Monthly Archives: December 2016

Seven Books for Highly Effective Reading.

I regularly get asked which books should be read to build up a successful business. Students, start-uppers, managers, business owners – everybody wants a reading list! But that’s ok, for I do have some answers. However, I don’t believe one can become a businessperson by reading certain books, no matter how highly recommended they come. Still, there are some great books out there that sure won’t do any harm reading; eight of which I’ll tell you about in this here post…

I divide business books into two major categories.

The first helps readers with what needs to be done to build up a successful business; the second – how not to do it. The boundary is often blurred, but taken together books from both groups can help readers avoid both spending valuable time and resources on re-inventing the wheel again and again, and make the exciting business of… building a business a constant struggle.

Actually, there’s also a third category of books – works by legendary captains of business or government leaders, which instruct by example how things should be done. Such books are normally rather general as they cover such a broad range of business problems and unpredictable unexpectednesses, while also demonstrating limitless possibilities – albeit hazily. They don’t contain hands-on action plans, but they’re still well worth a read to get valuable overarching insights.

Many of the books in my list here were written quite a while ago – some even in the last millennium – so whole new industries and technologies of the 2000s are either hardly touched or aren’t touched at all. All the same, the books are still relevant to modern times; their main ideas can easily still be applied to today’s digital realities. We’re living in an era of new technologies, but man’s nature is still the same, and folks tend to repeat the same or similar mistakes. Not all folks, mind: others do things right and their companies become widely recognized and respected leaders. Which is what I hope for everyone.

All righty – here we go. Happy reading – of this post and then the books detailed in it!…

 

Jim Collins. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t

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I’d call this the most important book in my business library. In plain language and with lots of practical examples, the author convincingly analyzes the traits commonly found in various types of leaders. This book is one of the few in my first category mentioned above: How to build a great business.

Read on: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail…

Trolling, Dancing, Performing… and Just Plain Partying.

Once again, it’s the last month of the year already. The reservoir outside my office window has long frozen over (with fishermen sat atop it with their rods poking through holes made in the thick ice), and it’s brrrrr freezing, it goes without saying. There’s the somewhat disturbing crackle of the anti-ice chemical pellets underfoot and under-wheel; there are traffic jams seeming to be longer than usual; and there are days when you don’t set foot outside in daylight (it’s dark late in the mornings and early in the evenings). Business-wise, December is also a month for summing up, for progress reviews, for stocktaking, and for finalizing budgets and plans for the future.

So yes, December can be a dark, dull and wearisome month. For us at KL though, there’s one event to make up for all that. Of course it’s our annual Christmas/New Year blow-out. A small get-together – of ~2500 KLers and guests from around the world – for some serious festive letting down of the hair, kissing under the mistletoe and all that. And this year it happened last Friday…

Read on: Awards to the best KLers first…

Uh-Oh Cyber-News: Infect a Friend, Rebooting Boeings, No-Authentication Holes, and More.

Hi folks!

Herewith, the next installment in my ‘Uh-oh Cyber-News’ column – the one in which I keep you up to date with all that’s scarily fragile and frailly scary in the digital world.

Since the last ‘Uh-oh’ a lot has piled up that really needs bringing to your attention. Yep, the flow of ‘Uh-ohs’ has indeed turned from mere mountain-stream trickle to full-on Niagara levels. And that flow just keeps on getting faster and faster…

As a veteran of cyber-defense, I can tell you that in times past cataclysms of a planetary scale were discussed for maybe half a year. While now the stream of messages is like salmon in spawning season: overload! So many they’re hardly worth mentioning as they’re already yesterday’s news before you can say ‘digital over-DDoSe’. “I heard how they hacked Mega-Corporation X the other day and stole everything; even the boss’s hamster was whisked away by a drone!”…

Anyway, since the stream of consciousness cyber-scandals is rapidly on the up and up, accordingly, the number of such scandals I’ll be writing about has also gone up. In the past there were three of four per blogpost. Today: seven!

Popcorn/coffee/beer at the ready? Off we go…

1) Infect a Friend and Get Your Own Files Unlocked for Free.

Read on: Effective Hacker Headhunting…

All Quiet on the Highly-Militarized Demilitarized Front.

This is a veeerrrry strange place. It’s a place that’s completely isolated from the outer world – isolated by man, that is (not naturally isolated like, for example, Kamchatka). In fact, more isolated (by man) than the Chernobyl or Fukushima nuclear power plants. To get into it and get over to those there hills on the horizon is completely impossible, even theoretically – neither by ground nor air. You’d be shot!

An absurd paradox of paradoxes, if ever there was one: they call this place ‘demilitarized’. Turns out to be one of the most heavily militarized strips of land on the planet! Yes folks, this is the Korean Demilitarized Zone – the DMZ.

Read on: A brief history of the place…

Curious Observations, Useful Conclusions.

After what has possibly been my longest ever ‘stay’ in Moscow (er, but I ‘live’ here:) – a full month! – I recently resumed my habitual routine of not being in the same place country for long. It’s good to be ‘back’; but the downtime in Moscow was great too. But I digress…

Anyway, I eased myself into the business-globetrotting thing steadily – taking not a full leap to the other side of the world, but a mere little jump not all that far away, relatively. And the first thing I noticed after landing that made me all curious was this here sign next to the lift in the offices we were visiting:

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Read on: Stairs are there to keep you fit…

A Billion in the Cloud.

Recently, sharp-eyed users congratulated me with a ‘billion’ items in the Kaspersky Security Network. Thank you! Although, I need to explain what that ‘billion’ is.

A billion items in Kaspersky Security Network

First of all, don’t worry. This is not a billion something or other you don’t want on your computer; no, it’s something different, and it’s a little complicated. So let me start with some basic definitions.

Read on: How to get as close as poss to the ideas cybersecurity…

A Brief History of DDoS Attacks.

And so it’s come to pass: the abbreviation ‘DDoS‘ has entered the lexicon to such an extent that it often doesn’t get written out in full these days in the general interest newspapers. Well, some actually may still not know what it stands for, but everyone and their dog does know that a DDoS is very bad thing for a certain large target, with something very important suddenly not working, with employees twiddling their thumbs as the network’s down, and with their tech-support’s telephones requiring an ice bath as they’re so hot from ringing – and disgruntled clients swearing down them all the time. What’s more, everyone and their cat also knows that normally a DDoS attack gets carried out by unknown, mysterious – and just plain bad – cyber-enemies.

DDoS attacks have evolved very quickly, as you’ll find out reading this blogpost. They’ve grown much nastier and become a lot more technically advanced; from time to time the adopt utterly unusual attack methods; they go after fresh new targets; and break new world records in being the biggest and baddest DDoS’s ever. But, then, the world in which DDoS find themselves in has evolved very quickly too. Everything and the kitchen sink is online: the number of assorted ‘smart’ [sic] devices connected to the net now far outstrips the number of good old desktop and laptop computers.

The result of these two evolutions running in parallel – of DDoS’s themselves plus the digital landscape in which they dwell – has brought us equally evolved headlines: botnets made up of IP cameras and home Wi-Fi routers breaking DDoS records on size (Mirai), and massive DDoS attacks on Russian banks.

If, earlier, botnets were made up of zombie PCs, soon they’ll be made up of zombie refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, tumble dryers and coffee machines.

brevity-comic

Read on: So what’s next?…