Monthly Archives: June 2015

Take these 6 security measures to protect your IoT devices from hackers

Tech AnnouncementBI Intelligence estimates that by 2020 there will be more than 23 billion IoT devices connected to the internet. One of the biggest challenges in connecting so many devices will be in securing them to prevent hackers from controlling them or using them to infiltrate networks and databases. Many low-power IoT devices don’t have the computing power to run antivirus software like a computer.

A recent blog post on EETimes discussed six measures that can be used to protect IoT devices from hackers:
Use a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for authentication. A TPM is a dedicated microprocessor that integrates cryptographic keys into devices to uniquely identify and authenticate them. Each device then has its own identifier that is encrypted by the keys. This will prevent hackers from hacking and impersonating a device to gain access to home, enterprise, or government networks.

Use the Trusted Network Connect (TNC) standards to check for malicious software or firmware. The TNC standards offer a way to check devices for malicious software or firmware whenever they try to access networks or other devices. This would help prevent hackers from using hacked devices to upload spyware or other malicious software to networks or other devices.

Isolate and remediate infected devices with security software and protocols. If a device is infected with malware or other malicious programs, it needs to be quarantined. The IF-PEP protocol can isolate an infected machine from other devices and networks. There are numerous solutions from security software vendors for clearing the device of the infection once its isolated.

Layered security can limit the damage a hacker can do once device is hacked. A Mandatory Access Control system limits access to certain functions or files on a device for a given user. This acts as a choke point that can prevent hackers from gaining sensitive information through the hacked device.

Data encryption is a must. This should go without saying, but data needs to be encrypted when stored on a device or in transit. The post recommended using a read-only mechanism to obstruct hackers’ efforts to tamper with data on a device.

Secure legacy systems through industrial control systems. To reach their full potential, IoT devices and systems have to be integrated with legacy machines or appliances that were never built to be connected or secured against hacking. Industrial Control Systems can segment that legacy hardware from other systems and secure communications between them with encryption. This, for instance, could prevent a hacker who has infiltrated the network of a connected factory from then taking control of the machinery on the assembly line.

BI Intelligence estimates that spending on security for IoT devices and systems will increase five-fold from 2015 to 2019.



4 Tips To Get Your Resume Mobile Ready

Resume IconAttorneys and real estate agents aren’t the only ones using their mobile devices for work. Recruiters are too, which means you need to have you resume mobile ready.

Sure it may not be a requirement for most jobs today, but anything that makes it’s easier for the hiring manager to see your resume is going to help. Not to mention mobile is the way the world is heading.

“A lot of people tend to use their phone to review new applicants,” says Jesse Siegal, senior managing director – temporary staffing at The Execu|Search Group. “Getting your resume mobile friendly is only going to help and give you little more of a competitive edge in a pretty tight market.”

Getting your resume mobile ready doesn’t mean a complete redo, but it does mean you want to make sure the layout and content keeps mobile readers engaged. From choosing the right font to making it easy to read, here’s how to get your resume ready for the mobile wave of job hunting.

1. Keep it simple

Unless you work in a creative field where your resume is an extension of your portfolio, the best way to ensure your resume can be read regardless of the device is to keep it simple. “Avoid anything that is overly complicated like columns,” says Pamela Skillings, co-founder of job coaching firm Skillful Communications. “No colors and no crazy formatting. It might get garbled.”

Since most people will be looking at their mobile screen vertically and scrolling down you also want to make sure it fits in the pane of the phone or mobile device, says Siegal. The font should also be something basic like Arial, he says, noting you can differentiate sections of the resume with a smaller font instead of bolding items. “You want to make it a little more compact and laid out and a little easier on the eye,” says Siegal.

2. Be concise and to the point

Recruiters and hiring managers are often operating under a tight deadline and don’t have time to read a resume that drones on and on. On a mobile phone, people typically have even less patience, which is why brevity is your best friend. “Minimize scrolling and cater to short attention spans by ensuring that you get your point across with the least amount of words possible,” says Jesse Wright, vice president of recruiting and delivery at Adecco Engineering and Technology. “Ideally, your resume should be able to be captured in a single screen shot.”

Experts says to include all of the information about your career, accomplishments and achievements that pertain to the job opportunity up top and leave the less important things at the bottom. When someone opens a resume on a mobile phone what they see first is “make or break it” for the job candidate, says Skillings. You want to make sure you are optimizing that piece of mobile real estate by having the most relevant and interesting information right at the top, she says. “The biggest thing is making sure you are grabbing them with what is immediately visible,” says Skillings.

