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Security Skins Replace Walls in a Least Identity World

Building walls around our treasures has been a successful practice for millennium. In the security realm these walls started as physical security; bricks and concrete that protected our metal boxes full of treasured data. The rapid evolution of communication and mobile technologies has resulted in an explosion in the number of system we must manage and secure. The wall as a security model is failing us.

Biological ecosystems are complex interconnected and messy. There are many stories of well meaning attempts to control some aspect of an ecosystem that resulted in an ecological disaster. DDT used to kill off malaria mosquitoes poisons birds, which kills the cats, which allows an explosion in rats, which leads to an outbreak of plague. As our technologies become increasingly connected in a wireless world we are reaching a level of complexity that is showing the behaviour of a biological ecology. New products find ecological niches and radiate into the environment at an exponential rate. Applications that cannot adapt quickly become extinct. There are predator/prey cycles as hackers discover and exploit vulnerabilities.

How then does a security manager provide confidentiality, integrity and availability in an increasingly complex technological ecosystem? How do we keep the bad guys out in a "least identity" world? Perhaps security needs to be viewed not as a wall but rather a skin around each intelligent appliance. Get the paper as a HTML, PDF or RTF.

Best Practices Made Simple

Best Practices has become the buzzword for organizations but it stands on a strong footing of Quality Management that uses standardization practices to improve both efficiency and quality. Starting a Best Practices process takes work but most of what is required is just common sense. Starting small allows you a low risk path to becoming comfortable with the methodology. Get the paper as a HTML, PDF or RTF.

Applying Complexity Theory to Change Management

Complexity Theory is considered the realm of ivory tower researchers yet some of the more powerful results are easy to understand and apply. Change management is written about endlessly yet change often surprises and defeats some of the most carefully managed teams. What complexity theory adds is the realization that change management success is dependant on the how close the system is to its optimum complexity point. Critical to successfully managing change is a flexible leadership style that applies an appropriate level of administrative control and balances the 3 R's of risk, reward and rate. Get the paper as a HTML, PDF or RTF.

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My Help Desk Has Nothing to Do

Help Desks are effective at providing a consistent and measurable way to provide support to your business. Unfortunately staffing a Help Desk is an extremely difficult HR problem and businesses rarely consider this when they design their Help Desks. The result is high turnover and inefficient use of Help Desk staff.

Putting the User in the Middle of the Development Process

Users are a nuisance, they do not know what they want, they do not appreciate what they have, and worse they do not appreciate all the late nights, blood, sweat and tears of the development staff. Yet 80% of all development projects fail in some way because of missed timelines, budgets or functionality - as many as 60% end up completely unusable. As annoying as the users are, their participation is absolutely critical to the success of the project.