Earlier this week, Kaspersky Lab announced that a staggering amount of private data had been collected via a malware known as Flame, which had been active since 2010. Although it doesn’t appear that the data collected was made public, or used for the purpose of identity theft, Flame is thought to have been the product of state-sponsored cybercrime.
According to the UN’s International Telecommunications Union, of the three player’s involved in the creation of malware, only a nation-state would be capable of and would benefit from Flame’s complex method of collecting data. What’s more, Flame does not appear to be either physically destructive to either the infected networks or the data collected, which has lead researchers to conclude that it’s only purpose was to collect and not be discovered. Big Brother was watching, and most of eyes were on other brothers.
Hot on the heels of being named Atlanta’s best small workplace by the AJC, Pardot has announced that they will be hiring 100 some people over the next 18 months, complete with a highly visible billboard campaign. Why now? And why 100 people? I asked Pardot’s CEO, David Cummings, to give me the lowdown and to fill in the blanks as to why Pardot chose Ripple as their managed IT provider.
JF: Hiring 100 people must be a huge step for Pardot. What’s the story behind it?
DC: Initially, we held back on hiring so we could focus on building an amazing team, and creating a great culture. But now, the marketing automation market is really starting to take off, putting tremendous opportunity ahead of us. So, we’ve made it our goal to grow faster than the market while maintaining our corporate culture at all costs. That requires hiring people who will be a good fit.
JF: What are you looking for in new hires?
DC: We look for people who are positive, self-starting, and supportive. We hire people based on how they’ll fit in with our corporate culture, and require them to use their smarts to get things done.
JF: What makes Pardot such a great work environment?
We often talk about this at our weekly meetings when discussing new business, but don’t often get a chance to explain to prospective clients why finding companies with similar office cultures and ethics is so important to us. And it is, as our current (and former) clients will attest to.
When we first meet a prospective client, it’s usually at their place of business. That’s where we tell them about what makes our service unique (unlimited service, redundant backup systems, a “humans first” approach to support). But the conversation isn’t limited to what Ripple can do for them. It’s also our time to interview them; to find out whether or not the business relationship will be a good fit.
Keeping your technology (workstations, servers, software, etc) up-to-date is important, but it’s often seen as something that can be shelved. Unfortunately, putting technology updates on hold has more than a few negative effects:
1. You can’t get support for outdated technology. Eventually, hardware and software companies stop offering support and updates for older products. That’s when things start getting buggy and crashes occur.
2. Having outdated tech sends the wrong signal. Maintaining a productive workforce requires providing people with the right tools to get their jobs done. Without the right tools, productivity takes a dive and nobody’s happy.
Tonight, one of our Ripplers will be spinning at Octane’s Grant Park location, beginning at 8pm. Catch Joshua Flail and other Atlanta DJs at what they call FREE SPIN, an all-vinyl record experience that takes place on the 3rd Friday of every month. If you’re a fan of funk, soul, and/or cocktails then this is the event for you! True to the name, there’s no cover to check out the event. But you will have to pay for your own drinks, so bring that wallet. We’ll be there, dancing and spilling our manhattans until the bartenders turn the lights up. Good times.
Everybody knows that backing up your stuff is important. But how you backup files, and where you store them is equally as important. Accidents happen. Backups fail. It’s an inevitability, even for the bright minds at Pixar Animation Studios.
So you found an iPhone 4S and being the honest responsible adult you are you want to get it back to its owner, but the owner has (smartly) enabled the lock screen and you can’t get into it to find out who owns it. What to do?
Siri to the rescue! She has a special Siri Trick. Hold down the home button until Siri asks what she can help you with, then say “who am I?” Siri will respond with something like what you see here, and if the owner’s contact record contains a phone number or email address, voila!
Hey all you users of that popular social media application that begins with a ‘T’ and ends with ‘witter’, we suggest you take the time today to make a password change. As mentioned in here, over 50,000 Twitter accounts were compromised earlier this week when corresponding email addresses and passwords were posted to Pastebin. Fortunately, further investigation showed 20,000 of those accounts to be duplicates, spam bots, or inactive users. But that’s not to say that your email address and password isn’t one of the 30,000 active accounts on the list.
So, for safety’s sake, we highly recommend you log in and change that password. Oh, and while you’re at it, you might wanna take the time to think about the best method for password creation (and storage). We recommend using phrases (sentences complete with capitalization, spaces, and punctuation) instead of any letter and number combinations. Using phrases makes it a lot harder for someone to hack your account, and at the same time they’re easier for you to remember. Just make sure you don’t use that phrase for every site or application, and change it every once in awhile.
In case you’re wondering, my Twitter password phrase is Please, hack my account!
This week I’m trying something radically different than my normal routine. I’m going to try to limit myself to one espresso, coffee, or similarly caffeinated drink per day. It’s a bold choice considering I haven’t gone more than a day without ingesting at least three (usually an Espresso in the morning, Americano in the afternoon, and some Earl Grey after dinner) in quite awhile. But what began as a love of good coffee and strong tea has become an addiction that makes mornings without caffeine something of a cross between sleepy and irritable. I’m sure my fiancee could be more descriptive, but for the sake of brevity (and in avoidance of slander), I’ll leave it at that.
For a little over a two months now, Ripplers have been pairing off each week and brainstorming about ways to improve the efficiency of our processes. In addition, each pairing is assigned a particular client and asked to come up with at least one way to better their IT systems. It could be something as simple as labeling a wiring closet, or as complex as retiring a seldom used in-house server and migrating them to cloud storage to save some cash. But no matter the complexity of the solution, things get done. We know, because we’ve been using LessMeeting to keep track.