Security Technology Executive

NOV-DEC 2017

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www. • November/December 2017 • SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE 43 COOL AS McCUMBER By JOHN MCCUMBER John McCumber is a securit y and risk professional, and author of "Assessing and Managing Securit y Risk in IT Systems: A Struct ured Methodology," from A uerbach Publications. If you have a comment or question for him, e-mail Cool _ as _ McCumber@ I was standing on a street corner in Santiago, Chile. I looked at my watch and realized I would be late to meet my wife for dinner after she fin- ished work if I continued walking. I hadn't accli- matized myself to the Chilean mass transporta- tion system. I had no idea how the local bus system worked, nor any idea which train to catch. I didn't even have the Chilean pesos I would need to pay a taxi driver. My solution? Grab my cell phone, spin up a ride-hailing app, and mere moments later, I was in a car driven by a local who knew just how to get me to my destination swiftly. He didn't speak English, and my Spanish is confined to a few words (mostly about food and beverage items) and wild gesticulations. No problem. Uber saved the day, and I was on time for a wonderful meal with my spouse – err – mi esposa. There is no doubt ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have been major industry disrupters in only a few short years. The hired driver and automobile liv - ery industries have been around for a hundred years and had become hidebound. Taxis failed to keep up with changing customer needs and eschewed tech- nology until it was too late. Government regulators and financial institutions found ways to get a big scrape of the profits over the years, and they are in trouble as well. According to an AP News article, just four years ago, New York City taxi medallions cost as much as $US1.3M. Last year, a medallion sold for $US241K. Ouch. Several financial institutions that specialized in providing loans for medallions went into receivership. What's worse is the plight of the many middle-class drivers with these monster loans who saw their equity evaporate, and their indebted - ness becomes untenable. Ride-hailing apps were an ingenious and relatively low-cost business opportunity. The founders didn't have to invent the smartphone or the geolocation capabilities. They simply found a way to leverage these new technologies to blow up a time-honored institution where the real money to be made wasn't by the hardworking drivers, but by regulators and financiers. The whole house of cards collapsed almost overnight. Many poor taxi drivers were left holding a big bag of debt, while the money lenders simply closed their doors. Online shopping is having a similar effect on retail stores. Where once I made weekly trips to locate nec- essary household items, gifts, and clothing , I now just go online, order what I need, and it arrives at my door two days later with free shipping. With this option, there are no parking hassles, wasted trips, but sadly, no stops at the ice cream shop on the way home. More disruptors are coming. Like the rush to networking in the 1980s and early 1990s, security considerations are again tak- ing a back seat as technology changes our social environment in unforeseen ways. Will you put a lock on your door that delivery people can open? Will you install listening devices in your home that are connected to large sales and marketing firms? Do you want to be able to open your home's doors with your mobile phone? How about a home automation system that can be "bricked" when the manufacturer sells off the business or claims bankruptcy? Security is expanding far beyond the anti-hacking, perimeter-based model we've been working with for the last decade. If you're a security practitioner, this is a great time to ensure your skills stay up with the disruptors. They show no signs of slowing down. Disruptive, you say? WE CONNECT WHY JOIN SECURITY PROFESSIONALS The security industry's largest database for consultants, A&E's, manufacturers and integrators. Consultants and Engineers Enhance your visibility, search products, find integrators, and access valuable design resources. Integrators, Owners and End-Users Find projects and consultants in your area, and gain insight into the capabiliঞes of firms and individuals. Manufacturers Promote and feature your soluঞons, search the extensive database, and reach security consultants. Request information:

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