Locally Owned Coworking Spaces

In every business, from tax preparation to coffee, you have to make a choice between a national brand and a locally owned business. With the dramatically increasing demand for coworking spaces, remote workers and entrepreneurs have to make the same choice – nationally branded coworking or a locally grown company. (Obviously, we at CyberTECH are biased.)

But let’s talk about the benefits of a national brand. In many ways, nationally branded coworking spaces come with a few benefits over what you can get with a local space. The primary benefit of a national coworking company is the access to office space in all major metropolitan areas. So if you are constantly on the go – from Seattle to Orlando – then a large, corporate coworking company might be a better choice. But for anyone who plans on heading into a local office, a locally owned coworking space is always a better choice. Here’s why:

Locally owned and managed coworking spaces have a flexibility in contracting you won’t find in with larger companies. Temporary holds, upgrades, downgrades, and additional desks are easy changes to your current lease. In other words, you won’t be nickel-and-dimed by a local coworking company. You will also find that the smaller, local company will provide more freebies like conference room use, beverage services, and printing.

Local coworking spaces also tend to have a broader range of working spaces. The big coworking companies are going to be focused on squeezing every dime out of every square inch of space. And that means lots of closed doors and tiny cubicles. Local coworking spaces will have plenty of open areas furnished with couches and café tables. The smaller, local companies will offer more outdoor spaces for events and social gatherings.

Finally, you won’t find the kind of symbiotic environment in a large, corporate coworking space. The local coworking space is likely to have a tenant niche (like tech-oriented CyberTECH) and will attract collaborative people. Casual conversations and official networking comes easier in a locally owned coworking space.

In short, a locally owned coworking space is more likely to meet your needs as a new and growing company. At a space like CyberTECH, you will find the right kind of driven and collaborative folks that make coworking a great place to be.

Downtown SD Emerging as New Tech Hub

Everyone knows your basic US tech cities – Seattle and San Francisco. And thanks to the major tech players like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, those cities will likely remain at the top of the tech heap for years to come. But San Diego is attracting significant attention as an emerging tech hub. And here’s why:

Lifestyle

If you want rain, go to Seattle. Busy streets? Try New York. But if you want great weather year-round without the bother of LA posers, you come to San Diego. And for the moment, San Diego is considered “affordable” when you compare housing prices to places like San Francisco. Keep in mind, the emerging workforce is one that empathizes quality over quantity. Twentysomethings are happy to give up big houses and hefty salaries for a freelancing flip-flop life.

Location

Not only does San Diego county offer broad expanses of land (think: North County’s Geico call center); but downtown San Diego has its underdeveloped East Village. From 2005 to 2008, the East Village was flush with developments. Now, eight years later, the empty lots and unused buildings are coming into focus as developers eye those blocks for expansion. The I.D.E.A. district and Makers Quarter are going to bring tech workers into an arts, commercial, and residential project that will rival swanky SF living.

Industry

So, when you think San Diego, you don’t automatically think tech software. But the city has a long history of developing everything from bio technology to microchips to missile launchers. We have our fair share of major players like Qualcomm and General Atomics. Plus don’t forget about our reputation as a research hub thanks to the huge universities.

San Diego has everything to become America’s next tech supercity. With the universities pumping out thousands of eager workers looking for ways to stay in Sun City, tech giants are seeking ways to capture the enthusiasm. Plus, with every student comes a new idea for an app, game, or device. So the city’s grassroots tech efforts are fed by the venture capitalists excited to hear something new from Sunny SD.

Tech growth is inevitable. And welcome.

 

Coworking Communication Avenues

Although the peak hours of operations for a coworking space might be Monday through Friday from nine to five, coworkers operate 24 hours per day. And while there are always an energetic few who want to actively network face-to-face, others would prefer an online setting. In fact, coordinating coworking members is like herding cats. Keep in mind, if they were obedient dogs, they’d be operating out of a corporate office up the street.

So how do you wrangle coworking member together?

In short, food is the best way to bring people together. Just like a gaggle of cats that keep to separate corners during the day, cats pull together when you feed them at 5pm. If you want your coworkers to come together, buy some subs from the local sub shop or order enough pizza to feed everyone. Add a little background music and it’s a party. And yes, the chatty few will keep the conversations going, but the quiet ones in the background appreciate the opportunity to socialize – even if it just means offering a few smiles to other members.

Remain active online. You need to offer regular updates about activities at the coworking space. In the 1980s, that meant printing a monthly newsletter with cheesy photos and coupon for free chips at the sub shop. Today, it’s as simple as a Facebook group. Update it once or twice a week with membership news. Post lots of great, candid photos. And occasionally encourage members to join together for an official event like a member appreciation party.

Talk to your members. People are shy. They don’t know how to break the ice. Knock on doors and ask how business is going. Encourage them to respond to the Facebook updates. Pull another member into the conversations. Conversations inside the coworking space need an organic element in order to feel genuine.

So, communication at the coworking space is all about options. Coworking members aren’t the kind of corporate employees who will conform to strict standards. So coworking managers and community coordinators have to offer a range of options. With very few exceptions will you have 90-100% participation on any one activity. But with several avenues of communication, you will reach the vast majority of members who want to engage.

The Perils of Working from Home

Recently, NPR was interviewing an expert (something about politics, finance, etc…) and the expert’s dog decided to join the conversation. In the background, on live radio, listeners around the world heard Fido bark. Several times. The expert must have scrambled to shoo the dog out of the room and close the door. And I can image a tense conversation after the interview, “I was live on NPR and you couldn’t keep the dog quiet?”

Admittedly, working in an office doesn’t always mean you have a perfectly professional setting at all times. We’ve all heard raucous laughter in the background of a call center. But if you are trying to portray yourself as an expert professional, you need a controlled environment.

Working at home also comes with distractions. Of course, we can all get caught up watching too much cable news during the day. But in our world of constant connections, small distractions are simply a way of life. Even in an office, you have the distractions that come with Facebook, text messages, and cable news on your phone. The real distractions are the big ones – waiting for the cable repair man, stopping by the bank, dropping off the dry cleaning, etc. If you have an office (either corporate or coworking) you are much more likely to put off errands until the weekend. And you are far more likely to share the household chores with a spouse or housemate.

Potentially worse than the distractions that come with working at home, you will also face the isolation. Walking around a creaky house at 11am on a weekday can make you feel like you’re the last survivor of humanity. Even if you walk outside, the houses are dark and quiet. Very few drivers are on the road. It’s just you and birds. And the birds are busy with their workday of building nests and laying eggs. At a coworking space, you feel connected. Even if the guy next to you is programming an app to rate snack bars in Japan, you and your coworking coworkers are working towards the common goal of productivity.

Don’t sit at home and work. It’s depressing. Get out and find some other brave soul focused on forging their own path at a coworking space near you.

Why the Gig Economy Isn’t Going Away

Most presidential elections come with rhetoric about jobs and the economy. And while the majority of jobs that come with an improved economy may still look like a traditional 40-hour employment agreement, freelance work is on the rise. And it’s not going anywhere. Whether you are a self-employed programmer, part-time graphic designer, or a member of an app development team, you will need a community of like-minded professionals seeking the same professional satisfaction.

The Workers
The up-and-coming workforce is against the idea of a traditional job. Millennials, as a group, are far more interested in life experiences like camping, travel, and leisure than they about having a house, a car, and a high credit line. Corporations are finding that freelancers, while expensive on the hourly end, are more motivated and efficient that full-time employees.

The Benefits
Health insurance was one of the driving forces for finding and keeping a traditional job. And while it’s likely that health insurance will change over the next four years, universal healthcare is likely here to stay. And if you are in a liberal state like California or Massachusetts, changes in federal healthcare laws could be offset by changes in state laws. So if you can get health insurance on your own, a traditional job comes with more restrictions than benefits.

The Workplace
As the US moves towards a knowledge-based economy (as compared to a manufacturing economy), the average worker won’t need more than a cell phone and a laptop to be highly effective. Corporations are seeing the cost-cutting benefits that come with workers who pay for their own workplace (and health insurance).

If you’ve ever worked from home for long stretches of time, then you know that the isolation and quiet can be unsettling. And if you’ve ever worked from a coffee shop, you know the sound of blenders and screaming children is less than professional. Coworking spaces are a key component in the gig economy. Collective workplaces offer the human interaction we need to feel connected day-in and day-out. Plus they offer a brand of professional flexibility found nowhere else.

Corporate Partnerships and Coworking Spaces

In many ways, coworking spaces are the antithesis of traditional corporate culture. With an environment based on flexible working spaces and 24-hour availability, coworking offices have a fluidity that is nearly non-existent in most 9-5 offices. However, because coworking spaces have become so prevalent, and because coworking spaces are producing some of the most innovative products and services, coworking centers and corporations have formed tentative bonds that offer benefits to each partner.