3. Take advantage of hyperlinks

Standing out is pointless if you make it hard for the recruiter or hiring manager to contact you. An easy way to prevent that from happening is to have hyperlinks to your phone number and email. Ideally you want the recruiter to be able to call you directly from your resume, says Wright. If you use social media as part of your job search, then Wright says to provide hyperlinks to those as well. After all scores of people have the leading social media apps installed on their mobile devices and in one click can be checking you out on LinkedIn.

4. Test your mobile resume before sending it out

Anything can go wrong with technology, and the last thing you want to happen is a problem with your resume whether it’s reading it or opening up the attachment. That is why career experts says it’s extremely important to test your resume on as many mobile devices as you can including an iPhone, iPad, and Android based phones. Wright says it’s a good idea to use the latest version of Microsoft Office because some new smartphones and tablets don’t support legacy versions of Microsoft. Another option says Adecco’s Wright is to save your resume in the PDF format, which provides easy mobile viewing. “You don’t want to make assumptions,” adds Skilling. “Testing it is important.”

Source: Glassdoor Blog

Why A Manager’s Body Language Matters

LeaderThe vice president of a Fortune 500 company is speaking at a leadership conference. He’s a polished presenter with an impressive selection of organizational “war stories” delivered with a charming, self-deprecating sense of humor.

The audience likes him. They like him a lot.

Then, as he finishes his comments, he folds his arms across his chest and says, “I’m open for questions. Please, ask me anything.”Suddenly, there is a shift of energy in the room – from engagement to uncertainty.

The audience that was so attentive only moments ago is now somehow disconnected and unable to think of anything to ask.

I was at that event. As one of the presenters scheduled to follow the executive, I was seated at a table onstage with a clear view of the entire room. And the minute I saw that single gesture, I knew exactly how the audience would react.

Later I talked with the speaker (who didn’t realize he’d crossed his arms) and interviewed members of the audience (none of whom recalled the gesture, but all of whom remembered struggling to come up with a question).
How Body Language Affects Managers

So what happened – how could a simple arm movement that none of the participants were even aware of have had such a potent impact? And what does this mean to you as a manager?

Business relationships are all about communication. You already know that. In preparing for an important meeting – with your staff, boss, or clients – you concentrate on what to say, memorize crucial points, and rehearse your presentation so that you will come across as credible and convincing.

But did you also know that the people you’re speaking to will be subliminally evaluating your credibility, confidence, likeability and trustworthiness – and that their evaluation will be only partially determined by what you say?

12 Personality Traits Of A Great Boss from Officevibe

Did you know that your use of personal space, physical gestures, posture, facial expressions, and eye contact could enhance, support, weaken, or even sabotage your message?

The executive who addressed that conference in New York made a basic body language blunder when his gesture didn’t match his words.

And it is this kind of misaligned signaling that your staff or team will also pick up on more quickly and critically than almost any other.

When your nonverbal signals conflict with verbal statements (for example, dropping eye contact and glancing around the room while stating you are being candid, rocking back on your heels when talking about the project’s solid future or – like the VP — folding your arms while stating you are open to questions) you send mixed messages.

If forced to choose between what you said, and how you looked when saying it, people will discount the verbal content and, instead, believe what they saw.

But why did the executive make that gesture? Did he not want questions? Was he more comfortable standing that way? Was he cold?

I didn’t ask him, because it really didn’t matter.

It never does.
Nonverbal Communication Speaks Volumes

With nonverbal communication, it’s not how the sender feels that matters most; it is how the observer perceives how the sender feels.

And crossing arms is almost always perceived as a closed sign of resistance. That’s why your nonverbal signals don’t always convey what you intended them to.

If you pass a colleague in the hallway and don’t make eye contact, she may jump to the conclusion that you are upset with the report she just turned in.
Want To Be A Better Leader?

You may be slouching because you’re tired, but your team will read it as a sign of disinterest. If you frown in a staff meeting, attendees will probably think you didn’t like what you just heard – and they will keep their opinions to themselves.

In fact, when you make any nonverbal display of anger, irritability, or annoyance, people are more likely to hold back their ideas, limit their comments, and look for ways to shorten their interaction with you.

And, by the way, since the human brain pays more attention to negative messages than it does to positive ones, what people unconsciously look for and react to the most, are signs that you are in a bad mood or are not to be approached.

Definition Of Body Language

Body language is the management of time, space, appearance, posture, gesture, touch, expression, eye contact, and vocal prosody.

As such, nonverbal communication is a key part of your effectiveness as a manager. From a body language perspective, effective managers send two sets of signals. Both are very important, but they are each more important under certain circumstances.

