03 September 2015

Spear Phishing & the Mimecast Human Firewall Event

Spear Phishing. Not the fun kind. Doesn’t result in fish braais.

I would never click a phishing link” – the most commonly overheard phrase from people who are likely to click a phishing link. Internet security is a deep, black hole of scary stuff that we try our very best to ignore.

I actually have a slide dedicated to this in one of my talks (Future Kids Future Customers) that walks people through how many colossal security breaches have happened in the last 2 years – and how little we seem to care. And those are the public ones that are reports, not the ones the banks don’t disclose.

I met one of those people the other day. She’d had her bank account hacked and had R30k odd drained. Bank insisted she’d clicked on a phishing email. She insisted she hadn’t. While I’d like to trust her, I suspect she got had. And that made me sad.

Mimecast are doing some interesting stuff around enterprise protection against these kind of attacks. And they’re holding a conference if you want to know more. I’m interested enough in this – to tell you.

If you have a business or if you want to be a little more empowered around security decisions (phishing is just the beginning of the journey) – then you’ll enjoy this info.

Security is like backups. Not useful until it is.

DETAILS UP FRONT:



WHAT IS SPEAR PHISHING?



Ah, criminal hackers! Those scallywags. As melodramatic as it might sound, you have but to hang out on the Internet for a few days to figure out that the pimply teenagers out there wield considerable power in this new digital age. And in fact, they’re not just pimply teenagers anymore. There are dedicated hacking businesses across the globe, trading personal information and national secrets in an economy that will induce tin-foil-hat-wearing in the very best of us.

Here’s an infographic with more.



WHAT ARE MIMECAST DOING ABOUT THIS?

For the full story, read that white paper and go to the event. But here’s a little bit from them around some software that will help – as well as the philosophical approach of building a “human firewall”. A human firewall is the idea of educating your staff so that they’re the first line of defense (not the first line of happy clickers) in the security process.

“Mimecast has software that scans and rewrites all hyperlinks in emails to check whether they are malicious or not, but with the rate of change by the hacking community, technology can’t (unfortunately) always block everything. Mimecast’s new version of Targeted Threat Protection also teaches people why links are malicious when they click on them by alerting them to the URL (which may look like fnb.co.za but is actually fbn.co.za, or looks like ‘SARS’ but is actually ‘SAR’). We’re also trying to help build the human firewall in businesses by encouraging all business decision makers to do their part by educating their staff about the dangers of sharing personal information using a malicious link.”

More anti-virus for all y’all! But seriously – I like the concept of a human firewall. We have stuck our heads in the sand when it comes to ALL issues of digital security. Perhaps it’s time we started talking about this.

What say you?



01 September 2015

The #uberforgood Spring Clean. SA's easiest way to donate!

I'm really excited to announce one of the (in my opinion) most innovative donation based campaigns that South Africa has ever seen. This is a taster of what's possible when a platform like forgood can collaborate with global technology brands. Scale. Sexiness. Impact in the social sector. Exposing people to how they can get involved and make a difference in this country. Building social citizens.




Hello to our new friends, Uber South Africa - and welcome to the #uberforgood Spring Clean campaign. You're going to see a lot of information hit social and traditional media over the next week. Here's a taster.

Importantly - you now have exactly 1 week to prepare. The campaign runs on Tuesday 8 September. Go find some stuff that our incredible collection of Causes can put to use in communities around the country. Here's the lowdown.

HOW WILL #uberforgood WORK?

  • Bag up your spring cleaned clothing, household items and box up your appliances, electronics and non-perishable foods for people or animals. Car seats are also accepted.
  • Sign up here if you are not yet an Uber user.
  • Open your Uber app on Tuesday, 8 September between 10:00 - 16:00.
  • Select the ‘FORGOOD’ vehicle view at the bottom of the screen.
  • UberVANs in Joburg and Pretoria, UberXLs in Cape Town and UberXs in Durban will arrive to pick up your items and drop-off your donation at the forgood depots free of charge.
  • Want some inspiration? Browse the 480 goods donation needs listed by Causes.
  • Read more on the Uber South Africa blog post here.