Money
The coworking economic model is not always the most stable. Because coworking lease agreements tend to be highly fluid, coworking managers don’t always know how much revenue is going to be coming in month over month. Corporate sponsors can lend stability to a coworking company’s budget. With an annual sponsorship, the coworking company sees stable revenue and the corporations gets brand exposure to up-and-coming professionals.

Space
Sometimes, coworking spaces get over-run with members who need space to work. And sometimes, corporations have dozens of empty cubicles to fill. A space exchange helps balance the desk equation by offering an additional resource for each side throughout the year. In conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, a desk exchange program can really help both sides use square footage effectively.

Collaboration
Some of the most innovative thinking happens inside coworking spaces. And some of the best resources are locked up inside the corporate structure. For example, a manufacturer with unused machine time might need a new innovative product to produce. And a coworking team might have some great ideas without the financial resources to produce a prototype or finish product. By coming together, both sides of the equation get to maximize resources with minimum risk.

It’s not always easy for corporations and coworking spaces to find each other. Generally, collaboration must come about through casual contact at MeetUp events and networking parties. And as with any possible endeavor, the partnership takes time to develop into something highly productive. However, coworking spaces are the center of enterprise thinking. And corporations will remain the core of financial resources. So each side has the motivation to seek out the other and find common ground for development.

Year in Review 2016

JANUARY

Data Privacy Day 2016

CyberTECH joined with the Ponemon Institute to co-host “Securing the Internet of Things: Data Privacy Day 2016” (Jan. 28) in Sacramento. The event addressed a wide range of cyber privacy concerns and the importance safeguarding private information about individuals and organizations.

Mobile Solutions for U.S. Navy

CyberTECH co-sponsored a two-day forum (Jan. 26-27) in San Diego themed on “Mobile Solutions for the U.S. Navy.” The event was held in cooperation with SPAWAR (Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command), which oversees the sophisticated cyber network of mobile devices that monitor Naval sea, air and land operations.

FEBRUARY:

A collaborative space

CyberTECH soft-opened NEST (Feb. 1), a co-working, incubator and startup collaboration space within the Manpower building in Bankers Hill.  Perched with amazing views overlooking downtown and the San Diego Bay, NEST is 5,000 square feet of CoWork space, part of a 15,000 square feet network of work spaces.

MARCH

NEST on Park Opens

CyberTECH NEST further expanded its incubator and co-working operations by opening NEST on Park, located in the newly refurbished Park6 Building at 6th Avenue and Fir Street, a few blocks from NEST.

APRIL

NEST CoWork officially opens

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other civic leaders presided over the official ribbon-cutting ceremony (April 6) for the opening of NEST, downtown San Diego’s largest co-working space for tech startups. Covering more than 36,000 square feet, the opening of NEST reflects San Diego’s fast-growing leadership position in the hi-tech/cyber sector.

A tech future for real estate

CyberTECH’s Darin Andersen took part in a panel discussion (April 14) about the shared economy presented by SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors), a leading commercial real estate association. CoWork spaces such as NEST, CyberHive, xHive, and iHive are prime examples of innovative real estate products that have changed commercial real estate and the brokerage sector.

MAY

CNBC comes to CyberHive

CNBC correspondent Kate Rogers filed a series of reports (May 23) from CyberHive, including one-on-one interviews with CyberTECH’s Darin Andersen and Citadel Drone Management Solutions’ Daniel Magy. The profile was based on San Diego’s national ascent in the fields of cyber security, biotech, life sciences, mobile technology and aerospace research.

JUNE

A seat at the Startup table

As part of San Diego Startup Week (June 13-17), CyberTECH co-hosted Cyber+IoT Startup Table Breakfast (June 14), themed on moving a company from idea, to seed, through investment, and growth. On hand were entrepreneurs, growth specialists, technologists, investors, and experience design specialists.

JULY

CyberTECH receives $40,000 grant

As part of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s commitment to grow San Diego’s tech innovation sector within the “Smart and Safe Cities” campaign, the City of San Diego awarded a $40,000 grant (Sept. 6) to CyberTECH’s NEST CoWork space to help generate the creation of more startups and jobs across the region.

iHive’s Grand Opening

CyberTECH members and special guests were on hand for the official Grand Opening of iHive (July 28). Covering more than 16,000 square feet, iHive at NEST reflects San Diego’s fast-growing leadership role in the hi-tech and cybersecurity sectors. The space is fully leased with more than 50 resident members.

AUGUST

Securing the Internet of Things

CyberTECH hosted three invitation-only events (Aug. 2-4) at the 4th annual Securing the Internet of Things (SIOT) conference in Las Vegas. Known as Black Hat, the event featured global thought leaders, industry experts and luminaries exploring the IoT phenomenon from the private, government and academic perspectives.

SEPTEMBER

A starter program for startups

CyberTECH proudly launched Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) — a six-month, low-rent program designed to build strategic relationships between early-stage companies and CyberTECH’s growing ecosystem of partners and stakeholders. EIR Cohort #100 was welcomed.

OCTOBER

EIR Cohort #200 announced

Nine startup companies were named to CyberTECH’s EIR Cohort #200. The list of wide-ranging startups includes an amino acid-based sports drink, a drone-operator alliance, and a cyber-protection monitoring firm.

A meeting of cyber minds

CyberTECH joined with Securing Our eCity Foundation to present the 8th edition of CyberFest (Oct. 27), featuring keynotes from former CIA director James Woolsey and former FBI agent Eric O’Neill. Hot topics included machine interface, nation-state attacks, the Internet of Things, and the need for business continuity.

NOVEMBER

A very neighborly event

The 3rd annual Good Neighbor Taste of San Diego (Nov. 10), presented by CyberTECH, welcomed hundreds of attendees who enjoyed locally-sourced restaurant samples, brew, and wine along with a Startup Pitch Session and an expert panel on “Building the Good Neighbor Economy.”

DECEMBER

Grind Coffee Shop Opens

Located in iHive (Dec. 14) and open five days a week for the convenience of members, guests and nearby neighbors, Grind provides traditional high-quality coffee selections, including a range of European-style specialties such as Espresso, Cappuccino, Caffe Macchiato, Caffe Latte, and Americanos.

 

Urgent: The first 100 days of cybersecurity in the Trump Administration

Commission urges better cybersecurity

Urgent: The first 100 days of cybersecurity in the Trump Administration

The Associated Press, December 3, 2016

A presidential commission has made 16 urgent recommendations to improve the nation’s cybersecurity, including creating a nutritional-type label to help consumers shop wisely and appointing a new international ambassador on the subject — weeks before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

The release of the 100-page report follows the worst hacking of U.S. government systems in history and accusations by the Obama administration that Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election by hacking Democrats.

The Presidential Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity urged immediate action within two to five years and suggested the Trump administration consider acting on some proposals within its first 100 days.

The commission recommended that Trump create an assistant to the president for cybersecurity, who would report through the national security adviser, and establish an ambassador for cybersecurity, who would lead efforts to create international rules.

It urged steps, such as getting rid of traditional passwords, to end the threat of identity theft by 2021 and said Trump’s administration should train 100,000 new cybersecurity workers by 2020.

Other ideas included helping consumers to judge products using an independent nutritional-type label for technology products and services.

“What we’ve been doing over the last 15 to 20 years simply isn’t working, and the problem isn’t going to be fixed simply by adding more money,” said Steven Chabinsky, a commission member and the global chair of the data, privacy and cybersecurity practice for White & Case LLP, an international law firm.

He said the group wanted the burden of cybersecurity “moved away from every computer user and handled at higher levels,” including internet providers and product developers who could ensure security by default and design “for everyone’s benefit.”

The White House requested the report in February and intended it to serve as a transition memo for the next president. The commission included 12 of what the White House described as the brightest minds in business, academia, technology and security. It was led by Tom Donilon, Obama’s former national security adviser.

It was not immediately clear whether Trump would accept the group’s recommendations. Trump won the election on promises to reduce government regulations, although decades of relying on market pressure or asking businesses to voluntarily make their products and services safer have been largely ineffective.

Trump’s presidential campaign benefited from embarrassing disclosures in hacked emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff and others.

Plus, Trump openly invited Russian hackers to find and release tens of thousands of personal emails that Clinton had deleted from the private server she had used to conduct government business as secretary of state. He also disputed the Obama administration’s conclusion that Russia was responsible for the Democratic hackings.

Under Obama, hackers stole personal data from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management on more than 21 million current, former and prospective government employees, including details of security-clearance background investigations for federal agents, intelligence employees and others.

SOURCE: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, December 3, 2016

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.

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.

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.

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

CyberTECH Immersive and Emerging Technologies Lab

CyberTECH will soon launch its Immersive and Emerging Technologies Lab, it will be housed in xHive which is located on the 2nd floor of NEST CoWork.. Because virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) continue massive expansion in the personal use and professional use markets, CyberTECH is setting aside a space to explore both personal and business uses of any and all advancements. The lab space will include all three major VR platforms – HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Sony PlayStation VR.

Three CyberTECH Members are already reserving the space for research and product development. 360 Stock VR, Built by Web 3, and MiPOV Technologies will be the first in-house users. These three companies will be working with CyberTECH staff to ensure expandable capacity while maintaining everyday ease of use.

In an effort to offer a full line of three dimensional services, CyberTECH is happy to announce its Member, SD3D, will have a permanent kiosk in the Grind Café lobby. The 3D printing kiosk offers product samples and a web-based ordering system for customers looking for three dimensional solutions.

Both the 3D printing kiosk and the VR lab will be available for trial and review at CyberTECH’s 3rd Annual Good Neighbor Taste of San Diego event on 10 November.

CyberTECH is both proud and sad to announce that 3D manufacturer and Member, Sympathetic Innovations, will be moving out of the First and Fir building and into a larger warehouse in National City. Alejandro and Matthias have been exceptional Members and we are thrilled they have used their time inside CyberTECH to grow. You’ll be missed!

A Practice Pitch for Startups

As part of Good Neighbor Taste of San Diego, Thursday, Nov. 10, 6-7 pm, at NEST CoWork Space, our initial cohort of Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) will get a chance to present their Power Point decks to a panel of experts.

Each EIR company will have three minutes to pitch to venture cap and business judges, followed by a five-minute Q&A – a total of eight minutes per pitch. Winners will receive prizes and also advance to San Diego Startup Week Pitchfest in June 2017. The event will be led by our co-chairs Dave Titus @CooleyLLP and Andrew Berkhausen @ScaleMatrix. Ashok Kamal from @Techcoastangels will also be participating.

ABOUT CyberTECH’S Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR):

  • A six-month, low-rent program designed to build strategic relationships between early-stage companies and CyberTECH’s growing ecosystem of partners and stakeholders.
  • The innovative program leverages CyberTECH’s “Social Community Incubator Model” and is designed as a major element of CyberTECH’s Smart & Safe Cities initiative, in partnership with CyberCalifornia.
  • EIR startups will work independently with the support of the CyberTECH community. In some cases, EIRs may be embedded directly in departments or with Business Units at CyberTECH’s corporate partners to accelerate their business concepts and new technology products and services.
  • In addition to being assigned to a Mentorship Team, CyberTECH EIR startups will have access to no- or low-cost office space, along with discounted or low-cost software, high-speed Internet, strategic, legal and marketing professionals and other early stage startup services.
  • Some startups may be offered stipends or scholarships from CyberTECH ecosystem companies.

 

 

 

 

CyberTECH’s NEST Receives $40,000 Grant to Help Generate Tech Startups

Mayor Faulconer lauds new “living, breathing workplace” and “new way of doing things”

As part of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s commitment to grow San Diego’s tech innovation sector within the “Smart and Safe Cities” campaign, the City of San Diego has awarded a $40,000 grant to CyberTECH’s NEST CoWork space to help generate the creation of more startups and jobs across the region.

Officially opened nearly six months ago, NEST, the 16,000 square foot space located within the Manpower building in Bankers Hill (1855 First Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101), is now fully leased with 47 resident members. That total is expected to grow to 100 companies by mid-2017. For every resident member, NEST also supports an additional four non-resident members through its Community Social Incubation model.

The City of San Diego’s “Smart and Safe Cities” program emphasizes the need to support tech startups with infrastructure, mentorship and access to capital. By definition, a “smart and safe” city encourages a best-practices approach to preventing cyberattacks and related disruptions to the Internet and other open networks that are increasingly vulnerable, along with protecting basic user privacy and product safety.

“What we see at NEST represents a momentous shift away from the traditional workplace – a living, breathing workplace that embraces a new way of doing things,” said Mayor Faulconer in making the announcement. “NEST represents our city’s fast-changing, ever-flexible, always upwardly-mobile economy, especially for downtown, which is more vibrant than ever.”

Boosting Community: The CyberTECH Approach to an Enhanced Workplace

The NEST CoWork space is home to a slew of tech start-ups, entrepreneurial efforts, and non-profit organizations looking for a supportive, yet independent work space. CyberTECH and NEST are sibling companies working together to build a better workplace model here in San Diego. CyberTECH has recently hosted a series of planned and impromptu events that build and enhance an environment of innovation at 1855 First Avenue.

The (unofficial) fun began with a weekend painting party as NEST expanded on the first floor of the First Avenue space. After breaking down some walls, the original CyberHIVE space quadrupled in size. Members gathered together on a Saturday to paint, drink lattes, and interact while taping and painting. By the end of the day, the halls and walls of the new offices transformed into a colorful array of warm spaces and airy collaborative offices.

Next up – sliders and fries. Thanks to a food truck parked out front, CyberTECH was able to offer new and future members great food. Plus, on the side patio, resident businesses participated in a speed networking event. With just 60 seconds to pitch, each business owner had the chance to talk up their daily efforts to more than 20 other businesses operating within the same building. That night ended with an extended concert of local artists performing on the interior patio.

With so many new members moving into the NEST spaces, CyberTECH knew it would take a few events before all faces became familiar ones. And nothing brings people together like ice cream (or beer). But ice cream was on the menu for a last minute, Thursday afternoon social on the patio to celebrate the warm summer days.

Fast forward a few weeks, and CyberTECH brought everyone together for a spaghetti dinner complete with garlic bread and Caesar salad. Shortly thereafter on the same night, another speed networking event meant those who had missed out on the prior roundup could pitch their business plans. And those who had met during the last networking roundtable had the chance to delve a bit deeper. Finally, the evening ended with cigars around firelight on the back patio.\

CyberTECH seeks to build a deeper meaning for CoWorking with its events and comfortable atmosphere. On any given day, you can find workers taking a break from the glare of a computer screen to chat at the coffee bar or outside on the patio. With big TVs, comfortable chairs, and a killer WiFi signal, the NEST CoWorking spaces have set a new standard for coworking in San Diego.

Take Advantage of our Current Offers

CoWork Spaces Available

COWORK SPACES AVAILABLE

Looking for that perfect CoWork tech space?

We’re pleased to offer “ONE DAY FREE” at NEST CoWork @ CyberTECH, in San Diego’s Bankers Hill, a few blocks from downtown. Offered in partnership with LiquidSpace.

1855 First Avenue, Suite 103

San Diego, CA 92103

Sample space:

1 unreserved desk w/ private kitchenette, modern feel, part of 16,000 sf NEST CoWork space. Included: broadband, utilities, security, conference room, workout gym, coffee service. No hidden fees!

Contact Darin Andersen:

 

Picking Your Workplace: Finding the Niche for your Business

Not all co-working spaces are created equal – and that can be a good
thing. Perhaps you want a super-professional, crisp and clean lobby
with white furniture and no music. Or maybe you need a wide expanse of
desks with active conversations and collaborative teams. Before you
make the decision of which co-working space will best suite you,
consider some of these issues:

Can you easily downgrade or upgrade?

You might feel invincible, but every business goes through its ups and
downs. If you suddenly lose your biggest client, can you easily switch
from a private office to a single desk without much trouble? And when
business picks up, can you easily add one of those desks onto your
lease so you have a place for your part-time employee?

What are the other businesses in the space?

While it might be comforting knowing that you are surrounded by other
businesses like yours (think tech starts ups, non profits, lawyers,
etc), you will likely have a greater sense of workplace satisfaction
with a greater diversity of people at your co-working space. Plus, if
you are a business that is looking to use the co-working space for
networking and business development, the greater the diversity, the
better. Be sure to ask about networking events; people often need some
wine and chips to step outside of their office shells and start
talking to each other.

What kinds of fringe benefits does the space offer?

More specifically, how good is the coffee? Neither you nor your
clients want off-brand coffee that sits all day and turns into tar. If
the co-working space doesn’t include hospitality services, you might
want to consider another place. Single serve coffee machines, free
printer use, and a strong Wi-Fi signal can mean the difference between
a mediocre office and a stellar one. And check on the hours of
operation. Some co-working spaces are locked up by 6pm and closed on
the weekends. So if you are going to use your office for any off hour
meetings, you will need to ensure you and your clients have easy
access.