For example, powerful people sit, stand, walk and gesture in ways that exude confidence, competence and status.

These are the kind of signal leaders might want to send when addressing the Board of Directors. Leaders send power and authority signals by standing tall, actually expanding into space.

You will notice, for instance, that high-status male executives at a conference table are likely to spread out their paperwork. They may put their arms on the back of other people’s chairs and even sit with their legs far apart.

But the most effective leaders also send nonverbal signals of warmth and empathy – especially when nurturing collaborative environments and managing change. The nonverbal signals that convey inclusiveness, likeability, and friendliness include open palm gestures, leaning slightly forward, giving people eye contact when they talk, nodding your head when someone is speaking, or tilting your head slightly to encourage them to speak more.

Since most of my clients are in organizations that are trying to move from a hierarchical command control structure to a flatter, more nimble, and more collaborative environment, I see a lot of senior managers who run into body language challenges.

They are so used to having to project a strong persona that they don’t realize the power of letting the other set of (empathy) signals take over.

Of course, learning to align body language with intents and messages is only one side of the nonverbal coin.

More business executives are learning not only how to send the right signals, but also how to read them.

Peter Drucker, the renowned author, professor and management consultant, understood this clearly:

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.

In a meeting, when people aren’t completely onboard with an initiative, leaders need to be able to recognize what’s happening – and to respond quickly.

During the hiring process, the ability to read nonverbal cues can make the difference between a great hire and a big mistake. And knowing when a negotiating partner is bluffing is a skill well worth developing.

Good body language skills can help your executives influence and motivate direct reports, improve productivity, bond with audiences, present ideas with more authority and impact, and authentically project their personal brand of charisma. That’s a powerful set of skills for any leader to develop.

That’s a powerful set of skills for any leader to develop.

Do Leaders In Your Office Have Bad Body Language?

Do you think they can do a better job of being more open and have better communication with employees? If it’s something that’s a little taboo to talk about within your organization, just use an anonymous feedback forum in order to address the situation.


Net neutrality: Government to make its stand public soon

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

NEW DELHI: The government, after verbally backing the concept of net neutrality for some months, is all set to put it in writing. It is likely to make public this week the telecom department’s report on the subject, which sources say will back the Centre’s stance that the internet should be completely free with equitable access and without any obstruction or prioritization.

The Department of Telecom report – prepared by a team of six officials – is currently with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and will form framework for the government policy on ‘net neutrality’ along with recommendations of the telecom regulator, which are yet to be submitted to DoT. The principle of net neutrality guarantees consumers equal and non-discriminatory access to all data, apps and services on internet, with no discrimination on the basis of tariffs or speed.

“A panel has the taken the views of all the stakeholders before submitting it to the telecom minister. There were a few critical points of debate such as allowing zero rating plans or not. The report will back the government’s stand unequivocally,” a person familiar with the matter said.

While the government has made its stand in favour of neutrality of the internet amply clear, industry experts and civil society groups say that the fine print of the policy will be critical for implementation.

“A policy supporting net neutrality in the Indian context must block any preferential treatment to any content. This is so because India is a country where all connectivity is slow. Hence, speed matters less than cost in a price sensitive country like ours,” Nikhil Pahwa, the founder of online news portal Medianama and one of the prime movers behind the campaign for net neutrality.

Last week, US telecom regulator, the Federal Communications Commission, slapped a $100-million fine on AT&T alleging the telecom giant was intentionally slowing down internet speeds to its unlimited data subscribers after they consumed a certain amount of data. This the commission said amounted to a lack of transparency on the company’s part. Earlier this year, the FCC, prodded by US president Barack Obama, embraced net neutrality.

Some say the government should either clearly bar a telecom operator from creating or owning content or it must put regulations in place which strictly forbid the telecom operator from throttling or slowing down the content of other providers.

“There could be a blanket ban. Or, instead of just a blanket ban on operators owning content, the government should ensure no content is throttled. The purpose will be defeated even if telecom service providers enter into agreements with other content providers and give certain content preference over the rest,” Prasanth Sugathan, Counsel at Software Freedom Law Center, told ET.

The DoT report will be made public even as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), after finishing a consultation process, is preparing its own report. The consultation, and launch of Airtel’s Airtel Zero plan — under which certain apps can be accessed by users free of charge, with the app makers paying telco for users’ access — caused a furore, especially on social media.

Bharti Airtel’s plan is what is known as zero rating plan when the content provider pays the telco for providing free access to users. Critics say such a plan gives a clear advantage to bigger content providers who can afford to pay, against those who cannot.

