the disclaimer that the rumors of AV’s demise are wildly premature. But we in the know all understand that AV isn’t the way to deal with today’s threats. Which is why I chuckled when I read about how Google’s Chromebook may finally kill AV. Ha! Unless some smart Google engineer has figured out how to stop corporate inertia in their 20% unstructured time, or to remove AV from all the compliance mandates, I don’t see Chromebooks killing off AV. To be clear the Chromebook is more a mobile device than a conventional computer. And if they allow plug-ins or other persistent software to run (and I don’t know how they could avoid it), malicious code will still threaten to them. But like iOS devices and even Android (to a point), it’s tough to do this in a weaponized, self-propagating fashion. So it gets back to a point we have been making for quite a while. The issues arising from the increasing mobility and consumerization of the workforce are more system and device management issues than security issues. – MR Lasso the SaaSo: Many organizations want to move various operations to SaaS providers, but balk both at the complexity of managing users and at giving up control of their data. We see two types of solutions appear. Some help manage user credentials and integrate accounts with internal directories, and others are inline proxies to encrypt/tokenize data or limit functionality. Hoff talks a bit about VMware’s move into this area. I suspect the money is on the user management side, and have very mixed feelings on the data protection/encryption products. Sure, you can encrypt customer info and store the token or encrypted value in, but the more data you block from processing the less useful it is. And these things are inline proxies which reduce mobility. Back to the VPN, everyone! Seems like the sort of thing people will buy and discard. – RM Compliance Rolling: I got a kick out of Dejan Kosutic’s Management’s view of information security – he captures the essence of the issue. It’s just that his clean prose presents a politically correct version that misses the semi-hostile management displeasure for anything security. Kinda like your defeated resolve when finding you have an incurable disease. In management discussions, I find “Is it really necessary?” really means something more like “Are you sure legal said there was no loophole?” I translate “Does it fit into our company strategy?” to “If we can’t get rid of it, then let’s market it as an advantage.” And I hear “How can we decrease costs?” as “Where can we cut corners and still be compliant?” He’s right that management does not want to invest in security, and Dejan has the right discussion points, but the language is never this civil. It’s more like wrestling with a hostile adversary. – AL There is no answer (singular): I sat in on my friend Ron Woerner’s leadership presentation at Secure360 last week, and

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