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OK 2014, Now What

The Internet of Things is certainly poised to take over the world in 2014

So I’ve been staring at this blinking cursor for the last 5 minutes wondering what story to tell.  ‘Once upon a time, there was a….‘  No that won’t work.  ‘It was a dark and dreary night as our protagonist grudgingly dragged his feet toward the impending…‘  No, not that either.  How about, ‘The waves were big, mean and fast that day…the kind of day where Eddie would go.’   Nah, too local boy.

After a few weeks break and with so much going on within information technology, I sometimes find it difficult to zero in on something interesting with so many choices.  So I decided to do a mini blog buffet….the best in town, I say!

The big news this week seems to be the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). From connected and driverless cars to interactive kitchens to wearable technology to the massive ultra HD televisions to even toothbrushes, the Internet of Things is certainly poised to take over the world in 2014.  There are, of course, risks with all these embedded systems.

There was the Target breach right at the height of the holiday shopping season nailing 40 some thousand credit and debit cards in the process.  I had a browser tab The 10 Worst Data Breaches of 2013 saved since before the new year for an article but this most recent debacle will certainly make all of 2014′s lists.  I was in Target a couple days ago retuning something and the person in front of me was asked, ‘Do you want cash or credited back on the card?‘  He dryly answered, ‘Well, I got a letter from my bank this week saying they are replacing my card due to your breach, so I’ll just take the cash.’  Mine was an even exchange.

There was the FireEye – Mandiant deal struck slightly before the ball dropped and announced after the 12th ding.  Interesting blend of attack detection along with attack response.  The timing seemed perfect in the wake of the Target news.

There was the Snapchat breach, the Yahoo malware, the WoW attack and certainly all the ‘national security’ news.

And finally, our very own John McAdam earned Puget Sound Business Journal Executive of the Year for 2013.  I first met John when I joined F5 in 2004.  We had less than 1000 employees at the time and our sales conference that year was at a local Seattle hotel.  During one of the breaks, Ken Salchow took me over to introduce me to McAdam, who was sitting in a chair fiddling with his blackberry.  Now you’d think that the first time meeting your CEO you’d be all proper, business-like…Sir.  Not me.  As Ken did the formalities, the first words out of my mouth were, ‘What’s your high score on brick breaker?‘  John’s face lit up with a smile, a determination in his eye and without missing a beat, shoved his phone in my face and taunted, ‘Can you beat that?’  It was wonderful and crushing at the same time since his score trounced mine.  This was well before internet on planes and playing brick breaker was a way to pass time in the air.  For the next several months as we did our individual business travel, we would send each other our high score(s) wrapped in a bit of bragging.  There was actually a few of us on the thread, all hoping to blast the others.  Then one day, one of the competitors (who had been on an overseas flight if I remember correctly) sent a score that blew everyone away.  That was it, game over.  But I’ll never forget how the CEO included a relatively new guy into a fun little group of folks trying to one up each other.  I’ve been here ever since.

Welcome to the Year of the Horse!




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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.

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