Category: Entrepreneur

Starting a company is not for the weak kneed. It takes a lot of ambition, hopefully a good idea, maybe a dash of luck and a buyer. Maybe you are launching a new mobile app for the iPhone, IPad, and Android and just about any other mobile platform out there. So your new startup company will sell mobile applications. But what else goes into starting this company? You need a website to promote your application. You need to send out press releases. You need to design a logo. You need to so some social media marketing. And about a hundred other things.

Startup Challenge
The challenge is doing all of this on a budget. You do not even know if you will make money so putting a lot of money into upfront costs might not be feasible. I have faced these same challenges in the several companies I have worked on. But the wonderful thing about this whole “cloud economy” me we are living in is that there is a site that can help you with just about everything you need, and for a reasonable price.

When I someone told me about Fiverr (www.fiverr.com) I thought it was pretty funny idea. What will people do for $5? I thought about what I would do for $5 and the list is probably too long for this post and might scare the faint of heart. My first foray into the site was fun. You can have a guy dance around in gorilla costume for $5.

startup company fiverr

Or you can have a guy scream like a psychopath. I am sure someone will find that valuable.

 

startup company fiverr

startup company with fiverr

 

 

But as you delve into www.Fiverr.com there are a lot of great services for $5. (Btw, I have no other interest in Fiverr other than I think it’s a great service.)  You can have some write your press release and have someone else distribute it to 10 press release sites for $5 each. It would take at least 30 minutes to write a good press release and another 30 to distribute it to multiple sites. So $10 for an hour of work is probably not a bad deal.

Fiverr press release distribution

You can find some very valuable services in just about every area you need to build your business. For a limited budget, its a pretty good start.

There are some other great sites you can use to get your company off the ground including Odesk (www.odesk.com), Elance (www.elance.com), Guru (www.guru.com) and TenBux (www.tenbux.com) among others. Save your money where you can when starting a company and good luck!

Gary Bahadur

www.kraasecurity.com

www.razient.com

Social Media Security

Website Security Testing

Vulnerability Analysis

HIPAA Security Assessment

 

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Is there such a thing as Social Media Warfare? We have had cyber warfare going on for years now. So it should be an obvious “YES” that Social Media warfare exists. But is that true?  To get to a full blown war opposing sides go through an escalation process. Where are we in this process? From a pure cyber warfare perspective, we are in world war three, many opposing sides, lots of new and improved weapons, completely escalating attacks and no end in sight. Companies are used to conducting vulnerability management and risk assessment. This new war will require new tactics and defense strategies.

I think we have seen the first skirmishes of the war. It started with all the spammers morphing their tools into Facebook and Twitter hacking. Then moving into phishing. Then into negative attacks on your reputation by disgruntled customers and competitors. So what is the progression of this coming war? Is there a similarity to how “normal” cyber  warfare started? But why is this war inevitable?

The attack vectors in the Social Media War are probably categorized into personal use and corporate use. If these are the assets that needs to be protected, we can then figure out how the assets will be attacked, how will the enemies do reconnaissance, what alliances will be formed and what should be the defense strategies and weapons for defense.

The progression of of this war will follow different patterns and there is probably no end in sight.

Action Personal Corporate
Skirmish Home users receiving spam and phishing attacks and scams Corporate users seeing more phishing attacks, attackers going through Linkedin profiles
Protest Actions Users might complain to attorney generals, or write nasty messages about Microsoft Adobe or Apple security weaknesses The IT department is inundated with help desk calls. Companies have the ability to complain to ISPs or event countries about originating attacks.
Negotiations There really isn’t anyone to negotiate with. Writing on your Facebook wall will not do a darn thing. Companies definitely do not want to negotiate. But will see blackmail more and more.
Failed Negotiations The home user is bascially screwed anyway. Succumbing to blackmail will only lead down a bad path.
Declaration of War This is a defacto state with the home user. They are at war whether they know it or not. Companies have to take a proactive approach to security versus reactive. Anticipate the next types of attacks and have a budget to address it.
Launch Attacks and Defend More defend, get your anti-spyware, antivirus, personal firewalls and encryption up to speed. But after that, understand how attackers use Social Media. Spend massive amounts of money on understanding how so fight in the Social media landscape, security hardware and software are not enough.
Allies Join the War The home user can only rely on the Social media companies for basic security. Their will be more collaboration between companies and governments. Perhaps together they have a fighting chance. Regulations are also going to force changes.
Years of Conflict – Never Ending Whats the next thing after Facebook and Twitter? Whatever it is will have its own security challenges. But by that time the home user will probably have given out every bit of personal information on all the Social Media venues anyway. A company can only rely on the right process to secure their social media usage. As technologies change and new sites go live, a good process and social media security policy is all you can rely on.
Winner The ISP, they get to sell bandwidth. The VCs who fund companies like Facebook and Twitter.