Parking and Meeting Rooms

Is parking going to be difficult? Many co-working spaces are in busy,
downtown areas. Is there public transportation that can get you to the
office? Without it, you might be paying a meter and moving your car
throughout the day. And how accessible are those meeting rooms? Sure,
you may not need to meet clients at the office every day, but if the
meeting rooms are booked three weeks in advance, then you might
trouble when you need to have a private, professional conversation.

Most importantly, visit each space and try to interact with some of
the current tenants. Every co-working space will post beautiful photos
on the web; but standing at the espresso bar and chatting with some
current tenants about the next internal networking event will make
selecting the office an easy choice.

The future of San Diego’s CoWork Space has arrived

You’re invited to join CyberTECH members and special guests for the official Grand Opening of iHive at NEST, Thursday, July 28.

Covering more than 16,000 square feet, iHive at NEST reflects San Diego’s fast-growing leadership role in the hi-tech and cybersecurity sectors. The space is fully leased with 47 resident members.

That total is expected to grow to 80 companies by mid-2017. What’s more, for every resident member, iHive also supports an additional four non-resident members through its Community Social Incubation model.

Celebrate the future of CoWork Space with us!

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Mark your calendar:

  • Thursday, July 28, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
  • iHIVE at NEST: 1855 First Avenue, Manpower building, in Bankers Hill adjacent to downtown San Diego

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Quick facts:

  • Additional tech-themed CoWork spaces include: CyberHive, iHive, and xHive, featuring an array of incubators, shared workspaces, temporary workspaces and co-working spaces.
  • Funding for iHive at NEST derives from San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s commitment to grow San Diego’s innovation sector incubators. Under his leadership, the city issued a $40,000 grant to help spur more startups and jobs across the city.
  • With the guidance of San Diego-based cybersecurity executive Darin Andersen, NEST is supported by resident and non-resident membership fees, plus sponsor partners and grants.

Join our Coworking Manifesto for better cyber world

The Challenge

We believe that society is facing unprecedented economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges. We also believe that new innovations are the key to turning these challenges into opportunities to improve our communities and our planet. Join our movement, Sign the Coworking Manifesto

The Solution

Coworking is redefining the way we do work. Inspired by the participatory culture of the open source movement and the empowering nature of IT, we are building a more sustainable future.

We are a group of connected individuals and small businesses creating an economy of innovation and creativity in our communities and worldwide. We envision a new economic engine composed of collaboration and community, in contrast to the silos and secrecy of the 19th/20th century economy.

The Values/Code of Conduct of the Community

We have the talent. We just need to work together. Different environments need to overlap, to connect and to interact in order to transform our culture. In order to create a sustainable community based on trust, we value:

  • collaboration over competition
  • community over agendas
  • participation over observation
  • doing over saying
  • friendship over formality
  • boldness over assurance
  • learning over expertise
  • people over personalities
  • “value ecosystem” over “value chain”

This new economy cannot thrive without engaging the larger business, creative, entrepreneurial, governmental, non-governmental and technical communities
together.

The Future

We believe that innovation breeds innovation. We will transform the world culture into one supportive of the entrepreneurial spirit, of risk taking, of pioneering into the unknown territories as the great leaders of our times.

This requires education, entrepreneurship and a large network of creative workspaces. We are reshaping the economy and the society through social entrepreneurship and innovation. Our communities are coming together to rebuild more human scale, with networked and sustainable economies to build a better world.

We are the world CoWorking movement!

DHS cyber role elevated in new legislation

The Department of Homeland Security is likely to expand its role and profile as the lead agency in the federal government for cybersecurity. A bill approved by the House Homeland Security Committee could create a new DHS cyber defense agency that would be called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency. The transformation would reorganize and optimize key cybersecurity roles and functions currently in DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate. The change may take place as early as 2017 as it has strong bi-partisan support.

The prospective agency would replace NPPD and put a stronger focus on DHS’s integral role in cyber preparedness, response and resilience. More importantly, it would reorganize the agency into an operational role to help protect against targeted cyber intrusions of the nation’s critical infrastructure, such as financial systems, chemical plants, water and electric utilities, hospitals, communication networks, commercial and critical manufacturing, pipelines, shipping, dams, bridges, highways and buildings.

DHS’s responsibility to protect against cyber threats has evolved significantly from early days of the department and its creation under the Homeland Security Act of 2002. A major reason for this new focus on cybersecurity has been the rapid changes in the information technology landscape. Since 2002, the capabilities and connectivity of cyber devices and communications has grown exponentially. So have the cyber intrusions and threats from malware and hackers, requiring restructuring of priorities and missions. The cyber threat reaches far beyond terrorists, and includes various criminal enterprises and adversarial nation states.

A change in these risk environments has corresponded with a heightened DHS collaboration with other agencies, and especially the private-sector stakeholders who own most of the nation’s vital infrastructure. DHS has had to step up assessing situational awareness, information sharing and resilience research and development plans with these stakeholders to mitigate risk and protect critical infrastructure and key resources.

DHS’s heightened cybersecurity mission was also reaffirmed via the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security allocating $1.1 billion in fiscal 2017 for cybersecurity programs.

DHS has significantly evolved since 2002 and has elevated its technological and organizational capabilities in confronting security and terrorist threats. The new reorganized and streamlined agency will address the new security challenges of the digital world and hopefully enable DHS to successfully fulfill its growing leadership role.

Charles (Chuck) Brooks serves as the vice president for government relations & marketing for Sutherland Government Solutions. He served at the Department of Homeland Security as the first director of legislative affairs for the Science & Technology Directorate. Find him on Twitter: @ChuckDBrooks.

CyberTECH IoT San Diego and IoT Seattle Hosts Joint IoT Smart & Safe Cities Meetup

Member Spotlight: Triton, Innovative technology and service solutions provider joins CyberTECH

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Triton Services is a recognized leader with deep industry, business, and technology experience working for both Defense and commercial companies.

Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, Triton Services, Inc. recently expanded operations to San Diego establishing their West Coast Offices at CyberTECH as they continue to develop their leadership role in the Government’s acceptance of open source Internet of Things (IoT) application platforms.

Triton’s Shawn Reuland was recently featured in the San Diego Daily Transcript as he works on the company’s  cloud-computing technology.

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We are excited to welcome Triton to the CyberTECH Community!

To learn more visit the Triton website here.

INFIX “Life Coaches for Companies” offers free initial consultations to CyberTECH Members

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Infix your ideas and evolve your business with INFIX.US – Company Life Coaches will look at the operational and strategic aspects of your business and help you evolve to new levels.

INFIX will coach your business with a fresh perspective, through guided change, and support your staff with best practices and necessary training. INFIX also offer process improvement, data analytic and staff augmentation services.

For the months of May and June, INFIX is offering free initial consultations and affordable help to CyberTECH Members.

For more information or to get started, contact Andy@infix.us or call 1-949-4UINFIX. You can also visit the INFIX website at www.infix.us.

Korey Castillo as Director of Member and Partner Relations

Korey Castillo, a well-known member of the San Diego tech community, recently joined CyberTECH as Director of Member and Partner Relations.

Understanding the important role that technology plays within businesses each day, Korey has been an ongoing supporter  frequently volunteering and helping to educate companies and individuals about the importance of cybersecurity best practices.

“Korey has always been a close friend of CyberTECH. We are grateful that she is joining us on this exciting journey,” said CyberTECH Founder, Darin Andersen.

In her role at CyberTECH, Korey will drive communications and business development efforts.

“CyberTECH is on the cutting-edge of all things technology, and that’s exciting! I love the culture, the people, and the overall energy of the community. I am honored to join so many talented entrepreneurs and leaders.”

Please help us give a big welcome to Korey!

CyberTECH Opens Emerging Technology Incubator and Co-working xHive

CyberTECH Founder to Participate in “Real Disruption” Session at the SIOR 2016 Spring World Conference

On Thursday, April 14, CyberTECH Founder Darin Andersen will participate in a panel discussion about the sharing economy at the SIOR national meeting in San Diego. As we continue to grow the CyberTECH Co-working community, we are excited to join the discussion on how spaces such as NEST, CyberHive, xHive, iHive are great examples of new, innovative real estate product types that are changing commercial real estate generally and brokerage specifically.

Education Session: Real Disruption – The Sharing Economy and Commercial Real Estate (CE)

Moderator: Steve Weikal, MIT Center for Real Estate

Panelists:
Darin Andersen, CyberTECH
Matt Glade, Flexe
David Mandell, PivotDesk

We’re all familiar with (or have used) popular sharing services such as Zipcar, Airbnb and Uber. Now, this “sharing” model is coming to commercial real estate in a variety of forms. In this session, Steve discusses the new technology applications that use this approach to unlock value in real estate by increasing utilization rates, optimizing occupancy and decreasing market friction. This lively discussion with three industry innovators will provide a better understanding of how the sharing economy is poised to dramatically alter the office and industrial markets, and what it may mean for your business.

