Wednesday, May 8, 2019

How to Delete the Web Tracking Google is Keeping...

From an article located here. Take a quick moment and follow the instructions.

Google has begun rolling out a feature that allows you to configure how long it can save data from all of the Google services you use, like maps, search and everything you do online.

Until now, you had to manually delete this data or turn it off entirely. Deleting it means Google doesn’t always have enough information about you to make recommendations on what it thinks you’ll like, or where you might want to go.

Now, you can tell Google to automatically delete personal information after three months or 18 months. Here’s how you can do that.

Visit and log in if you haven’t already.
Choose “Data & Personalization” on the left-side panel.
Select the arrow next to “Web & App Activity.”
Choose “Manage Activity.”
Select “Choose to delete automatically.”
Select either 18 months or three months.

It isn't perfect, but it is better than nothing.  Pass this along to your friends and family.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Happy Data Privacy Day...

This blog was originally posted at the Cloud Native Digest. You can find it here.

It’s Data Privacy Day or, if you are part of the EU, Data Protection Day.

Data privacy and data protection have been top of mind for information security professionals for a number of years now. While the United States is paying greater attention to privacy legislation (California and several other states have various bills in process), the European Union has led the conversation with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enacted in May 2018.

Last week, the EU (specifically France) issued the first fines associated with a GDPR violation. While the tech company is going to appeal the finding, it is only the start of what will be many fines from EU nations in 2019 for GDPR infractions. Technology professionals will be watching the news to understand how these findings affect their enterprises, and possible steps that they will need to take to remediate violations proactively.

This might go without saying, but it is vitally important — personally and professionally — to make every effort to follow data protection best practices. Still, today is as good a day as any to remember that there are numerous tools and solutions available to help you do so.

That’s certainly true in the cloud. Never in the history of technology have companies paid more attention and spent more on resources to protect data.

The biggest companies in the public cloud space spend BILLIONS of dollars per year improving security controls and compliance standards. The environments that they provide serve as some of the most scrutinized and protected environments ever to exist — far more than the average company can possibly hope to achieve on its own. Companies moving to these sorts of environment not only stand to gain massive savings in costs and resources, but they also end up with an environment that is better, more secure, and easier to manage.

So, to observe the day, take a moment and try to understand what data you have available in digital form. Then, try to determine how that data is protected. You might be shocked at what you find.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Why Do I Write...

Recently, I was presented with a question: Why Do I Write? As a writer, I thought I would share my response.

Words offer the means to meaning, 

and for those who will listen, 
the enunciation of truth. 

- V, V For Vendetta

Everyone writes for the same reason – to communicate a thought, feeling or idea. It can be as simple as a text message, as complicated as a technical whitepaper or as elegant as Shakespearean verse. Yet all are used to communicate. Why do I write? At the most basic level, I write to communicate, and because I generally have things to say.
  • Writing is hard: Using the written word to express an idea is a difficult task. There is an aptitude for it, and it takes a certain amount of skill to convey an idea or emotion. I have never underestimated the skill of writing – it certainly does not come easy to most, and has not always come easy to me. You can always tell the skill level of a writer – how engaging it is, how it includes the reader, how it expresses the idea. None of these things are easy, but the best writers seem to have a way of producing words so that they flow onto the paper, and equally flow to the mind of the reader. 
  • Writing is challenging: Using words to express an emotion or to deliver a message is a challenge. It is a particular challenge that I enjoy, as it can be a powerful method of self-expression. Finding the right tone, finding the right words, narrowing your audience, and crafting a dialogue between the writer and the audience is as difficult as it is rewarding. I think we can all remember a time when we read something – maybe as simple as an article in the news – that was particularly moving or pertinent. Those that can accept the challenge of using words to communicate have a power that no one can take from them.
  • Writing is powerful: So many in the world do not have a voice. It is not because they do not have ideas, or have opinions to share. But they do not have a way to communicate those ideas in a way that is meaningful. I write because it is an outlet for me to express my thoughts and ideas, and – even occasionally – my emotions. I personally enjoy public speaking as well, but it is difficult to find an audience that is constantly available. Whereas writing is always – always available, always refreshing, always influencing. It becomes part of the record, regardless of how insignificant it may seem. Writing allows me to create a historical legacy.
I am privileged to have a profession where writing is an integrated part of the role. I spend hours every week sharing my thoughts about the latest in technical innovations, using words to describe the qualities or value of a particular technical solution. I get to shape my messages to specific audiences. And I know that my writing has an impact – literally tens of thousands of people read my written words every month.

Simply, I write because it is an extension of my abilities, my intellect and my soul.

Friday, January 12, 2018

CyberSecurity Predictions for 2018: Threat Analytic Services On-Demand Has Arrived

Happy New Year! 

I recently penned a piece for general distribution about cybersecurity predictions for 2018, this one on threat analytics.  the folks at Verdict (as well as several other media outlets) picked it up and published it.

You can find the original post here.

Move Over Netflix:
Threat Analytic Services On-Demand Has Arrived 

We are a world at war – and most people don’t even know it. It is not a traditional war with bombers, battleships and bazookas. Rather, it is being fought everyday by cyber soldiers, protecting governments and organisations from state-sponsored hackers and organised crime.

Unfortunately, most private enterprises and organisations do not have the resources to effectively combat coordinated cyberattacks – it isn’t their core business and information security resources are expensive and hard to come by.  But the picture isn’t as bleak as it sounds.

2018 will see cybersecurity-related services dramatically increase, especially around threat analytics. In the past, only the largest companies could afford to invest in the procurement, management and maintenance of threat analytics services (TAS), but now they are becoming readily available to customers on demand for whatever purpose needed. Maybe it’s a point-in-time situation, like incident response or strategic advisory to evaluate existing infrastructure, determine regulatory compliance, or confirm the veracity of a particular security architecture.

Cyberattacks will continue to increase. But organisations are no longer defenceless in the fight. TAS are not just for the big boys any more – every size company can take advantage of on-demand specialised services to improve their overall cybersecurity.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Podcast with RackN on Cloud Security...

Recently, I created podcast with the folks at RackN on cloud security, GDPR and a whole list of other cybersecurity related topics.  Rob Hirschfeld and Stephen Spector are part of the leadership at RackN and experts at data center automation. 

From the RackN website:

RackN allows Enterprises to quickly transform their current physical data centers from basic workflows to cloud-like integrated processes.  We turned decades of infrastructure experience into data center provisioning software so simple it only takes 5 minutes to install and provides a progressive path to full autonomy.  Our critical insight was to deliver automation in a layered way that allows operations teams to quickly adopt the platform into their current processes and incrementally add autonomous and self-service features.
You can find the podcast here: