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The Digital Nomad and the CoWorking Space

Gig economy… Side hustle… Digital nomad… The face of the workplace is changing. In an effort to attract talent and reduce costs, employers are utilizing coworking spaces to allow distance workers to work in a professional environment. And individuals are no longer looking towards traditional employment for part-time and full-time work. These workers now crash together in coworking spaces around the world, grateful that they aren’t relegated to a kitchen table or crowded Starbucks to get work done.

For nearly two decades, traditional employers have struggled to manage good employees who opt to work from home. With good employees difficult to find and expensive to replace, most employers have bent strict rules to allow some to work from home. Supervision, productivity, and insurance conflicts arise as (unlikely) problems. Thanks to coworking spaces, however, more corporate employers are allowing employees to work at desk outside of the house, but away from the corporate hub.

Even for those with a full-time corporate job, a coworking space can be a great way to build up a freelance portfolio, work a digital side job, or just get out of the house. The days of working one, full-time job are practically done. Regardless of how full-time employment meets (or fails) modern financial demands, more workers are seeing entrepreneurialism in their future. Coworking spaces are incubators; emerging tech, service, and business ideas come to light thanks to the inherent interactivity of coworking spots. Between the casual coffee pot conversations and the official networking dinners, coworking spaces are the new “garage office.” In other words, the next Apple (Facebook, Google) is probably under development in a coworking space as we speak.

And finally, the digital nomad. Why bother paying rent or a mortgage if you can roam around the world, working digitally every day? For the true tech worker, a network of coworking spaces, coffee shops, and AirBnB apartments can serve as the basis for a nomadic life. See the world and earn a living… what could be better?

Even the face of the coworking office is changing. At one time, shared offices and executive suites were open Monday through Friday, nine to five. But today, the urban coworking space is a 24-hour operation as part-timers, freelancers, and all-nighters come together to feed off each other’s ideas and build momentum towards a more satisfying work-life balance.

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Cylance® Proves Voting Machine Vulnerabilities

Cylance® Inc, a CyberTECH member, has announced the successful exploitation of critical vulnerabilities in a common model of voting machine. The exploitation of these vulnerabilities was previously thought to only be theoretical in nature prior to this revelation by Cylance researchers

The compromise techniques are relatively simple to undertake, but do require physical access to the voting machine.

To help understand the risk to election integrity, Cylance produced a demonstration video of the techniques used to compromise the Sequoia AVC Edge Mk1 voting machine.

The video shows how Cylance researchers were able to re-flash the firmware with a PCMCIA card, directly manipulate the voting tallies in memory, and cause a vote for one candidate to be credited to another by altering elements of the device’s screen display.

For mitigation in the long term, Cylance recommends phasing out and replacing deprecated, insecure machines — namely those without robust, hardware-based firmware and data verification mechanisms.

Also, additional due diligence of polling place volunteers, workers, officers may help mitigate possible collusion for tampering by these groups.

The units in question were known to be in use in hundreds of thousands of polling locations across the country in the recent election.

SOURCE: CYLANCE INC.

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What if the Internet crashed for one day … or longer?

During a one-day outage we would see dramatic slowdown – possibly a total breakdown – of our ability to communicate with one another.

Many of us will be trapped in our homes without the ability to operate our electronic devices and so many other conveniences we take for granted.

What if? We’d be virtually helpless.

If the cyber attack is aimed at power supplies, many of us won’t be able to open our garage doors. Smart phones will be dead, iPads useless. Phone lines will be down. No media coverage. Accurate information about what has happened – and why — will be extremely limited at this point.

If people did manage toget out of their homes and into their cars,traffic control systems will be dark. First responders will start to mobilize, with law enforcement becoming increasingly visible as the day progresses.

Businesses of all kinds –banks, supermarkets, gas stations, the stock market — with cease. Everything will be “cash only” — but ATMs will be inoperable. Supply chains of all sorts will be disrupted. Most companies wouldn’t be able to remain open.

In a word, chaos.

Bottom line: In a society where disenfranchised members begin betting against the regime, cyber strikes to disrupt the political system and infrastructure are a powerful 1-2 punch to create widespread panic and civil unrest.

The “fallout” from one day will last for months, likely years. Cracks in our everyday lives – indeed, our very way of life — will be severely threatened.

Armageddon? Maybe.

Those are my thoughts. I welcome yours.

By Darin Andersen

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China Approves Cybersecurity Law

Lawmakers described the law as necessary to bolster its online security at a time of multiplying threats

BEIJING—China’s government approved a broad new cybersecurity law aimed at further tightening and centralizing state control over the internet, including the role foreign companies play in Chinese cyberspace.

The law, passed by the standing committee of China’s legislature and issued publicly on Nov. 5, tasks agencies and enterprises with improving their ability to defend against network intrusions while demanding security reviews for equipment and data in strategic sectors.

The law includes provisions such as a requirement that internet operators provide unspecified “technical assistance” to authorities in cases involving national security. It also requires security checks for equipment used for “critical infrastructure,” which is defined as including information services, energy, transportation, finance and other important sectors.

During the drafting, the law was criticized by some foreign business groups and technology experts as a blueprint for further walling off China’s already isolated internet. China’s lawmakers described the law as necessary to bolster its online security at a time of multiplying threats.

China, which is often accused of supporting cyberattacks on other countries but which says it is a frequent victim of hacking, has moved aggressively to bolster cybersecurity since Chinese President Xi Jinping took office four years ago.

SOURCE: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Nov. 6, 2016

 

Recap: San Diego CyberTECH Good Neighbor Pitch Night

On the evening of November 10, 2016, I attended the San Diego CyberTECH Good Neighbor Pitch Night event. I estimate about 200 people attended throughout the night to eat, drink, network, and watch that night’s ten participating Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) companies give Pitches to qualified judges to assess individual presentations for content.

I am one of the EIR Advisors that assist these companies as they progress within the program. Companies wishing to apply to the EIR Program may learn more about it on this page.

Here are some images from the night.

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CyberTECH Opens Grind Coffee Shop

CyberTECH is pleased to announce the opening of its in-house coffee shop, Grind. By introducing a fully functioning cafe, CyberTECH is addressing one of the challenges for workers in the Banker’s Hill area – good coffee. With very few cafes and restaurants within walking distance of the CoWorking offices at First and Fir, CyberTECH Members have struggled to fulfill their coffee break needs.

On November 10, the Grind will start providing hot drinks like mochas, lattes, and Americanos. With a focus on high quality beans and well-crafted beverages, Grind will be offering European-inspired products. CyberTECH facility manager, Mo Rahseparian, brings his years of restaurant ownership experience to ensure customers enjoy the highest quality products and services.

Starting with a wide selection of hot beverages, Grind will be expanding its line of products over the coming weeks and months. Cold drinks, bottled drinks, snacks, and sandwiches are all vital components to ensuring every visitor can find something to eat or drink.

And Grind will be open to everyone. Of course, the primary customers will be those Members inside the CyberTECH community. But the building at First and Fir houses office employees and healthcare workers that will be able to easily take advantage of the food services. In addition, Banker’s Hill residents and workers will have access to the Grind coffee and food. CyberTECH Members will get a hefty discount on any purchases.

Initially, operating hours will skew towards the morning with service starting before 8am. And because the shortage of lunch options in the area, the cafe will operate through the lunch hour. Extended and weekend hours will be determined based on demand and need.

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Wellness at Work

Work can be stressful; but your workplace shouldn’t be. The modern office has come a long way from the dull pallor of the grey cubicles and fluorescent lighting of the 1980s. To be fair, some work spaces seem to have gone too far… basketball courts and open floorplans might seem enviable — but could mean far too many distractions for functional workplace. The right approach to wellness in the workplace means creating a plan customized to match your location and meet the needs of your group of workers.

San Diego’s CyberTECH is embracing wellness with an initial, three-pronged approach: hydration, nutrition, and physical activity. Moreover, CyberTECH is partnering with emerging companies to bring these wellness activities into their co-working space.

To start, CyberTECH has partnered with Kona Deep to ensure its Members have the best water available throughout their working day. According to its website, “Kona Deep offers a very different hydration experience because of its unique blend of naturally occurring deep ocean electrolytes.” As an incubator space for entrepreneurs and tech companies, CyberTECH is a second home to many of its Members. Early morning meetings and late nights are standard in this workplace. Most of the Members will spend more (awake) hours in these offices than at home. And while tap water might be sufficient, proper hydration comes from drinking high quality water, like Kona Deep.

While CyberTECH has a great Banker’s Hill location with fantastic views of the San Diego bay and Lindbergh landing strip, there aren’t many places nearby to grab lunch. To encourage healthy eating, CyberTECH is soon to open Grind – Fresh and Healthy Choices Coffee Cart. The in-house cart will be using local coffee roasters and local food producers to offer Members a way to buy fresh food and coffee. Members will soon have an easy way to grab food and gather around a café table or conference table to discuss collaborative business opportunities.

CyberTECH is also going to expand its use of the interior courtyard at the First and Fir building by offering Feng Gong Relaxation. With the help of a Member organization, CyberTECH wants to help others at First and Fir reduce work-related stress with this Asian practice of stretching and relaxation.

CyberTECH will continue to expand and adjust its workplace wellness plans as Member needs grow and change. Possible future additions include a running club, morning yoga, and in-house benefits consultations.

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Entrepreneur in Residence Welcomes Second Cohort of 2016

In an effort to encourage entrepreneurial growth in San Diego, CyberTECH created its Entrepreneur in Residence program (EIR) in early 2016. Because of the success of the initial cohort of businesses, CyberTECH opted to welcome a second cohort of business during the latter half of the year.

Each business represents a new and emerging approach to business by utilizing technology to spur further growth. The businesses have access to low-cost office space inside the First and Fir office along with other Member benefits like high-speed internet, printing, event space, and networking opportunities.

Moreover, these business owners have access to a rigorous regime of one-on-one coaching with industry experts and business professionals. The primary goal of these coaching sessions is to steer each business towards stability and growth. Stability becomes a key factor in the long-term viability for small business owners. While many small businesses experience short bursts of growth due to unique opportunities or market conditions, many of those same businesses fall short of creating a sustainable financial future. The EIR program intends to help those business owners avoid those pitfalls with coaching and mentoring.

Coaches include David Titus (Senior Vice President of Cooley LLP), Ignacio Yanez, Don W Larson for tech guidance, and Susan Rust (FlashPoint Marketing) for marketing support.

The 2016 EIR Cohort 200 group represents a range of industries including cyber-security, drone technology, sports media, and insurance. All the business share an enthusiasm for technology and an entrepreneurial spirit. CyberTECH will officially welcome the second Cohort Class of 2016 at 3rd Annual Good Neighbor fundraiser on Thursday November 10th from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Visit the Entrepreneur in Residence Program for more details