Top 10 Most Overhyped Technology Terms

We have entered a new era of information technology, an era where the clouds are moist, the data is obese and incontinent, and the threats are advanced, persistent, and the biggest ever. Of course with all the paradigm-shifting, next generation, FUD vs. ROI marketing, its important to remember that sometimes we need to balance innovation against misunderstood expectations, vendor double-speak, and relentless enterprise sales guys.

Because contrary to the barrage of marketing, these technologies won’t make you rich, teach you how to invest in real-estate, help you lose weight or grow a full head of hair, it won’t make you attractive to the opposite sex, nor will it solve all your problems, in some cases they can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your operating environment but it requires proper planning, expectation setting and careful deployment…and on that note, I give you the top 10 most overhyped technology terms over the last decade.

Continue reading

Why I Suck at Blogging…and Twitter

So recently I posted some thoughts on big data and the increasing usage of Hadoop, the general theme was data management != data analysis…this caused confusion with some folks, as evidenced by the twitter exchange (tweets haven’t been altered but some extraneous ‘noise’ removed to maximize your reading pleasure)

@Beaker @amrittsering I’m confused by your last blog. Is your point that people are spending $$$ on data aggregation hoping it leads to analytics?

@Beaker @amrittsering I read/re-read your posts & it’s almost like u r suggesting majority of co’s deploying Hadoop (e.g) are clueless WRT why?

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Technology Acquisitions

It is the foundation for the free market system and capitalism and it is every entrepreneurs dream; build a great technology, execute and achieve excellence in GTM, deliver fantastic value to customers and take great pride in watching your passion grow – fast.

Then it happens; the exit, the liquidation event, the ‘golden ticket’ and in a blip of your time on this tiny little rock your life changes.

Last year, after spending almost four years as the CTO of BigFix, we were acquired by IT industry behemoth IBM (IBM to acquire BigFix) for what was the largest acquisition of a private software company in 2010 (second was CA’s acquisition of Nimsoft at around $380m) and my life changed…

Continue reading

Chinese Government to Ban All US-Based Technology Companies and Products

Beijing, China – April 1, 2010 – The Chinese government announced that effective immediately all US based technology firms and associated products and services will be banned from all Chinese government and state-run agency IT environments. The ban is expected to include critical infrastructure, such as military, finance, utilities, and healthcare as well as education, retail and manufacturing companies. Continue reading

Andrew Hay: What the A Team Can Teach Us About Information Security

From the I wish I had thought of that department, this is a hilarious post from Andrew Hay (here)…

Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith

I love it when a plan comes together.

Who doesn’t? If you don’t properly document your security policies and procedures how can you hope to be able to operate your security program effectively? If the plan doesn’t “come together” then you’re just asking for trouble. Take it from Hannibal, make sure your security policies and procedures are easy to follow, comprehensive, and constantly updated. By the way this is possibly the wisest thing ever said while holding a submachine gun and smoking a cigar.

Classic Hannibal quote – “Hickory dickory dock / The mouse ran up the clock / The clock struck one / Down he run / You smell worse than my socks.”

Captain H.M. “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock

I don’t wanna be a secret weapon! I want to be an exposed weapon!

This is exactly how I want security professionals to be viewed. I would prefer that people knew who/what the security professionals are/do. The security department shouldn’t be used as a secret weapon but rather as the tip of the spear. Users need to be educated on the role of the security professionals within the organization so that they know by whom the consequences outlined in the organizational polices are enforced. Murdock might be crazy, but people tend not to screw with the crazy people ;)

Classic Murdock quote – “I’m a bird, I’m a plane, I’m a choo-choo train *shouts* Uh, touchdown!”

Sergeant Bosco “B.A.” Baracus

When punks start hasslin’ decent people, I make it my bidness.

Punks” being malicious entities (i.e. hackers, malware, and so on) and “hasslin” referring to disrupting the regular flow of operations makes this the coolest way to explain a security professional’s job to the layperson. Our goal is to ensure the safety of those who do not have the required skills or ability to protect themselves from a technological attack. Who knew that Mr. T would be such a forward thinking individual )

Classic B.A. quote – “Me rhyming my words… that’s the craziest thing I ever heard…. my ears don’t ring.. I don’t hear a thing! Hey wait a minute sucka!”

Lieutenant Templeton “Face” Peck

The key to any con is to place the mark in a position where he or she thinks reward will come or harm will be avoided if he or she does exactly as told by the conman.

I struggled to find a good positive one for Face since his role was always that of the conman. The above quote, however, is a good reminder of the purpose behind social engineering attacks. The attacker is out to gain your confidence (did you know that the ‘con’ in ‘conman’ meant confidence?) and trick you, the mark, into revealing information that they can use against you and your organization. If it doesn’t feel right…then don’t fall for it!

