Mitigating risks … is a waste of money?

There was an interesting talk at one of the panels at the RSA Conference, where SilverSky and Adobe claimed that investing in security is a waste of money. Their message is simple and compelling:

“For most companies it’s going to be far cheaper and serve their customers a lot better if they don’t do anything [about security bugs] until something happens. You’re better off waiting for the market to pressure on you to do it.”

Although they say that this was all in pretense, we all know it was not, companies large and small try to avoid fixing problems as long as they can, waiting for customers to complain loud before ever doing anything. Basically, this is a risk that companies rate as unimportant because of its low perceived rate of occurrence.

The problem with this kind of risks that they cannot be properly rated. The probability of these risks is hard to rate because the data is basically unavailable. And the impact of the risk is underrated because of low perceived probability. People tend to ignore such risks.

But the companies, can they also afford to ignore such risks? What has to be considered is that a …
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Service: cheap, cheapest… cheaper!

I find it disturbing how even the most normal appearing people are falling for the cheap-cheap-cheap mantra of the day. Take the telephone services. My friend, who would always check the quality of everything he buys and make sure that it is of at least fairly acceptable level, falls for the “we have it cheaper than everyone else” internet and telephony package. Result is very predictable: half a year of wasted time, miserable service, lost money.

Why does this happen? It seems easier to accept the “everything is equal anyway” lie when you cannot assess the quality expertly in advance. It is probably difficult to assess the quality of a used car for a non-specialist, but at least you can see the rust. When you only see the colorful brochures, it becomes near impossible to judge the quality of a future service. And it is, oh, so easy to judge the amount of money you pay.

When you select the services next time, remember, it is not only the money you pay. The service you receive should also be taken into account. You are not just paying money, you are paying money for the service. Make sure the service is …
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Technology vs. People

A well-known expression used an abused millions of times over the history of the mankind says that the weapons do not kill people, other people do. The meaning is, of course, that the knife is just a tool and it is up to the hand wielding the knife to put it to use – good or bad.

In fact, all of the technology is like that. The technology can be put to serve people or it can be used to deceive people. I think that recently most technologies are used to deceive people and more and more technologies and techniques arrive every day that serve this same purpose. They could be put to good use, serving people and helping us on our evolutionary path but, no, they are not. Instead, they are all abused.

I used to argue and fight against such uses of technology (that I consider to be rather abuses) but to no avail. And now I realize that it is no use fighting against it. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery says, you never fight “against”, you always fight “for”. So it is necessary to fight for the proper uses of technology, put all those resources to the service …
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We all know (but not all of us despise) that buzzwords are abound all around us. Especially in the business world, it seems one cannot do a thing without stepping into a leadership (think Dilbert).

Well, it is not only business. I just noticed for real for the first time what is actually written on the aftershave: “oligo-thermal ultra-moisturizer”. Well, it gives an impression of being cool and moisturizing, that’s all I can figure out. The actual meaning? Hmm…

Annoyingly, we understand less and less of what people say and have to hear more and more. The information flow is diluted, the quality of the information exchange is lowered, the time is wasted.

Think about it the next time you want to add those “management sounds” to your presentation, all right?…
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