For the complete conference schedule click here.

For more information and to register click here.

CyberTECH Partners with Wireless Health Hub

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Over three years ago, the Wireless Health Hub (WHH) was founded by SoCal EED, a nonprofit organization with a goal of creating a startup community for entrepreneurs and investors in the Biomedical and Healthcare Industries.

WHH provided a forum for entrepreneurs to collaborate with universities, capital providers, municipal leaders, and local accelerator and incubator programs, tapping into San Diego’s deep domain expertise in wireless along with its world-class life sciences and biomedical research capabilities.

More recently, complementary trends have emerged – smart phones and clinical devices have become indispensable extensions of traditional healthcare infrastructure. WHH has begun to focus more on assisting startups pushing the envelope in cloud-based personal and clinical health applications.

These trends demonstrate the convergence of healthcare devices with the “Internet of Things” (IoT), a growing network of smart devices, embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables the collection and exchange of data. CyberTECH, already a leader in cybersecurity, has become a driving force in IoT, with a goal of providing resources and strategic programs to stimulate innovation in a wide variety of new application areas.

With these common goals in mind, we’re announcing a partnership between the CyberTECH and Wireless Health Hub to combine resources toward creating an even stronger forum for entrepreneurs to collaborate and connect with stakeholders across San Diego. Going forward, our organizations will work together to stimulate innovation and help solve the technical and business challenges common to healthcare and IoT startups – the need for expert resources and access to early-stage capital.

Our first jointly sponsored event, the CISOpen Roundtable: Bio and Healthcare Security by Design will take place April 14th and will focus on Cybersecurity issues pertinent to biotech, life sciences and healthcare companies. Prior to the CISOpen event, the partnership will also be announced at the NEST Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on April 6.

Additionally, we have recently launched the CyberTECH Wireless Health Hub Meetup where we will host meetings at CyberTECH’s NEST Cowork space which also houses iHive, an Internet of Things Incubator, xHive and CyberHive.

Click here to join the CyberTECH Wireless Health Hub Meetup.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re now in the planning stages for more combined events and some ground-breaking initiatives.

Stay tuned for more upcoming announcements!

CyberTECH Supporting an Established Video Developer Community as Part of our Workforce Development Campaign

CyberTECH has recently taken over as the Organizer of the San Diego Gaming Meetup. We have renamed the Meetup CyberTECH Video Game Developers San Diego.

Why have we done this?  Simply we want this important Meetup Community to continue on and offer more Game the Developers the opportunity to learn through the Meetup process which promotes collaboration through group learning.

This group is for established & aspiring game developers to network, share knowledge, and spawn innovative new games that’ll revolutionize the industry.

Join the Meetup Group today!

Please email darin@cyberhivesandiego.org with any comments or questions and we look forward to seeing you at our next Meetup.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer to Officially Open NEST, San Diego’s Largest Co-working Tech Startup Space

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Mayor Kevin Faulconer will preside over a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the official opening of NEST, downtown San Diego’s largest co-working space for tech startups, on Wednesday, April 6 at 10:45 am.

The NEST ceremony will be held at 1855 First Avenue, 2nd Floor of the Manpower building, located in Bankers Hill adjacent to downtown. Covering more than 16,000 square feet, the newly-opened space reflects San Diego’s fast-growing leadership role in the hi-tech and cybersecurity sectors.

 

Along with Mayor Faulconer, more than 100 elected officials, business, civic and tech leaders are expected to attend including event MC Reo Carr, Executive Editor, San Diego Business JournalSherri S. Lightner, San Diego City Council President District 1; Shelley Zimmerman, Chief of Police, City of San Diego; Erik Caldwell, Director of Economic Development, City of San Diego; Phil Blair, Executive Officer, Manpower San Diego; and Greg McKee, CEO, CONNECT.

In addition to saluting the new tech space, Mayor Faulconer is expected to announce San Diego’s role as an innovator within the new “Smart and Safe Cities” campaign, part of the recently launched state-wide initiative, CyberCalifornia.

NEST Ribbon-cutting Ceremony with Mayor Faulconer
Wednesday, April 6, 10:30-11:30 am
Manpower, 1855 First Avenue, 2nd Floor, San Diego, CA 92101

Funding for NEST derives from a $40,000 City of San Diego grant, part of the city’s Regional Economic Development Corporation Transient Occupancy Tax funding program. Under the guidance of San Diego-based cybersecurity executive Darin Andersen, NEST is supported by resident and non-resident membership fees, plus sponsor partners and grants. The space is fully leased with 42 resident members. That total is expected to grow to 80 companies by mid-2017. For every resident member, NEST also supports an additional four non-resident members through its Community Social Incubation Model.

“We’re grateful that Mayor Faulconer and his staff fully recognize that our newest co-working venture will serve to further accelerate the region’s startup sector, with its growing emphasis on downtown,” said Andersen, chairman of CyberCalifornia, a non-profit security alliance of industry, government and academic leaders. “We’re equally grateful for the generous support and vision of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.”

Additional tech-themed working spaces within the Manpower building include: CyberHive, iHive, and xHive, featuring an array of incubators, shared workspaces, temporary workspaces and co-working spaces.

To RSVP for the ceremony please click here.

For more information about NEST please click here.

CyberTECH March 2016 IoT Meetup Report

San Diego CyberTECH March 2016 IoT Meetup Report

This blog was written by Don Larson at NewAdventures.

I attended the Thursday night San Diego CyberTECH IoT Meetup where about 80 or sopeople attended. The theme was The Rise of Machine Learning and presented in a TED Talk format. I served as the Master of Ceremonies for this meeting.

A video was taken and should appear in the CyberTECH YouTube Channel in the near future.

We had four qualified speakers discuss Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as indicated below:

  • Bill Bonney – Thinking Machines: What is Artificial Intelligence?
    • Bill is a principal consulting analyst for TechVision Research, where he covers IoT, Identity Management and emerging technologies such as the block chain. In addition to his role at TechVision, he spends what spare time he has as a technology evangelist, especially in the Information Security space.
    • Bill Bonney

  • Patryk Laurent – Existing and Emerging AI Technologies for Personal IoT
    • Patryk Laurent has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, and specialized in understanding how neural systems learn to act and pay attention based on reinforcement. He moved to San Diego three years ago to work at Brain Corporation, a late-stage startup that focuses on making brains for robots.
    • Patryk Laurent

  • Tom Caldwell – How we’re using AI to secure “things
    • A veteran of Cisco and Microsoft, Tom has deep expertise in delivering Cloud-based software products and large scale software systems to large enterprise and service providers. Tom is a founder and currently leads the engineering effort at CyberFlow Analytics, a Network Behavioral Analytics company focused on securing Industrial IoT and Enterprise IT. Prior to that he served as President of LonoCloud, a cloudPaaS company acquired by ViaSat. With a MS in Computer Science, he has more than 20 years in business and software engineering.
    • Tom Caldwell

  • Jeff Debrosse – Teaching robots about context
    • A member of our community for the last 13 years when Jeff came to San Diego to join an Intel spin-off that was acquired by LSI, ran the research department for ESET as well as Websense, which was also acquired, and co-chaired the Federal law enforcement working group for Securing Our eCity for over 4 years. He recently launched is latest company in San Diego, NXT Robotics (pronounced “next robotics”), which provides a B2B subscription-based security monitoring and reporting service for data centers, commercial property and parking management companies. NXT provides this service using autonomous security robots on the customers premise and provides analytics/reports via their cloud-based infrastructure.
    • Jeff Debrosse

The event kicked off with a CyberTECH Members Meetup at 4 PM followed by our first CyberTECH Video Game Developers Meetup at 5 PM where we discussed ideas for upcoming Meetups.  At 6 PM we started our IoT Meetup led by Co Chairs Bill Bonney and Don Larson and lasted to about 9:00 pm, that’s when I left anyway.  Food and drinks were served (tasty chicken and waffles and new beer from our brew master Ace Sklar was a hit – we dusted an entire keg.) The gathering was very energetic with plenty of time for social networking and speaking with the presenters in an informal setting.

One of my long-time friends, Paul Webber, President of the San Diego Java Users Group, came and he expressed an interest in Robotics. I pointed him towards C-level folks who manage companies that develop commercial robots. I also mentioned CyberTECH’s XHive Incubator for more information.

The next event is Mayor Faulconer’s Ribbon Cutting on 6 April from 10 AM to 5 PM – sushi on the menu for that!

