banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

A pragmatic, visionary perspective —–

Sitting down with a couple of working professionals at the CompTIA Conference in Chicago at the Chicago Hilton to discuss current cyber-security issues gave me some insights on how some are coping with cyber threats and how others better be getting a quick education on security:

From open servers and Smartphones to digital wallet applications on the Smartphones, a whole new issue of enterprise security is popping up across the vast landscape of users and their access to public and private clouds.

Ron Culler, Chief Technology Officer of Secure Designs and Chris Johnson, Medical IT Consultant, of Untangled Solutions sat down with me to discuss some of their views on cyber-security and the need to start putting together strict policies when it comes to cyber-security for organizations.

Ron Culler pointed out that many people have been pushed into this area of cyber-security who don’t have any real IT skills. They are not comfortable with dealing with some of the security issues, let alone, being some type of “Security Expert”. They need to rely on their cloud vendor or some other third party vendor to set policies for them and create a more secure environment. Many small companies fall into this category.

Chris Johnson added that with the explosive use in Smartphones and tablets, there is no established “trust mark” with any cloud approach. People buy off on the idea “the “cloud” that they are using is secure”, but it may not be. How do they find out if it is? There are no standards yet. There is no true rating system.

Both Chris and Ron pointed out the latest security breach with Jeep and hackers ability to take control of one of the systems controlling the car. This is more common than just in the Jeep because there was an article on the Tesla being hacked into as well. That intrusion of taking control of a car has opened the eyes of many who took security for granted on many products.

These security breaches are raising new concerns as to the robustness of the software being put into vehicles as well as other appliances within an Internet of Things (IoT) environment.

Chris Johnson pointed out that most people compare the features of a dishwasher more than they analyze the features of what is in a cloud network that is going to give them access to new applications. There is a lot of truth to that observation.

People need to be as comfortable in comparing features and network services for their smartphones as they are with comparing everyday appliances and television sets.

Both he and Ron agreed that there needs to be more education on reviewing and analyzing the good and the bad of new applications and smartphone technologies. People need to read up on basic security measures just like they would for their own houses and properties. Electronic “property” is no different.

You need to secure it from outside threats and theft.


Johnson also pointed out something that needs to be addressed. Privacy laws and other laws applicable to Smartphones are different from state-to-state. In order to have a level playing field and a standardization of privacy issues across-the-board, a national law should be put into place, rather than have 50 different interpretations of the law. To me, that makes a lot of sense.

Johnson talks about the need to have a culture shift when it comes to understanding the new security issues when you use new technology.

Culler pointed out that many things like HVAC systems, point-of-sale systems and others are all “islands of technology”. There is a real need for many companies, especially smaller ones that do not have an dedicated IT staff, to look for third party network and security integrators who can help them establish and maintain a level of security across these different products and services.

Jumping into the Internet of Things requires some thought and some focus on establishing policies and procedures for security for all organizations.

CARLINI-ISM : “You wouldn’t leave your car unlocked on the street. Don’t leave your Smartphone or other devices unlocked for others to steal information.”


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Copyright 2015 – James Carlini


2 responses to “CYBER-SECURITY DISCUSSION AT CompTIA Conference

  1. Robt William Churchill

    More government regulation to protect digital idiots masquerading as fools is not the answer. In ten years, “smartphones” will be more intelligent than the users who bought them. Keep government out of my IT infrastructure, thank you. We don’t need the Congress or FCC to encroach any further. Nano terrorism is just moments away. We got Microsoft running sappy TV advertisements showing babies with a voice over saying, “She won’t have to remember her password.” Stupid is as stupid does. Don’t tax me for other idiot’s ignorance.

  2. Oscar Fairchild

    The people who foolishly put all their critical data and information into the cloud deserve all the crime and punishment they receive. The consequences of decades of wrongful outsourcing are finally being felt. Reap what you have sown, fools. The worst is yet to come.

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