Classic Face quote – “What am I gonna do, flush myself down the toilet?”

2012: Internet Armegeddon, Preparing for the Eventual End

Well my friends the end is near, no more internet porn, no free downloading of pirated movies or music, and for me personally the most devastating will be the loss of LOLCatz. Recent highly public vulnerabilities against the core routing infrastructure of the Internet, such as the DNS or BGP vulnerabilities, highlight what some already knew – we have built an industry on an inherently weak foundation and these are clearly the first signs of the apocalypse.

The eventual end was prophesied in the 16th century by Nostradamus in his 15th quatrain

At the great battle of Armageddon
Shall join the crusade through packets attached among the Internets
The pertanious army of God against the army of the evil Serpent
The Dragon shall be loosened on October third in the year two-thousand and twelve

And written in the book of Revelations 9:13-17

13 And the sixth security researcher disclosed, and we heard a voice from the four horns of defcon, twitter, blogs, and the media which is before the Internets

14 Saying to the sixth security researcher which had disclosed irresponsibly, Loose the four exploits which had been bound in the great vulnerability disclosure debate

15 And the four exploits were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the whole of the Internets

16 And the number of the army of the exploiters were twenty six hundred: and I heard the number of them

17 And thus I saw the exploits in the vision, and them that executed them, having code of buffer overflows, and of impersonation, and redirection: and the heads of the exploiters were green as the land; and out of their mouths issued forth demon tongues that spat an indistinguishable language of number and letters – urtehsuk!

It is far more likely that nothing will happen and by 2012 we will deploy converged technologies that allow one to bank online, listen to Britney’s daughters new album “Freaknut”, write their blog, program their HVAC, and toast a bagel from their wirst watch, of course some 15 year old Chinese kid with acne, an anti-social disposition and advanced computer skills will now be able to burn toast from across the world.

HP to Acquire Symantec

Aims to Provide Fully Integrated Systems, Storage, and Security Management Solutions

Pal Alto, Calif., – April 1, 2008 – HP today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), a publicly-traded acquirer of security, storage and systems management solutions.

HP plans to leverage Symantec’s technologies to make securing desktops and networks more frustrating and less convenient that it already is. Symantec’s technologies leverage multiple disparate agents all vying for system resources, without an integrated platform, unified console, or shared vision.

HP plans to make this bungled mess of non-integrated solutions and failed acquisitions broadly available to people by working to also not integrate what Symantec failed to integrate. Together, HP and its partner companies will provide customers with a vastly less efficient and more costly systems management experience then even Symantec was able to provide on its own.“HP’s goal is to make desktop security the most difficult and worst possible experience for all people – whether they are managing a single computer or thousands,” said Tomas E. Hogan, senior vice president, Software, HP. “By acquiring Symantec’s technology and making it available to companies that are used to a base level of systems manageability, HP will be firmly on the path to completely destroying what is already regarded as the worst aspect of most systems adminstrators existence -managing and securing computing devices.”

“We couldn’t be more delighted that HP has finally removed the burden of trying to integrate the non-integratable.” Stated John W. Thomson, chairman and chief executive officer, Symantec. “It has been a long and arduous road with over a dozen failed acquisitions, quite honestly it was becoming difficult to keep up the facade of a unified vision much longer.”

The acquisition is subject to certain closing conditions and is expected to be completed within the next few weeks. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed as of the press release.

About HP

HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers – from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world’s largest IT companies, with revenue totaling $94.1 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2007. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

About Symantec

Symantec is a global leader in infrastructure software, enabling businesses and consumers to have confidence in a connected world. The company helps customers protect their infrastructure, information, and interactions by delivering software and services that address risks to security, availability, compliance, and performance. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in 40 countries. More information is available at

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws, including expectations regarding the closing of HP’s acquisition of Symantec and the integration, or lack thereof, of its products and technologies into HP’s products and solutions, that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this press release. Such risk factors include, among others, satisfaction of closing conditions to the transaction, our ability to successfully integrate the merged businesses and technologies, and customer demand for the technologies and integrated product offerings. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Additional information concerning these and other risk factors is contained in the Risk Factors sections of HP’s and Symantec’s most recently filed Forms 10-K and 10-Q. HPassumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement contained in this press release.

Ego-Googling or When “Google Alerts” is Not Enough

Well Anton (here) and Jeremiah (here) have posted on their relative rankings in various Google searches, curious I ran a search on “Amrit Williams” well dear readers you will all be excited to know that this blog is not only the first listing the next roughly thousand continuous links are all about me (here). I wish this meant something, like I am #1 or a really well known and beloved security personality, but I think it has more to do with my funny name…