I will get into more tactics in the coming war in future posts.

Gary Bahadur

CEO KRAA Security,  baha@kraasecurity.com

http://www.kraasecurity.com

http://blog.kraasecurity.com

http://twitter.com/kraasecurity

*Managed Security Services

*Vulnerability Management

*Compliance & Policy Development

*PGP Security

*FREE Website Security Test

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Social Media Buzz
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Social Media Policy

Social Media has become part of the user community several years ago. Today we have social media in the corporate environment. The main problem we have is how social media has evolved. It has been a bottom up approach. By bottom up I mean that the consumer has determined how to use a technology and the corporation is playing catch up. But the social norms that are appropriate for a consumer “product” are not appropriate in a corporate environment.    

 

Social media usage is being retrofitted into the corporate environment. But the consumer is already used to using social media in an insecure, “information must be free” manner. Employees who have been used to giving up all their information in places such as Facebook and Twitter must now be retrained to use social media in a whole different manner to meet corporate standards. (Assuming we have a corporate standard for social media security)  
But what is a corporate standard for using social media in an appropriate fashion that does not put the company at risk? Corporations have not made a concerted effort to define that secure social media strategy, or even a strategy for training their employees in the “correct” use of social media.

 

Social Media Policy Infrastructure

What is a good starting point for implementing a social media policy? Here is a basic guideline.   
1) Define a policy – You cannot assume employees will do the right thing without guidance. You already have things like Expense Policies, Acceptable Use Policies, Internet Use Policies. Write a basic guideline. What’s in that guideline will vary from company to company.  

 2) Information Classification – You have to explicitly define what information can be shared and what information should not be Tweeted, FaceBooked, BlibbedBlabbaded (I made that up)about. If your employees do not know how valuable information is that you cannot blame them for inadvertently being sucked into the blogosphere. (I am not sure blogosphere is yet a word, but who cares)3) Keep It professional – If you allow your employees to Socialize (that a word with any meaning here?) information about your company, you have to give them standards to follow. Things like cursing, grammar mistakes, casual conversation style discussions might not be the image you want to portray when discussing anything related to your company.

4) Tracking and Monitoring – If you are going to have a policy for anything, you have to have a mechanism for tracking compliance, reporting on activity and have consequences for breaking that policy. How much tweets that are over the line makes you bring an employee before HR? What is a firing Facebook picture offense?

This is a very abbreviated start. In later posts I will define more aspects of a social media policy. But let’s get the conversation started about the necessity for this as a standard policy in every organization, both large and small.

 

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 The trends in Social Media are heading towards more sharing of information. But sharing of information has moved beyond your circle of friends and family. Social media is becoming less social and more… well more corporate. Or more like many people shouting in a bar, you are all in close proximity, but you can’t distinguish the individual conversations, you can’t make out who people really are or who is a potential quality relationship.