Please consider attending CyberTECH’s future Meetups. I’ll look for you there. :-)

Launch of CyberCalifornia to be Announced at RSA Conference

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Non-profit Initiative to Promote State as Epicenter of Commercial Cybersecurity

More than ever, California stands at the forefront of new technologies based on the Internet of Things (IoT), the phenomenon of people and things (devices) connected to the Internet and communicating vast amounts of valuable data.

Yet we are also increasingly vulnerable, a fact underscored by breaches of corporations and government agencies that have impacted millions across the nation. Reports of cybercrime, data breaches, theft of proprietary information, hacking and malware incidents have become alarmingly frequent.

Toward that end, a state-wide alliance of cybersecurity leaders, companies, educators and elected officials – CyberCalifornia – has been formed. The non-profit coalition will work closely with select representatives from government, industry and academia to accelerate the state’s standing as the industry’s epicenter of commercial cybersecurity.

The announcement will be made March 1, 2016 at CyberTECH’s Cyber+IoT Bangers & Mash eWEEK Roundtable Breakfast as part of the RSA Conference 2016, the annual global cybersecurity conference, San Francisco’s Moscone Center, Feb. 29-March 4.

RSA Conference 2016: “Bangers and Mash” eWEEK Roundtable Breakfast
The Chieftain Irish Pub, 198 Fifth Street, San Francisco
Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 7:30 am to 9:30 am

The connection between cybersecurity and overall economic vitality is especially robust in California, given the state’s leadership position in so many advanced sectors. These sectors are highly dependent on technical cybersecurity solutions, skilled cybersecurity professionals, and collaborative processes in cybersecurity.

Indeed, companies that lack these cybersecurity assets risk losing sensitive company and customer data, putting them on a perilous path. By contrast, businesses that proactively incorporate cybersecurity into their research, product design, and workforce development plans can gain competitive advantages.

Given the inextricable link between cybersecurity and overall economic vitality, it is crucial that businesses, universities, and other collaborative assets throughout California work together to enhance the security of the state’s digital infrastructure.

“In today’s digital age, trust is imperative,” said Ryan Gillis, Vice President, Cybersecurity Strategy and Global Policy at Palo Alto Networks. “We believe that with industry, government and education leaders working together to improve defenses against advanced cyber adversaries, we can affect positive change to build back the trust in our digital infrastructure.”

Added Craig Harper, ‎Chief Technology Officer at Sysorex: “Those of us with leading roles in cyber security fully realize that we’re faced with the urgency of now.”

Spreading that compelling message – along with providing critical informational strategies and tools – is the goal of CyberCalifornia.

The mission:

CyberCalifornia will advance the goals and promote the accomplishments of the State of California’s Cybersecurity Task Force, with a particular emphasis on the connections between cybersecurity and economic development.

CyberCalifornia will help organize public-private partnerships in cybersecurity, with the goals of facilitating research and innovation in cybersecurity, educating

California businesses about cybersecurity needs and resources, and connecting the state’s robust workforce development system with employers and their needs.

CyberCalifornia will collaborate with the Innovation Hub (iHub) Network, a program administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The iHubs provide innovation platforms for startup companies, economic development organizations, business groups, and venture capitalists by leveraging such assets as research parks, technology incubators, universities, and federal laboratories.

The action plan:

Create a standing Board of Advisors to work with the California Cybersecurity Task Force, with a particular emphasis on the Economic Development Subcommittee.

Assist in organizing private sectors by vertical industry such as banking and finance, high technology, agricultural technology, and others. These advisory groups will encourage sector-specific cybersecurity innovation in their respective domains, in partnership with the statewide Innovation Hub (iHub) network. These groups will also publicize exemplary cybersecurity practices for industry members.

Assist in development and promotion of cybersecurity career pathways, in close partnership with the Workforce Development and Education Subcommittee and the Economic Development Subcommittee of the California Cybersecurity Task Force.

Partner with local and regional economic development organizations, including the Innovation Hubs (iHubs), economic development organizations, small business development centers, workforce investment boards, and other strategic partners, to inform California’s business community about cybersecurity needs and solutions.

Establish connections between the Cybersecurity sector and the Internet of Things sector, through such activities as conferences and media events.

About CyberCalifornia:

A non-profit coalition based in San Diego, CA, CyberCalifornia organizes public-private partnerships in cybersecurity, with the goal of facilitating research and innovation in cybersecurity, educating California businesses about cybersecurity needs and resources, and connecting California’s robust workforce development system with the needs of California employers.

About RSA Conference 2016:

Launched in 1991, RSA Conference drives the information security agenda worldwide with annual industry events in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Throughout its history, RSA Conference has consistently attracted the world’s best and brightest in the field, creating opportunities for conference attendees to learn about IT security’s most important issues.

About CyberTECH:

San Diego-based CyberTECH is a global cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT) network alliance providing cybersecurity and IoT resources, strategic programs and thought-leadership events. Membership includes business and financial leaders, academic and research institutions, government and non-profit organizations.

Contact:

Darin Andersen
CEO/Founder, CyberTECH
619-341-4086
darin@cyberhivesandiego.org

 

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a CyberTECH Initiative

Evolution of the CyberTECH Newsletter

Since August 2014, the CyberTECH Newsletter has been a great source for our members, partners, sponsors, industry experts and all other CyberTECH supporters to stay up-to-date with the latest news, trends, events and more.

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Elements of the newsletter

With the many activities and rapid growth of the CyberTECH Community, the newsletter has provided the opportunity to highlight key announcements such as office space expansions, new advisory board members, community members, industry news and trends, events, and more.

While the look and feel along with the format has changed over time, many of the key elements of the newsletter remain the same.

Header Image

This is typically the first part of the newsletter that people see. The image often aligns with the theme of the newsletter which is discussed in more detail in the introduction section. For example, the February 2016 newsletter is primarily focused on the upcoming RSA Conference hence the CyberTECH Securing the Internet of Things (SIOT) Masters event image that can be found in various places including the SIOT webpage and the event registration page.

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Introduction Section

This is the first text section of the newsletter. The introduction section is where the newsletter theme comes to life. It includes background or supporting information, why the topic matters, and how it relates to relevant CyberTECH activities or initiatives being discussed or announced. Examples of past newsletter themes include San Diego Startup Week, the Good Neighbor Event, the launch of CyberCalifornia, or the office expansion and launch of xHive co-working space.

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Industry News

The emerging technology, cybersecurity and IoT industries are constantly changing. Through information sharing and leveraging the brilliant minds of the community, we constantly strive to be a trusted resource for the latest news and trends. Some examples of industry professionals who contribute to the newsletter include Alan Watkins, Neal Leavitt, Charles “Chuck” Brooks, Jerry Gitchel, Gary Hayslip, Cleve Adams, Darin Andersen, Fer O’Neil, Chuck Benson, Don Larson, Bill Bonney, and more.

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Featured Members

The CyberTECH Members are the engine of the community. With over 50 “resident members” working from the office spaces and over 50 “non-resident members”, the CyberTECH membership includes a diverse blend of public and private entities with interests and operations across the nation. As a CyberTECH member, individuals and organizations have access to CyberTECH Incubators and Co-Working Spaces (CyberHive, iHive, xHive and nest), business development services and programs, and a distinguished network of professionals focused on fostering innovation and economic development.

The newsletter has been a great way to spotlight members, share member news and encourage other organizations to get involved.

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Upcoming Events

Having produced approximately 200 local and national events over the last 3 and a half years, the newsletter is a popular way to keep the community in the loop with previous and upcoming events.

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Sponsors

The CyberTECH sponsors are a critical part of the overall success of CyberTECH. As a non-profit organization, our success and ability to be a sustainable organization, helping to advance the adoption of cyber and emerging technologies, depends on the support and contributions of our sponsors and partners. The newsletter is an ideal platform to promote and show our appreciation for our supporters.

In additional to the dozens of organizations and individuals who have contributed to the CyberTECH Community, there are a handful of organizations who have stepped up to sponsor the monthly newsletter. These companies include Webpass, Manpower, CyberUnited and CyberCalifornia.

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So what’s new?

While there are not currently plans to alter the main elements of the newsletter (if anything, add!), we have decided to make adjustments to the overall layout and amount of information that is included in the newsletter.

At the top of the newsletter, you will notice that a table of contents section has been added. You will also see that the bulk of the news and information now lives on our blog. There are more images too!

Because we do have a great amount of information to share, we are leveraging the CyberTECH blog. We believe this will give supporters the opportunity to refer back to information, news, updates, etc. while also being able to easily scan the topics and news.

These changes have been inspired by generous feedback provided by the community, advisors and members.

We are excited about the new direction and welcome any additional feedback, suggestions, etc. If you have any thoughts, please contact us here.

We appreciate your feedback and continued support!

