Less than 5 minutes into the first morning of my SXSW Interactive journey, discovering apps and their underlying stacks, I was already engaged in a serendipitous but hearty conversation about enterprise network security – while southbound on the MetroRail. Mike Sconzo of VisibleRisk was explaining how his team offers a Virtual Intelligence Operations Center, essentially deploying commercial or open-source security software, maintaining it, and in many cases patrolling clients’ (virtual) perimeters as well.
I’ve seen first-hand how accounts, systems, or networks can become compromised in loud, all-hands-on-deck style, or in silent-but-deadly fashion. I've lived through a serious system breach at a former employer, and the disruption to one’s business can't be overstated. The company-wide briefings. The damage control with customers. The bad press. All that hard work put into courting new customers, whose purchases suddenly become “delayed indefinitely”. Though the platform I’d put blood, swear, and tears into for years wasn’t breached, the platform of the rival we’d just acquired was attacked (and believe me when I say that the entire company's name was tarnished). When YOUR customers have to tell THEIR customers that their personal information has been exposed, that's a recipe for multiple departments' quarterly goals going down the drain with a giant sucking sound.
So I was happy to hear there's an A-team available for hire to complement your staff with VisibleRisk. Especially for those of you with 5-10 hats you're wearing, of which Security is only one. Here's Mike Sconzo briefly describing the hybrid stack behind their operation, as well as what would happen if they had an outage. Thanks for sharing, Mike!
The SXSWi exhibitor floor was certainly a place to see – or be– a spectacle. (One attendee tweeted out this picture, saying “I'm not sure I want to work in the cloud anymore”). But I also found there things that were actually good for humanity. ; )
For the cause-minded, I was happy to discover Tendenci, the open source CMS for nonprofit and association management. Your favorite nonprofit can publish all their compelling content online, raise funds, hold events, enlist members, and more – and if you are a coder – you can help develop new features as a high-value volunteer. Meant to be hosted in the cloud, Courtney Pemberton and Sarah Worthy explain how they’ve chosen their recommended stack, why it’s wicked fast, and what would happen if their service was unavailable.
Don’t miss my next and final post from SXSWi, where you’ll get to see a Chief Technology Officer get interviewed while wearing brainwave-scanning bunny ears…