Ever Feel Like You’re Target Practice

Target.jpeg

Thought this was really spot on.


The knives get sharpened and readied. 


At some point, they come flying out of nowhere. 


Often, from all directions at the same time.  


When it rains, it pours. 


Some people latch on to the opportunity to try and make a kill. 


You do your best to duck this way and that and survive the onslaught.


Hopefully, you were adequately prepared. 


The big question is–can you hold unto your cheese? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Crosshair Planning And National Security

 

Crosshairs Diagram.jpeg

So I wanted to share this amazing crosshair diagram…


Not because we currently have North Korea in the crosshairs before they hit us with a nuclear-tipped ICBM.


But rather for how this diagram can be used in strategic planning and enterprise architecture. 


The way this is used is the following:


First, you put your goals in the inner quadrants (or other such division of the inner circle).  For example, perhaps you have a goal to reduce your weight which is now 215 lbs. 


Next you create concentric rings around your goals with each ring representing a time horizon. For example, the first ring could be 6 months, the 2nd ring 1 year, and so on. 


Then for each timeframe in the rings, you put what your target is for that related goal. For example, maybe in 6 months you want to reduce your weight to 210, and then by end of year 1 to 205.


In this way, you can easily show your goals as well your targets over various time frames into the future. 


You can similarly use the other quadrants (or other divisions of the circle) for other goals emanating from the center to the future targets. 


Of course, you can also use this for North Korea–to target above the 38th parallel for dropping a good deals MOABs to clear the enemy and their nukes and missiles from threatening the U.S. and our allies.  The same solution goes for Axis of Evil, Iran, and their endless spread of global terrorism and human rights abuses. 


Targets are for restoring the peace and for strategic planning and these two intersect when it’s comes to national security. 😉


(Source Diagram: Andy Blumenthal)

{Saving Us From DC Ground Zero}

dc

One well-placed nuclear suitcase bomb or nuclear ballistic missile strike on DC and say goodbye to virtually the entire hub of the Federal government. 


As of 2014, there are over 4.2 million federal employees (2.7M in the civilian agencies and 1.5M in the military). 


Over 500K are located in the DC, MD, VA tristate area. 


But it’s not just the numbers, it’s that the headquarters of all the major government agencies are located here. 


While, of course, there are backup sites, and emergency doomsday sites like Mount Weather (48 miles from DC), there is no telling how much advance notice, if any we would have, and who would escape and survive a deadly blow to our capital region. 


And it could be a radiological, chemical, biological, or nuclear (RCBN) attack that does us in…whether from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea or other diabolical enemy out there. 


The point is that by concentrating all our federal headquarters and senior leadership and key resources here we are in fact, giving the enemy an easy shot to decapitate the entire country?


While others (like Paul Kupiec in the WSJ) have questioned whether some of the federal agencies can be moved out to other needy cities and communities across the country for economic reasons (to bring jobs and investment) especially those agencies that are actively looking to build new HQS buildings already (e.g. FBI and Department of Labor), to me the far more potent question is one of national security. 


The main advantage of having the crux of the federal government in the DC area is surely one of coordination–the President wants his Cabinet near him and the Cabinet Secretaries want their senior staff near them, and so on and so on. 


So, you get this mass concentration of a who’s who of the federal government in and around Washington, DC. 


But what about the advances of technology? 


Surely, through networks and telecommunications and teleworking, we can support a geographically diverse workforce and do no significant harm to our operating as one.


We’re talking a very big cultural change here!


It’s one thing to have nuclear missiles roaming the seas on attack submarines waiting for orders from Washington, DC and it’s quite another to move the actual government intelligentsia and leadership out from the central hub. 


Let’s face it, in a real crisis situation, with the chaos and panic and transportation overflow and perhaps simultaneous cyberattacks, no one is really going to be going anywhere–especially in a surprise attack. 


If Pearl Harbor (of which we just celebrated the 75th anniversary) and 9/11 teach us anything is that when the sh*t hits the fan, it hits hard and sticks solid. 


Working in the Metro DC area, selfishly, I’d like to say keep the investment, jobs, and great opportunities here.


