Posts Tagged ‘star wars’

Five Security Lessons We Can Learn From the Theft of the Death Star Plans

Jay Livens

Director, Product Marketing
Jay’s passion is technology. It started when he was a child and used to take apart flashlights and could not remember how to put them back together. You can imagine how that turned out especially when power outages occurred. However, Jay persisted and charted a course through life that included a lengthy stop in the financial services industry. After receiving an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, his path turned towards storage and he had stints with a storage reseller, a storage startup and a couple of big storage companies. After serving in multiple roles, Jay settled on marketing as his future career-path; however, he is not your typical marketer. All things technology intrigue him and he likes to know how things work, not just the marketing stuff, but how stuff really works. At Dell EMC, Jay runs field and channel marketing for the Data Protection and Storage Divisions in the Americas and looks forward to sharing his perspectives on his division, products and life in general.

Last year, I wrote about Six Management Lessons That IT Leaders Can Learn From Darth Vader and with the looming release of Star Wars: Rogue One, it is time to revisit the Star Wars universe.  Rogue One focuses on the theft of the Death Star plans, and in this blog post, I wanted to explore five things that we can learn from the Empire’s lax security practices.

death star

Encryption Matters
In the opening sequence of Star Wars, we see Princess Leia inserting the Death Star plans into R2-D2.  The droid seemingly had no issues reading the data and later projecting 3D holograms of the information.  Unless R2 has some super-secret and highly advanced decryption capability, it would appear that the Death Star plans were not encrypted.  Hmmm, really?  These plans are for the most sophisticated battle station in the universe and the Empire forgets encryption?

Strong encryption limits access to critical data to those who have the encryption key.  This technology adds a layer of security because Rebel scum can only read the data if they have both the source files and the encryption key.  Thus the hacker needs to capture two pieces of data to gain access to private information.   A natural offshoot of this process is that key management is critical and that the most effective security strategies include both strong encryption and highly secure key management.  In a stunning turn of events, the Empire overlooked both of these strategies.

At Dell EMC, we offer a variety of encryption options including solutions for data at rest and in flight. (more…)

Finding Order out of Chaos in the Multi-hyphenated IT Landscape

Sebastian Yiang

Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC Core Technologies, Asia Pacific and Japan
I started out in the IT industry almost 20 years ago as a systems analyst in a large telco within its Internet Service Provider BU to drive product and business development of consumer and enterprise Internet services. I then had the opportunity to do business development and product marketing for connected consumer electronics, web hosting and data center services, and storage solutions before I joined EMC. My current role at Dell EMC is product marketing for Data Protection and Availability Division for Asia Pacific and Japan region. I am based in sunny Singapore and enjoy traveling with my family.

IT storyscapingIT has disrupted many industries and job functions and will continue to do so at a faster pace in today’s hyper-connected world. Even marketers are not spared. In their book Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds, Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl share that storytelling, or story-based differentiation, is no longer the best marketing approach in the digital space. Instead, they advocate “storyscaping,” which is a story system built on engaging customers based on elements of value, story and experience, and focusing on becoming part of  customers’ worlds.

Likewise, IT professionals need to see the forest for the trees; not just living within their multi-hyphenated world but offer value, story and experience to their users. Otherwise, businesses are more likely to view enterprise IT as a cost center and not an area of investment. Unfortunately, enterprise IT often shies away from empowering business users and giving them a more immersive user experience in fear of losing control and visibility. They also fail to articulate and convince their business users how and why IT investments and policies are adding value to the organization. The first sign of chaos is when business users start bypassing IT and go hunting for IT services outside the organization.

How then can enterprise IT find order amidst the chaos that arises from a disengaged organization?