#uberforgood is not limited to individuals; corporates and their staff are encouraged to participate too by giving to those less fortunate this Spring. 

Donors are asked to personally bring their donations to the Uber vehicles as the drivers are unable to leave these unattended. In order for drivers to accept donations, clothing must be bagged and all appliances, electronics and non-perishable foods must be placed in boxes; this helps when packing the vehicle properly.

Should the vehicle requested already contain donations and your items are too large to be collected, you may have to request another vehicle. But no worries, it’s free!

#uberforgood will be in high demand so please be patient. 

If you are unable to request an #uberforgood vehicle on the day, just go to forgood and create your own Offer - an easy way to make sure your donation goes to a worthy cause!

#uberforgood – Clean out your cupboards and let Uber take care of the rest!

I'm excited. Are you?

31 August 2015

Doing good is the new cool...

We've finished a nice little profile article for forgood. Thought I'd share...

--- snip ---

Wanting to make ones world a better place is a universal feeling and it is especially prevalent in the Millennial generation, who want their lives to count for more than just making money. So much so in fact, that social-networking sites such as LinkedIn, include volunteering experience as a key part of a person’s resume. Why? Research suggests that companies not only are more likely to recruit people with a history of community engagement, but they are also are more likely to keep them on, if they actively get involved in the company’s volunteer programmes. 

Enter forgood, an online social platform that connects passionate people with accredited Causes; “We want to build the digital ‘glue’ underneath the Cause sector,” says Andy Hadfield, the company’s CEO. “There are some fantastic organisations doing amazing things across the country; we’re is the central hub that connects individuals and corporates with those Causes.” 



Describing themselves as a social market place where skills, goods, services and information can easily be offered and asked for, forgood aims to achieve their objective of doing good by tapping into a group of forward-thinking individuals and businesses who would use the social platform to help with volunteering and community engagement projects. “Essentially we’re connecting the dots and making it easier for Causes who are constantly in need and individuals or groups who want to do good but have no idea where to start.”

“There are over 100 000 registered Causes in South Africa, but very few technology platforms that connect people who want to do good, to the organisations that need their help. We are the common denominator that will link the one to the other and in so doing, we’re facilitating real value for everyone involved,” says Hadfield. 

How can you join the doing good movement?

Visit www.forgood.co.za and choose from the following options. 

Why would you want to sign up? 
  • Users can respond to existing needs and campaigns from an approved and accredited database of Causes. 
  • The easy to navigate website encourages users to create personalised offers around any interesting skills and passions they have and then matches these to the right Causes. (Everything from gardening, marketing, clothes and metalwork have been successfully matched to causes in early tests).
  • The platform offers business functionality that allows companies to manage internal CSI campaigns and report on the impact their staff are having through these mechanics.

What’s in it for the Causes?
  • Any Cause can create a free profile on forgood; once a background check has been done to establish their credibility, the profile goes live.
  • Causes can create a needs for time, goods or a required service.
  • Causes can receive and respond to Offers that interest them.


Forgood social links:
Facebook - /forgoodSA
Twitter - @forgoodSA

16 July 2015

Mandela Day – how to get 67 minutes of maximum return.

Mandela Day is approaching and forgood is rollicking on, starting to scale nicely. Good times. Love it or hate it, Mandela Day does represent a way to bring more social citizens to the table. It represents an opportunity for you to get a taste of the social sector - feel what it's like to do something meaningful with your life outside of the cubicle rat race.

Give it a go.

Here's some info about our approach to Mandela Day. Giving is hard - we know. We're here to make it easy.

--- snip ---



Mandela Day – a simple idea, based on a great vision and an incredible role model. In a nutshell, all you need to do is give 67 minutes of your time on Mandela Day – easy. Yes, but, what is the real value of giving back? It might be all very good and well to paint the wall of your local community centre, but what if they didn’t really need the wall painted in the first place?

“Mandela Day has massive potential to harness real skills, match them to real needs and create measurable social impact,” says Andy Hadfield, CEO of forgood, an online platform that connects passionate people with accredited causes. 