For the good of the nation and our survival against true existential threats, we’d be much smarter to spread the federal wealth as far and wide across this great nation that we can. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Safely Detonate That Malware

I like the potential of the FireEye Malware Protection System (MPS).

Unlike traditional signature-based malware protections like antivirus, firewalls, and intrusion prevention systems (IPS), FireEye is an additional security layer that uses a dynamic Multi-Vector Virtual Execution (MVX) engine to detonate even zero-day attacks from suspicious files, web pages, and email attachments.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Target’s implementation of FireEye detected the malware attack on Nov 30, 2013 and it alerted security officials, but allegedly “Target stood by as as 40 million credit card numbers–and 70 million addresses, phone numbers, and other pieces of personal information–gushed out of its mainframes”over two weeks!

In fact, FireEye could’ve been set to “automatically delete [the] malware as it’s detected” without human intervention, but “Target’s team apparently “turned that function off.”

FireEye works by “creating a parallel computer network on virtual machines,” and before data reaches its endpoint, they pass through FireEye’s technology. Here they are “fooled into thinking they’re in real computers,” and the files can be scanned, and attacks spotted in safe “detonation chambers.”

Target may have been way off target in the way they bungled their security breach, but using FireEye properly, it is good to know that attacks like this potentially can be thwarted in the future. 😉

[Note: this is not an endorsement of any product or vendor]

Who Do You Want To Be?

Who Do You Want To Be?

Walking through the halls of one of the local schools, there was this awesome display of cutout hands.

Each hand, done by a student, was supposed to represent who they wanted to be as people.

In the center of each was a core saying/belief of the student written on the palm.

And then on each of the five fingers was their personal aspirations:

Emotionally
Physically
Socially
Intellectually
Spiritually

I thought this was a really cool assignment to think and focus on where we’re going with our lives and what our personal goals are.

Like a mini-personal architecture, these hands are the hands of our young people who have their lives ahead of them and the energy and opportunity to shape their futures.

No, none of us has control over the future, but we can do our part to shape who we are as human beings, as this student says:

“I am who I want to be.”

Of course, we have to choose wisely, work hard, and go for it!

We never know if there are any true second chances. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Difference Between Planning and Reality

The Difference Between Planning and Reality

Wow, I really love this graphic.

The top are our plans, along with our hopes and dreams that we get to where we want to, in a basically smooth, straight line–no troubles, no fuss–whoola success!

The bottom is our reality, where we work our way towards our target goals (which we may, or more likely not, ever fully achieve) and that along the way, we encounter all sort of life’s tests and challenges–it’s an uphill climb, but with tangible achievements and milestones, as we progress.

If it was as easy as the top–it probably wouldn’t be worth doing.

The challenges test our mettle–and what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.

Even so, sure wish I could get some wings and jets on that bicycle. 😉

Thank you sis for sharing this with me.

(Source Photo: here from DogHouseDiaries)

Do You Really Want As-Is?

Do You Really Want As-Is?

Classic enterprise architecture is figuring out how to move from the current/as-is state to the target/to-be state.

Generally, anything “as-is” is viewed as legacy, old hat, probably not in the best condition anymore–and it’s going without any implied warranties or guarantees as to it’s condition.

Hence, at the local IKEA store, when I saw the “as-is” section for 50% off, I was like hey that’s right, the “as-is” is good if we want a bargain, but there is usually something wrong with it, and that’s why “all sales are final”.

If we want “the good stuff,” you don’t generally go to the “as-is,” but you want to buy stuff for the “to-be,” the target state, that you want your place to look like or what you really want to have–and guess what–that is full price!

You can architect your enterprise, yourself, or society for the momentary as-is–but is doesn’t last long, because it’s outdated, shabby, worn, and maybe even missing some critical parts already.

That’s why you want to architect for the future–for the to-be–with all the working parts, new and shinny, and geared to tackle the market conditions with innovation, functional strength and a design that is ready to turn heads.

You can save money staying with the as-is, but you’ll be getting what you paid for and will be falling behind for another cycle–if you survive. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)