Life Lessons. Become Better Than You Were Yesterday.

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Never let your past dictate your future.

The past can not be changed. However, without our past, we would endlessly make similar mistakes over and over again. Our past allows us to learn the lessons that life is trying to teach us and allows us to move forward.

Don’t follow, lead.

There are two types of individuals in this world: leaders and followers. Successful individuals in life are the ones who lead the pack. Successful people did not get there by chance; rather they carve out their own path through hard work. Leaders deliver consistent value with integrity and passion, they take responsibility for their actions and follow-through on their commitments.

Move out of your comfort zone, forcibly if needed.

Let’s face the facts, being comfortable and unchallenged all the time kills productivity; without that rush of unease which comes from having deadlines and expectations, humans will tend to do the minimum required in order to get by. When you push your boundaries and move outside of your comfort zone, it allows you to develop and to expand your limits; by doing so, you become more productive; have an easier time dealing with unexpected chaos, and find it simpler to brainstorm and harness your resourcefulness.

Focus!

In today’s highly digital world, sometimes it is beneficial to take a step back and breathe. Getting caught up in the endless minor details blurs one’s ability to see how everything links together ultimately missing the overall vision, also known as the “big picture.”

To be successful requires focus and determination. Successful individuals have goals, and a plan in order to achieve those goals; they do not let obstacles, roadblocks or useless details derail them from getting there.

Never ‘do’ without learning.

The greatest gift an individual can give to themselves is the gift of learning something challenging, innovative and different. Successful individuals endeavor to constantly learn new things and expand on what they already know. Growth, change, and development is key to success.

Ask for advice.

Asking for advice is not always easy. More often than not,  individuals are determined to struggle to figure the problem out on their own. However, asking for help is not a sign of weakness, on the contrary, it is a great strategy, and Social Media has made it easier than ever to reach out to the experts who inspire us. Additionally, it better prepares you for the next time you find yourself or a colleague in the same dilemma.

Feedback is essential.

Feedback from peers or a mentor is critical because it gives you a different perspective on your current situation. Feedback allows you to review what you have completed and allows you to develop and implement ways to improve on the task or challenge next time.

Life lessons are about discovering who you are and endeavoring to become better than you were yesterday while helping those around you to become better too.

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Stop. Think. Connect.

Being a Self-Starter

My yoga coach and mentor instilled in me that it is not what happens to us that determines our future—because what happens, happens to everyone. Rather, he imparted to me that the difference between failure and success is quite subtle. When you look at successful individuals, you discover there was a well thought out plan behind their success. More often than not, they were a self-starter.

Self-starters are not afraid to fail. They know what they want and have a roadmap getting them there, and if needed, they rework their plan. It is the foundation for success.

Two self-starters that I most admire once said: “Always meet your commitments. Do more than is expected of you. Do things faster than expected. Achieve better results than expected. Do all of the above with integrity and with little fanfare.”
― Mark DivineUnbeatable Mind   While Coco Chanel believed “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.  A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Attributes of a self-starter:

Learning. If you are not constantly studying the industry that you are a part of, or want to be part of, what does that say about you? The key here is that self-starters recognize that there is always more to learn if they want to grow and improve. Moreover, they seek strategic and/or tactical advice, rather than emotional encouragement.

Expectancy. Self-starters demonstrate a “can do” and “will do” attitude. Meaning they take the initiative, complete tasks and come up with strategies in order to improve the organization or team. A positive self-expectancy expresses confidence, skills and the knowledge necessary to perform any task and understand the equilibrium between value created and resources invested.

Attitude. Exude a team-player attitude and work ethic. Be polite and cooperative with your colleagues. Self-starters are social people who revel in being with and working with others. This attitude allows self-starters to accomplish more and sometimes motivate others who are less motivated.

Diligence. Self-starters are conscientious; they pay attention to details. Even when speed may be crucial for some tasks, a conscientious individual puts precision first and produces superior work without constant prodding.

Stagnation. Stagnation is the enemy of being successful and a self-starter. When competing, whether it is sailing, a project for a prospective client, or learning to fly a plane I always keep the finish line in focus; constantly gauging my performance, depending on my teammates, and pushing boundaries in order to surpass the previous results. Stagnation is also a business killer and self-starters know how and when to execute the work themselves, and when to delegate to others. Create a blueprint that is a constant improvement on yesterday.

Failing. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are forgivable. What’s not forgivable is not owning up to your failures or not learning from them. This is somewhat of a platitude, but it is true. Self-starters do not see failures as a negative but rather part, of the laboratory of achieving success. Additionally, they appreciate, if not welcome, criticism, because it plays a critical role in self-improvement. Remember, safe and boring does not always parallel worthwhile.

In closing, self-starters are driven professionals and key business drivers that keep organizations moving forward with innovative ideas and strong work ethic. Self-starters remain lithe, adaptable, and steadfast in order to achieve their organization’s vision, mission, and goals. Self-starters know the importance of performing to the best of their ability and align to their organization’s top leadership, strategies, methods, and culture.

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Stop. Think. Connect.

Cybersecurity is a Team Sport.

There are only two kinds of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be hacked. Even that is merging into one category: those that have been hacked and will be hacked again.”          

                                                                                   Robert S. Mueller, Director, FBI

Intel predicts 200 billion interconnected devices by 2020. Furthermore, any device, be it a computer, mobile phone, or an Internet of Things (IoT) ‘smart’ device, having an IP address which can be accessed by the web, means there is an enormous potential for cyber attacks. No one is immune.

Cyber criminals and hackers are upping the stakes with the average cost of a data breach currently tracking at $4+ million per breach and expected to rise. Additionally, cyber criminals are increasingly becoming more sophisticated, and the attack surfaces are rapidly expanding.

Regardless of the security invested in the protection of your organization’s assets; your plan is only as good as the weakest link (your employees).images Cyber threats to your organization are often at the hands of outsiders. However, many threats originate from within, when employees’ unawareness or negligence opens a door.

Cyber breaches are not just a technician’s issue. Cybersecurity is a team sport. Having an effective security program requires a partnership throughout the organization; From the boardroom to stakeholders to individual employees, and business partners.

In other words, the solution lies within each employee of your organization. The greatest weapon in protecting those assets includes training of the rapidly evolving threat landscape at every level of your organization.

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Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Stop. Think. Connect.

InfoSecurity vs. CyberSecurity

Over the past several years enterprises across all industries have fallen victim to cyber attacks including theft of sensitive data, disruption of information systems and even damage to critical infrastructure. In reading about these attacks both Information Security (InfoSec) and CyberSecurity (CyberSec) roles seem to be synonymous. However, although there are some similarities, there are also some important distinctions between them.

cia_triadInformation security principally means ‘data security’ and at the core of information security efforts is the CIA triad-Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. The CIA triad is comprised of the objectives needed to achieve its sole purpose of safeguarding data from unauthorized access, disclosure, modification, inspection, recording or destruction of data.  Infomation security coverage includes both electronic and paper.

CyberSecurity is broader and includes ‘Information cybersecurity-100635851-primary-idgeSecurity’ with respect to the protection of any digital data. Additionally, CyberSecurity protects the integrity of computing assets belonging to or connecting to a network; with its sole purpose to defend all assets against all threat actors throughout the entire life cycle of a cyber attack.

In summary, things are never black and white. As cyber attacks become more sophisticated, persistent and destructive; There seems to be a developing interconnectedness and a significant amount of overlap regarding functions and competencies as it relates to understanding what data is most critical and what controls should be put in place to protect the data. cyber-infosec

 

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Stop. Think. Connect.