How many random friend requests do you get now from Facebook, Friendster, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. Twitter is a bit different obviously, but that’s a whole other story. Now you are also getting bombarded with corporate Fanpages, groups and other means of luring you to their sites, brands and social following. This is the erosion of your true social circle.Social Media Security is really more about Insecurity. The distribution of your information across multiple platforms used to be in a restricted circle. This can be true data loss.  Now its pretty much everywhere. You can find a person’s LinkedIn profile with a generic Google search. This should be restricted to the LinkedIn environment, but it’s not.With the advent of location based services, we will see physical insecurity based on social media usage. A recently popular site Please Rob Me http://pleaserobme.com has already begun taking advantage of the Twitter location feature. Imagine what can be done by a stalker following someone on twitter or a deranged Ex-boyfriend following you based on the events you are attending on Facebook? It’s easy to see how you can give away all your personal information without event thinking of it. Trends towards making information available will lead to Insecurity. Insecurity will lead to data breaches and compromise. Compromise will lead to lots of crying, money lost, probably lawsuits and other painful results. How do we get past this Social Media Insecurity

Gary Bahadur

http://www.kraasecurity.com

http://blog.kraasecurity.com

http://twitter.com/kraasecurity

Address: 200 Se 1st St #601 Miami FL 33131

*Managed Security Services

*Vulnerability Management

*Compliance & Policy Development 

*PGP Security

*FREE Website Security Test 

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The Blackberry has been the mainstay of the business world for years. But as we know, the IPhone is eating away at market share. There are over 75,000 apps for the IPhone now and growing steadily. For those who have Blackberry Thumb, you can probably look forward to IPhone Index Finger at some point in the future as you switch away from the Blackberry.

Why should you switch from the Blackberry? Well there may not be a good reason. The Blackberry has a number of apps and it is secure, it has encryption and has been beaten up on the security front like network security assessment and application security testing. It’s ingrained in businesses and Blackberry Enterprise Server is well known to many IT administrators.

The Entrepreneur can use both devices. Let’s assume there are at least some people using the IPhone, what apps should they have in their toolkit?  Of the thousands of apps, how can you pick a few that would be beneficial to the Entrepreneur Road Warrior? Well the way I picked them is through word of mouth , that are of benefit to me and comes with network security assessment tools. I travel, work in my car, have meetings at all times of day, I am away from the office for days or weeks.

Take these with a grain of salt and do not send any flame emails. But please send in the apps that you think should be shared with the world or at least readers of this Blog.

Urban Spoon

First up is Urban Spoon. You are thinking, well that’s not some kind of spreadsheet or financial app. What is the business purpose? The lifeblood of the Entrepreneur is networking , managed security services, application security risk assessment and deal making. Where deal making most of the time involves some kind of meal. Urban Spoon can find you restaurants by cuisine, by neighborhood, by cost, by distance. Everything you need for a meeting is the most random city.

urbanspoon1

AroundMe

In the same vein as Urban Spoon, is AroundMe . Say you are on your way to an important lunch you have setup with a restaurant you found on Urban Spoon but you are almost out of gas. Use AroundMe to find the closed gas station. Or if you need cash to pay for that gas because your Amex Card has been cancelled, find the closest bank.

aroundme

 

GoogleMaps

Well this is pretty obvious. But when you are traveling and maybe forgot to bring your Garmin GPS and do not feel like paying the rental company an extra $11.99 a day to rent their GPS , this is just as good.

ReQall

This is a pretty useful app. The developers were one of the www.TiE.org Top 50 companies this year at TiECon. The app captures your voice, translates it to text, organizes your calendar based on your voice messages, integrates into Outlook or Google Calendar and provides memory assistance. It’s great when you have no pen or driving in a car or need a memory reminder.

reqall

FlightAware

For the true Road Warrior, there is no road, there is the sky. So when you are rushing to the airport or think you need to rush to the airport, track down what is going on with your flight. Check out FlightAware to get an update and help you plan that trip to the airport.

flightaware

TweetDeck

Social Media, the latest buzz word, actually has some teeth. Small companies and the Entrepreneur have to be connected to the work whether you like it or not.  Twitter is a way of life these days even if people seem to be twittering their lives away. How do you tell your followers that you are stuck in an airport in Baltimore? Try using TweetDeck.

tweetdeck

These Apps don’t seem very business-like, but the Entrepreneur is practical, cheap, requires network security audit tools and has to get things done today . These help you achieve your million tasks on a timely basis.

Gary Bahadur

http://www.kraasecurity.com

http://blog.kraasecurity.com

http://twitter.com/kraasecurity

*Managed Security Services

*Vulnerability Management

*Compliance & Policy Development

*PGP Security

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