From the Editor

The Earrings

 

I know I have been thinking about how this month we mark the year anniversary, of our lives being impacted by the pandemic.  But even though there is a lot to say, I do not want to focus on covid-19 anymore.  I know we cannot truly avoid thinking about it, and it certainly has been an oddly eventful year, for a year when I basically stayed home and interacted with very few people; but that is not what I want to write about today.  I want to write about the earrings.

A while ago, I saw my niece, Hannah, wearing a pair of earrings, which I admired and which looked particularly nice on her.  It occurred to me that I had a pair of earrings she might also like, as they were very much her style.

Normally, that thought would have stirred me to retrieve the earrings, and offer them to her; but I did not.  My hesitation was that they had been given to me by Lia, and I tend to treasure gifts.

A couple of years ago, when Lia was visiting me, she was wearing the earrings.  I happened to admire them, and told her how nice they looked upon her.  They did suite her well.

When Lia was getting ready to go home, she left me the earrings.  I was almost sorry I had said anything about them to her, as my intention was to compliment her and not to add to my jewelry box.

But Lia has that quality, which my Mother also possessed.  You need to be careful when you say you like something to them, because they will take their “shirt off their back” and give it to you.

As my niece’s birthday drew nearer I kept thinking about the earrings and how much I thought she might like them.

Lia and I have been friends for around forty years; she is not petty and does not give conditionally.  In my heart I knew she would tell me that the earrings were mine to do with as I wished.  Never-the-less, I did not want to give them away without first asking her, or at least sharing the why behind my desire.

She lives a continent away, has a very demanding schedule, and I do not have the proper long distance applications on my phone; thus speaking with one another is a hit and miss situation.  But things fell into place and she and I were able to speak.

It was a wonderful conversation, like we used to have when we met in college.  She had seen a documentary, which she thought I would enjoy, I suggested a book she might like to read, we reminisced about her trip to South Florida, and yes caught up on the people in our lives.  As the conversation drew to a close, I brought up the earrings, with a bit of trepidation, not because of her, but because of me.

I do not think she skipped a beat, immediately she began talking about how much my niece means to her and that she has a special place in her heart for Hannah, who Lia met when my niece was born.  In fact, my niece had her first cup of tea at Lia’s house!

Lia asked me to please wish my niece a very happy birthday; and again assured me that she completely understood why I would want to give someone I love the earrings.  I exhaled. The conversation had been perfect.

Last night we celebrated my niece’s birthday.  I told her the story of the earrings, before she opened them, and I think loved them; she actually put them on.  Lia, we did well!

I love the idea of sharing something with my niece that came from Lia, and something which Hannah can enjoy today.

We have sort of started to celebrate family gatherings again.  Things are not like they were before the pandemic; but I am happy we got to mark my niece’s birthday together.  I know I said I did not want to write about the pandemic, but it really is the elephant in all of our rooms.

Many well-meaning people have sent me videos and articles raising concerns over the covid vaccine; and I thank you and appreciate you caring.  But this week I found out that I will be able to get a vaccine in April, and frankly I cannot wait.

We are living in a world of unknowns.  A lot of people that I love have caught this disease; fortunately none of them have had to be hospitalized or worse.

While I know and understand people’s hesitations about side effects from the vaccine; I also know that covid can be and has been deadly for many, that there are side effects, in some people who have successfully battled covid, and I am choosing the best path back to my other life.

Speaking with Lia, on the phone, reminded me of how much I miss that other life.  She is better traveled than I am, but a desire to go and see and learn, is something we share.  We both talked about how much we miss the road, and look forward to adventures.  Though we have seen a few places, neither of us is ready to hang up our knapsack, as it were.

I am also not ready to quite celebrating, or sharing my treasures with the people I love.  Happy Birthday Hannah!  That is all for now.

Poet’s Corner

Do You Remember

 

 

Do you remember the day we met?

Everything seemed so ordinary,

I could not have imagined what that encounter would mean.

It was your earrings which drew me to you.

They did not match.

I figured it was with intent;

But was not sufficiently sophisticated to know that was the look on the Continent.

Can you imagine, I felt bad for you?

I thought you were going to find it difficult to acclimate and be accepted.

You were different, but so was I.

You were also smart.

Smart mattered.

It still does.

Have the years been good to us?

I am not sure; but I think they have been.

Have our dreams been fully realized,

Or have they just changed?

I know we have had our ups and downs,

and shared moments we might both like to forget.

There have been a few tears shed,

and not everything which we hoped for has been realized.

But I do remember the day we met;

and I am grateful we have been able to share so much of our lives together,

Even when we are apart.

 

~ Cristina Jill Mosqueda ~

Connected

Securing the Internet of Things – IoT

Tech-016-300x225

 

A popular question for cybersecurity professionals is what keeps us up at night?

In the past, I often have found this to be a scare tactic, but lately I have been very concerned about securing IoT.  Why?

As we retrieve real time data and count on this data as being accurate, it is important to know that the IoT devices are secure and transmitting data that has not been altered.

We are not ready to truly protect the Tsunami of devices that are presently online and transmitting data.  This is what keeps me up at night; but it turns out that it does not have to.

I have a drive, even a mission to change the way we think about cybersecurity.  It is a real shift in a traditional strategy which normally includes events and incidents which are displayed on one console.  These incidents are built upon applications, identity and access manager, and data bases. I believe we need to move to a more agile strategy.

In order to help us address cyber security issues, arising from the wave of IoT devices inundating us with data, we need two capabilities.  First we must have End Point Detection and Response and secondly, Augmented Intelligence, which can provide behavior analytics.  Together these two elements provide a digital footprint to everywhere we travel on the internet.

When I first began working in cyber security, I repeatedly encountered Windows as the transition from IT into OT.  Regardless of the industry, the source of their compromise would be Windows operating system, at level two; which represents the human machine interface into operational technology devices.

The solution we presented, while appearing elegant, would require a staff of highly qualified individuals to run it successfully.  CISO’s wanted to be able to hire someone with minimum technical training who would intuitively be able to run the solution.

Today we have the ability to deliver what the CISO’s were looking for; with two capabilities covering eighty percent of IoT, with only twenty percent of the effort.

How is this possible?  We are can offer advanced attack and insider threat detection to level two, it is very important to understand that the attack pattern by malicious adversaries is consistently the same.

So what do I mean by that?  If you look at the Purdue Enterprise Reference Architecture it shows you that beginning at level four, usually through phishing, which leads to reconnaissance, which leads to compromised accounts and machines, which lead to lateral movement, which leads to privileged escalation, which ultimately leads to a successful attack into critical infrastructure.

Today we can profile our IoT devices just like we can profile malicious adversaries as well as rough devices.

The fact is that for the first time in my career in cyber security, I do not have to be kept up at night.  There is a way for all of us to stay safely Connected.

Film’s Recommended by Marcial


 

“This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.”

 
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~
 
Dirty Girl, US, 2010, 90 minutes, comedy

The Descendants, US, 2011, 115 minutes, drama

To Live, China, 1994, 133 minutes, drama
 
Our Idiot Brother, US, 2011, 89 minutes, comedy
 
The Rebound, US, 95 minutes, comedy
 
In July, Germany, 2001, 100 minutes, comedy

A View from the Road

Bears Indeed!

 

 

Driving through Lake Tahoe, California, I spotted this View, and had to stop to snap a picture.  I am sorry I cannot adequately credit the business; but I so appreciate their whimsy!

Whimsy will return one day soon.


Public Square

Reflections

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My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.

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