Randstad Technologies Joins CyberTECH as a Member and Partner

CyberTECH is excited to highlight our newest member and partner, Randstad Technologies.

Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.9 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the United States, Randstad provides temporary, temporary-to-hire and permanent placement services each week to over 100,000 people through its network of more than 900 branches and client-dedicated locations.

Ranstand

As a long time provider of IT outsourcing, Randstad recently joined forces with the CyberTECH community to expand its expertise in the cybersecurity and emerging technology arena.

Employing over 5,300 recruiting experts, the company is a top provider of outsourcing, staffing, consulting and projects and workforce solutions within the areas of Engineering, Finance and Accounting, Healthcare, Human Resources, IT, Legal, Manufacturing & Logistics, Office & Administration, Pharma and Sales & Marketing.

Randstad is on the cutting-edge of HR services when it comes to staying current with industry and technology trends. The company recently announced the appointment of Chief Innovation Officer, Graig Paglieri. Earlier this year, they announced the details of its first-ever digital HR showcase. You can read about other recent Randstad news here.

In addition to joining CyberTECH as a member, Randstad recently sponsored the CyberTECH Pre-RSA Bangers and Mash Security Table Breakfast. They will also participate in the CyberTECH CEO Roundtable Dinner on March 2nd during the RSA Conference in San Francisco.

With over half a million open cybersecurity jobs in the US, we believe Randstad is a perfect partner for the CyberTECH community.

Please see the below information to contact Randstad:

Kirin Quackenbush
Account Manager
Randstad Technologies
4660 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92122
T: 858.431.2184
C: 925.487.3506
F: 858.458.1830

kirin.quackenbush@randstadusa.com
www.randstadtechnologies.com

For more information on how you can participate in the CyberTECH Community, please contact us here.

Scrambling to Communicate: Privacy Policy Content for Safe Harbor and Privacy Shield

By Fer O’Neila Knowledgebase Technical Writer at a security software company and a Ph.D. student.

As the news of the demise of the Safe Harbor data sharing framework is replaced with statements regarding the completion of the EU- U.S. Privacy Shield, companies are scrambling to undertake compliance. One often unnoticed — yet important — component of compliance is how companies draft the text within privacy policies to communicate conformity with the law clearly to their customers. As over four thousand U.S. companies are affected by the invalidation of Safe Harbor, updating privacy policies to communicate the changes will be a priority for many.

This post takes a brief look at the existing content companies who have included Safe Harbor in a select corpus of privacy policies. The purpose is to determine how companies addressed the communications of Safe Harbor information in their official privacy policies and likewise, what new documentation may be required for the forthcoming Privacy Shield commitments.

The data used below was taken from a larger data-mining project that examined all of the content within privacy policies and whether principles of Privacy by Design (PbD) were met. The most important principle of PbD is “to keep it user-centric.” In other words, privacy policies exist to communicate how a person’s information and data are collected, handled, and used by the companies that collect this information. The PbD framework equally applies to analyzing the content of individual sections of privacy policies, such as Safe Harbor in this post, as well as for Privacy Shield when it is available.

In brief, the data from the larger data-mining project has been adapted to analyze the privacy policies, in order to look specifically at how companies document Safe Harbor. Once the Privacy Shield requirements are published, the same methodology can be used to examine and compare the content of both.

Method of analysis

This project examined the privacy policies of the “top 10 most trusted companies” from the eponymous 2014 Ponemon Institute study because it is an established corpus and the study suggests that a poorly written and disclosed privacy policy can actually diminish trust. Because of a tie, there are twelve policies included in the list:

  • Amazon
  • American Express
  • PayPal
  • Hewlett Packard
  • IBM
  • Nationwide
  • USAA
  • LinkedIn
  • Apple
  • USPS (tie)
  • Intuit (tie)
  • Mozilla

I used Provalis Research’s QDA Miner data analysis software to assign and analyze the codes and coding frequencies. I assigned codes based on each privacy policy’s self-named content sections — for instance, the section “What Choices Do I Have” would be coded as the high-level category, and within each category, identified individual codes such as “Cookies” and “Email or Mail Communication Preferences”. For this post, I show the results of the code “Safe Harbor” within the category “Privacy Complaints”, along with other categories and codes for context.

Results and discussion

In total, there were 28 codes across six categories. The following is a list of the six categories and the number of codes contained in each:

  1. How Information is Used (8 codes)
  2. What Personal Information is Collected (7 codes)
  3. What Choices Do I Have (7 codes)
  4. How Information is Kept Secure (2 codes)
  5. Privacy Complaints (3 codes)
  6. Minors (1 code)

For this post, I am focusing on category five, Privacy Complaints, which includes the following three codes:

  • Safe Harbor
  • File Complaint or Dispute
  • TRUSTe

In particular, I focus on Safe Harbor and how often the “top 10 privacy policies” discuss their Safe Harbor policy, and how much of the total privacy policy content is devoted to that content (i.e., total word count).

In total, there are 479 code uses across all twelve privacy policies. The top use was within the category “How Information is Used,” which comprised the three codes most used (124, or 25% of total). In contrast, Safe Harbor only comprised 8, or 1.7% of the total.

Cybertech Feb graphic

What does this tell us?

On the surface, the total counts can show us which categories are most important for companies to include in their privacy policies. Another factor is word count for each code section. A total of 33,798 words were used throughout all twelve privacy policies. However, only five policies included a Safe Harbor section at all (six of which were required to include this content by the U.S. Department of Commerce, but one of the policies did not include it). These five devoted only 1.9% of the privacy policy content to their Safe Harbor policy section. Further linguistic analysis of the content is needed to make an evaluation of the efficacy of this content (e.g., readability, PbD adherence, etc.), but suffice to say that from these results we can see which categories within the published policies are most important to companies.

Because the original project and data collection did not focus on the Safe Harbor section, I do not have the data to make any further inferences about the actual content within each Safe Harbor section. Further research and analysis are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the privacy policy content to meet both compliance needs and to inform the public. However, this could be a suitable starting place as companies look to update their privacy policies with the new Privacy Shield data transfer agreement information. The same methodology and principles of design apply and we can look to see how data subject complaints are documented, how users seek redress, and most importantly how companies publish their commitments to the Privacy Shield framework to address the “robust obligations on how personal data is processed and individual rights are guaranteed.”

Conclusion, limitations, and additional resources

If a privacy policy does not explicitly discuss certain information, it is possible that the information is covered by existing laws, rules, or regulations. Consequently, we cannot determine with certainty that something missing within a policy is not covered somewhere else.

From the literature we can see what information is most important to users and, when combined with the analysis performed in this project for what information companies communicate, the most common elements are 1) what information is collected and 2) how that information is used. In order to recommend changes to privacy policies to meet the PbD framework (i.e., to be user-centric), we would need to make use of not only the PbD framework but also user testing and feedback. Hopefully, the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement will encourage companies to devote more attention to creating robust and effective content in their privacy policies.

Privacy Policy, Safe Harbor, and Privacy Shield resources

Cranor, Lorrie Faith, Praveen Guduru, and Manjula Arjula. 2006. “User Interfaces for Privacy Agents.” ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 13 (2): 135–78.

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield fact sheet: https://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2016/02/eu-us-privacy-shield

“Know Privacy.” 2015. Accessed August 2. http://knowprivacy.org/.

Safe Harbor Resurrected as EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: http://www.bna.com/safe-harbor-resurrected-n57982066887/?

Other research by Fer O’Neil

Fer O’Neil. 2015. Target data breach: applying user-centered design principles to data breach notifications. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual International Conference on the Design of Communication (SIGDOC ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 8 pages.

Fer O’Neil. 2015. Say What? Required contents of notice in data breach notifications. WeLiveSecurity http://www.welivesecurity.com/2015/02/21/required-contents-of-notice-data-breach-notification/

This post was written by Fer O’Neila Knowledgebase Technical Writer at a security software company and a Ph.D. student.

CyberTECH Intern Shares Experience and Future Plans

Tomorrow’s technology, today.

The future of technology innovation lies in the hands of our youth. Through internships, CyberTECH supports STEM education by encouraging our youth to explore science, technology, engineering and math related to cybersecurity and Internet of Things. CyberTECH interns are provided with the opportunity to make a real impact while developing technology, business, marketing and operational skills in a stimulating and innovative environment.

One of the first CyberTECH Interns was Jah’neice Mitchell, a student at e3 Civic High School. Jah’neice joined CyberTECH as a Sophomore and has been an important part of the CyberTECH organization. From planning, organizing and promoting events to managing the day-to-day operations, we are fortunate to have Jah’neice part of the CyberTECH team and community.