“There are some fantastic Causes doing amazing things across the country, all of them need help in one way or another – be it a volunteer’s time, goods or services – however, there isn’t a central point that connects individuals or corporates with those Causes,” says Hadfield. “We’re the common denominator that will link the one to the other and in so doing, we’re facilitatiing real value for everyone involved.” 

Describing themselves as a social market place where skills, goods, services and information can easily be offered and asked for, forgood is a central hub for individuals, groups and Causes.

Which takes us back to Mandela Day, how can your 67 minutes add real value? “Simple,” says Hadfield, “log onto forgood, find a Cause in your area that has listed a need and sign up to help them, alternatively, create an Offer around a specific skill you have or something special you want to do and an interested Cause will contact you. It’s so much more exciting than watching paint dry and it it creates real measureable impact too.” 

The Mandela Day countdown has officially begun, Causes are being inundated with volunteer requests, be a part of the real value chain, visit forgood (www.forgood.co.za) and choose from the following options. 


Examples of connections made through forgood:

Making an offer
A retired antiquarian book dealer offered his time to assist with valuing books at a book sale being hosted by a Cause very close to where he lives. Due to his experience with books, he was able to give a sense of the real value of their stock and as such the books were sold at market value. The Cause managed to raise considerably more funds than anticipated. 

Fulfilling a need
A student residence group was looking for a Mandela Day activity for 350 students, they decided to respond to a need created by a Cause on the forgood website. As a result of the connection, 350 students will be put to work on Mandela Day at the Rare Diseases Society of South Africa.

Forgood social links:
Facebook - /forgoodSA
Twitter - @forgoodSA

09 June 2015

MindBullets: New Chill Pill To Fix Society (1 June 2021)

Had to post this MindBullet. Firstly, because I can easily see this scenario occurring. Call it media overload, sensory overload - or just the fact that we experience 1000x more bad news than 20 years ago... Something has to give!

But secondly (and almost more importantly) because it allows me to quickly get in a recommendation for probably my favourite book ever. If you haven't read Neal Stephenson's Anathem by now - you've been living outside of under the Geek Rock. Get back!

The core premises of the book is an alternate future where humanity has been rendered docile, almost giving up on intelligence for the sake of a more comfortable, less stressful existence. The clever few are separated at birth and placed in the future-equivalent of monasteries. And then the grandest story of all begins...

It's a cracker read - especially since we're all starting to notice how futuristic technology is becoming. It's a great time to be alive. But with great Moore's Law comes great responsibility.

And hey, I'm all for alternative crime solutions. Drugging criminals might be going a bit far - but a square cell doesn't really seem to be doing the trick either.




NEW CHILL PILL TO FIX SOCIETY

Dopamine hailed as the new weapon in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour

Dateline: 1 June 2021

In 2019, Lyla Roberts was assaulted at a bus stop in London. A bystander recorded the incident and posted it online, instead of intervening. The title of the post: "5 star entertainment! Who needs the movies!?" Roberts spent four months in a coma before being declared brain dead. It shocked the world, but has also inspired a pharmaceutical breakthrough.

The newly released drug is called Lyla and is grounded in years of research which also produced an oxytocin-inducing nasal spray. Lyla works by increasing dopamine in the brain and results in people becoming more compassionate and fair-minded. They also feel a lot happier.

Indian correctional facilities will pioneer a cognitive rehabilitation approach by prescribing Lyla to criminals. According to the Health Minister, the drug will help to create better citizens. "It comes down to social education. We'll be 'teaching' criminals appropriate conduct by altering their brain chemistry. Besides, it's for the common good of everybody; it's not like we're lacing the water supply with drugs to keep an oppressive regime in power," he said.

Lyla looks like the wonder drug that will save the pharma industry itself. For many years, the use of LED light pulses to awaken people's happiness genes was a big blow to medicine-makers, but not anymore. Lyla has proven to be three times more effective than light therapy.

As for the gangsters and the disturbed onlooker who didn't try to help Lyla - they're being sentenced today. Word on the street is that they too will soon be drinking a certain pill a day, in order to keep the bad behaviour away.

Published 4 June 2015

Read the original story including research links and commentary on FutureWorld MindBullets