#1:   Transparency is Key
Borrowing from one of Dilbert’s sarcastic one-liners, IT users would assume that IT accomplishments are “suspiciously hard to verify.” Benefits and policies made to new IT investments need to be defined and made relevant to the users. Otherwise, users will not connect with the story and play an active role in it. (more…)

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Jamie Doherty

Consultant Social Media Engagement Manager, Dell EMC
Jamie brings over 20 years of experience in both traditional and digital marketing and has worked for companies like Direct to Retail Advertising, The Robb Report Magazine and Monster.com. She joined Dell EMC over four years ago to manage the Advanced Software Division’s social media strategy, and since then has taken on the challenge of managing the social media strategy for Dell EMC's Core Technologies Division. Her newest role will be managing Digital Campaigns for the Dell EMC Data Protection Division as well as leading strategy for Social Media in both the Data Protection and Storage Divisions. Jamie is also a Beachbody Coach helping to inspire others to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. When she is not Tweeting on behalf of Dell EMC or working out to Beachbody, you can find her at a live music venue watching her favorite artist or planning her next theme party. Follow her on Twitter @MnkyGrl47 or @CoachFab40

”Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen sound of musicmittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things.” These lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein and sung by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music movie always remind me of my childhood.  This was my favorite movie as a kid and I was always excited for the yearly viewing.  As the song is now stuck in my head and I’m guessing yours too, I think of some of my favorite things from 2015.

One of my favorite things I do at my job, for instance, is manage this blog.  The Core was born in April of this year.  We have had a ton of different content ranging from leadership advice to preparing your data for a natural disaster to advice on trying to help you run your data center seamlessly.  Our authors can tell you how super picky I am about what gets published on The Core blog.  I know as they read this they are nodding their heads up and down.  I have appreciated all of the great writings posted since April.  A few of them were my favorite things. (more…)

6 Lessons That IT Leaders Can Learn From Darth Vader

Jay Livens

Director, Product Marketing
Jay’s passion is technology. It started when he was a child and used to take apart flashlights and could not remember how to put them back together. You can imagine how that turned out especially when power outages occurred. However, Jay persisted and charted a course through life that included a lengthy stop in the financial services industry. After receiving an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, his path turned towards storage and he had stints with a storage reseller, a storage startup and a couple of big storage companies. After serving in multiple roles, Jay settled on marketing as his future career-path; however, he is not your typical marketer. All things technology intrigue him and he likes to know how things work, not just the marketing stuff, but how stuff really works. At Dell EMC, Jay runs field and channel marketing for the Data Protection and Storage Divisions in the Americas and looks forward to sharing his perspectives on his division, products and life in general.

Star Wars: A New Hope was a transformative movie from my childhood, and with the upcoming release of Episode VII later this month, I wanted to share some key lessons that we can learn from Darth Vader.  While he was not the most understanding and supportive leader, there are multiple insights that you can glean from his unique management style.

star-wars-darth-vader-darth-vader-and-apprentice-hiForce choke is not always the answer
Okay, let me start by saying that force choke is an amazingly cool skill.  Imagine using this (for a short duration) to expedite those excessively long meetings!  Meetings aside, ruling your team with an iron fist is a poor strategy because fearful employees are not open to new ideas or innovative thinking.  Instead, these nervous colleagues will default to a “whatever you say is right” mentality which limits creativity and innovation.

Vader provides a good example of how force choking can be detrimental to leadership.  In a scene from A New Hope, Admiral Motti mocked the Force and boasted about the power of the Death Star.  Rather than focusing the discussion on an analysis of the Death Star’s potential weak points and the power of the force, Vader immediately followed the punitive course of action and force choked Motti.  While Darth Vader’s actions illustrated his absolute control, he missed an opportunity to exercise true leadership in discussing the force and the Death Star in more detail.

While there clearly are times when strong actions and words are mandated, this tool, like force choking, needs to be used selectively and a little of it will go a long way.

Compassion can be good
It is easy to feel angry when projects do not go as expected.  The natural reaction for many of us is to let our frustration show and act in ways that illustrate our annoyance.  However it is always helpful to remember that the person (or people) you are working with may be facing similar challenges.  Hence they may also be feeling frustrated and by understanding their viewpoint and showing compassion, you can help everyone be more successful.

Interestingly, Vader is not known as a compassionate leader, but he has demonstrated the skill.  For example at the end of Return of the Jedi, Vader realized that he had a daughter and that deep down inside he really loved his son, Luke.  He demonstrated his compassion by using his last breaths to kill the Emperor and by so doing protecting Luke and his daughter.  It was only at the end of his life that Vader realized the importance of compassion and as IT leaders, we have an opportunity to embrace this tenet earlier in our careers. (more…)

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