“In case a Flipkart app or browsing becomes free whereas a small startup is unavailable to make its app or website free because it cannot pay the telecom operator like a Flipkart. It will kill the small person’s business,” explained Pahwa. “Hence prevention of a ‘carriage fee’ in internet access which could be charged for zero rating or increasing or lowering speeds is a critical issue.”

Trai and Airtel’s plan faced a severe backlash from netizens who overwhelmingly expressed support for maintaining neutrality of internet. The regulator in fact received over 10 lakh responses supporting a free internet in a month, the highest ever it has received on any consultation paper.

Meanwhile, telecom department officials say the government could disallow the controversial ‘zero rating’ plans in its final policy on net neutrality. However, it could make an exemption for delivery of essential government services such as education and health on a preferential basis.

Telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea complain growth of apps, especially the ones providing communication services such as Whatsapp and Skype, have been eating into their messaging revenues and now have the potential to hurt their voice revenues, which makes up over 80% of their business.

Most telcos said that since the apps offer the same voice services as they do, they must be brought under similar rules, which involve payment of licence fees and meet roll out obligations.

Jio, the 4G mobile service from the Mukesh Ambani-run Reliance due to launched later this year, has on its part called for a regulatory framework for voice and messaging apps which will ensure that the likes of WhatsApp comply with all security guidelines that mobile phone operators need to follow, while supporting key proposals of rivals like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.

Supporters of net neutrality though say any move to regulate content providers will stifle innovation. They add that the security rules proposal indirectly seeks to burden innovative application providers by increasing cost of providing services.

“Do you really want the government to decide which app should be allowed to offer services in the country? Do you think Whatsapp could have grown in this country if it had to take permission from the Indian government?” Pahwa asks.


Smart Technology And The Internet Of Things

Tech AnnouncementThe first time I got lost in San Francisco I stood on a street corner for 30 minutes throwing my hands up and talking wildly as bus after bus passed me by, heading the wrong direction. The next day I was still loudly fuming over the woes of public transportation when my roommate said those five little words: “There’s an app for that.” The second time I got lost in San Francisco I was ready. I whipped out my navigation app and found the closest line. It took me a record four minutes to figure out which side of the street to stand on, then I was on it, flying over the slopes of Nob Hill.

Fast-forward 6 months and I had mastered some routes, could navigate a few neighborhoods without relying on Google Maps, and no longer noticed the stench of MUNI, which had become like the familiar scent of a good friend. Everything was easier. “Thank you, app,” I said to myself on my way to the office, the park, the store. I couldn’t comprehend how San Franciscans lived before smartphones. “Are they wizards?” I wondered. (Spoiler: they’re probably not.)

Like many other daily routines, once transportation went mobile, most of us forgot how we did it before. This can be as troubling as it is exciting. Troubling because we wonder where technology is taking us and how it’s affecting our minds as it steadily becomes an extension of us. Exciting because you can do things faster, better, and while juggling several other things in a way that wasn’t possible just 10 years ago. It’s no mystery that big cities welcome new technology before the rest. Chaos begs creative solutions, and with “Internet of Things” becoming our new reality, we’re on the brink of technological advances unlike any in history.

Regardless of your opinions on the tech-ification of society, it’s already inescapable. Giants like Amazon and newer players like Withings are pioneering inventions that help you live smarter. By 2016, 19 billion “things” will be connected to the internet. You can buy in like me and the many other San Franciscans expressing gratitude to their apps each day, or you can take to the backstreets where there are no sensors (yet) detecting road weather conditions or monitoring traffic. Either way, here are some of the “things” that are already among us, and a few you can expect to see soon enough.

Already Here

  • Wearables that track and analyze your movement, heartbeat, and more.
  • Smart home technology that learns your behavior and adjusts to your preferences.
  • Automated lunchrooms at Fortune 500 companies that stock and serve without human help.
  • Bluetooth health meters that monitor patients’ vitals remotely.
  • Scales that analyze your BMI and the air quality in your home.
  • 3D printers that can print in chocolate, magnetic material, and who knows what else.

On The Horizon

  • Smart fridges & dishes that track expiration dates, build your shopping list, and monitor your diet.
  • Smart cars that will drive to you and park themselves (already here, just not yet legal).
  • Smart cities where everything connects to everything, basically.

Now and tomorrow, we prioritize connections. Connecting with your home, with your body, with your city in new ways. The Internet of Things isn’t just about the next invention you probably don’t need—it allows our environment to adapt to us so we can better engage, learn, and live within it. Apps are units of this progress, putting connections in our pockets and paving the way to a tomorrow where you never worry about the bus. There’s an app for that.