To get a better understanding of her experience at CyberTECH and the organization has and will continue to prepare for her next adventures, we asked Jah’neice to share her story.

How your time as a CyberTECH intern prepared you for college? Other jobs?

“CyberTECH has prepared me in multiple ways. For example, the meaningful relationships I’ve been able to develop with others. I’ve met so many people who have made a significant impact on me as a person and on my outlook on life. I’ve built relationships with professors, experts, retired and active military, and many other types of professionals.

I have also learned a lot about time management. Not only with managing school and the internship, but also with events and all of the preparation that’s required. The experience has taught me how to better manage my time – I know this will benefit me in college as well.”

How do you think your experience as a CyberTECH intern will prepare you post graduation?

“Working at CyberTECH, I had the chance to learn about marketing systems and tools that I didn’t know much about. For example, the CRM system. I have also become familiar and comfortable working in programs such as excel. 

Working at many of the events I also learned how to better organize, prepare, and execute events. From 10 person to 100+ people, I gained a great amount of experience that I’ll be able to apply going forward. 

One of my dreams is to eventually own my own business. Having worked with so many entrepreneurs and within the local startup community, I learned some of the fundamentals about starting a business.”

What was the most important lesson you learned as a CyberTECH intern?

“One of the biggest lessons I learned during my time at CyberTECH was to think things out on your own. Its okay to ask for help but its important to try and do things by yourself especially when it requires little assistance.”

How would you describe your overall experience as a CyberTECH Intern?

“Tremendous. I’ve met some exceptional people and it opened my eyes to a whole new world. It also helped to develop my confidence.”

 

Jahneice1


What advice can you give to other high school interns who are interested in working with CyberTECH?

“Don’t be shy and make connections – you really are surrounded by hard working people and successful people. If you have questions – ask – make as many connections as possible. Familiarize yourself with your surrounding – it’s good to know where things are.”

What are your plans post high school graduation?

” After graduation, I plan to attend a 4 year university and major in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering that way I can become a pharmaceutical toxicologist for the FDA or an engineer.

I have applied to over 20 schools and been accepted to 14 colleges thus far. I have also been offered academic scholarships from 4 of the schools I’ve been accepted to.

In March, I will find out if I received the Gates Millennium Scholarship.” 

Driven by her desire to learn, grow and make a positive impact, Jah’neice Mitchell has always demonstrated a high degree of integrity and potential to be a leader in every task and project assigned to her. We are excited for Jah’neice to start her next chapter and know she will continue to make a positive impact not only our community but any organization or project on the horizon.

Jahneice 3

CyberTECH Launches IoT Meetup in Seattle, Washington

Seattle-Meetup

This month, CyberTECH started an IoT Meetup Group in Seattle for anyone interested in the IoT including emerging technologies, security and privacy issues. All skill levels are welcome.

“We are moving toward a world of connected devices at an aggressive pace,” said CyberTECH Co-Founder, Darin Andersen. The Internet of Things, commonly referred to as the “IoT”, is the use of data by business, systems and people to make informed decisions in real time. LTE estimated 2B devices alone by year’s end 2017. We are expected to reach 4% of connections by 2015 and 10% by the end of 2018.

As we move closer to connecting every person and device in the world, our economic future will depend even more on maintaining a unified global Internet. As a result, the billions of interconnected intelligent devices will generate insurmountable amounts of data that will need to be secured. This reality will require companies of all shapes and sizes to work collaboratively to ensure efficiency and security.

“We strongly believe this is a very important topic that will continue to grow and affect each industry through what we are calling convergence,” commented Mr. Andersen.

The first Meetup is scheduled for Thursday, March 17 at the SURF Incubator in Seattle Washington.

Please visit the Meetup Group for additional information and to sign up.

CyberTECH Expands Co-Working Space for a Total of Over 16,000 Feet!

CoWorking

CyberTECH Third Co-Working, Incubator and Startup Collaboration Space, nest, Now Open!

The Fourth Space, xHive, to Open May 15, 2016!

CyberTECH is providing a special offer to Co-Merge Members. Lease a space at nest by March 15 for 6 months and get a 7th month free! Contact us now for more information.

NEST-NEW

This month, CyberTECH launched its 3rd co-working, incubator and startup collaboration space in San Diego, nest. Perched with amazing views overlooking downtown and the San Diego Bay, nest is 5,000 square feet of full service co-working space with a full kitchen, gym, showers, coffee bar, telephone booths, a meditation and relaxation room, and many work options.

The nest space is currently 63% leased with companies including reTech Labs, CyberUnited, Wescor, Mojo Marketing, Live Well San Diego, MaFe, LLC, Amgen Tour of California, and Strength by Ciani.

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The new co-working space is part of CyberTECH’s 16,000+ square feet network of work spaces located in the Manpower building in Bankers Hill just adjacent to downtown and Little Italy. CyberTECH’s work spaces in the Manpower Building include a coffee shop, 4 kitchens, 3 conference rooms, 2 telephone rooms, a meditation and relationship room, a gym, 2 patios, a live music and DJ stage and many other amenities.

nest has 20+ reserved and non reserved “hot” desks accessible on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. There are also numerous private offices suitable for 1 person to entire 12 person teams.  “Our CyberHive and iHive co work and incubator spaces are 100% occupied, so we are opening nest (and xHive announced late last year and currently under construction) to accommodate additional Members” says Mohammed “Mo” Rahseparian, CyberTECH’s General Manager of Operations.

Pricing for nest starts as low as $200 per month and private offices range from $600-$3000 per month. Membership to nest provides access to all of CyberTECH’s incubators.

xhive-IMG_2525single

Approaching its fourth year, CyberTECH continues to lead the IoT and innovation community with plans to work with another 20-30 companies in 2016. With software-defined everything on the frontier, along with robotics, 3D printing, drones and other advancing technologies,

CyberTECH will launch its 4th incubator and shared workspace, xHive, on May 15, 2016 with 12 new offices. xHive will provide a collaborative environment to drive the innovation that leads to the development of advanced new technologies including devices powering the IoT, software and app development including robotics, 3D printing and drones.

According to CyberTECH Executive Director Shirley Adams, “xHive is our 5th expansion in the Manpower building in Banker’s Hill. This will increase our floor space by 40% and add new parking space options and other new member amenities.”

Additionally, xHive has partnered with SD3D to construct a highly automated medium production 3D printing studio inside the expansed facility. There will also be a new Robotics and Drone Lab and a full service coffee shop, shower facilities and a new second outdoor patio area will provide CyberTECH Members with exciting new workspace options.

Opening May 15, 2016, xHive will offer shared workspace for as little as $100/month, options for dedicated desks and/or private offices, access to conference rooms, robust connectivity, and a variety of other benefits that can be found here. Members gain priority access to mentorship and other resources including 100+ fellow cybersecurity, high tech and IoT incubator and shared workspace companies.

In addition, CyberTECH is providing a special offer to Co-Merge Members. Lease a space at nest by March 15 for 6 months and get a 7th month free! Contact us now for more information.

For additional information on working from any of the CyberTECH work spaces please contactMohammed “Mo” Rahseparian here.

CyberTECH Co-Founder Featured in Cloudmark Spear Phishing Video

Cloudmark, provider of carrier-grade messaging security and infrastructure solutions for the world’s most demanding fixed, mobile and social networks, recently produced a video panel on “The Insiders’ View – Spear Phishing and the Enterprise” where CyberTECH Co-Founder, Darin Andersen joined famous hacker, Kevin Mitnick, CEO of Stealth Works, Ken Baylor, and SVP of Engineering for Cloudmark, Leon Rishniw for a discussion on Spear Phishing in the Enterprise.

“Lively and instructive, our 24-minute discussion centered on how last year’s alarming data breaches and cyber attacks have created a new  – palpable fear, really – among every-day consumers, businesses and CEOs alike,” said Mr. Andersen. “At the core of these attacks, our panel agreed, was spear phishing – the e-targeting of individuals for malicious purposes. All it takes is one curious click and the bad guys pounce.”

In the video panel discussion, Mr. Andersen discussed how “Hacking the Human” is really the point of least resistance. Historically, that’s meant all of us and our desktops, laptops, even our smart phones. Now it’s expanding to be all the things I call the wearables, the live-ables and the drive-ables.  Everything that we rely on to be more productive becomes another part of an attack vector, a footprint, that the bad guys can exploit. 

CloudMark

Check out the full video here.

Pre-RSA Cyber+IoT Bangers and Mash Roundtable Breakfast

In 2014, CyberTECH developed the Cyber+IoT Bangers and Mash Roundtable Breakfast to bring together cyber and IoT professionals to network, hear 1-2 security presentations and have the opportunity to participate in an interactive panel discussion led by eWEEK Magazine.

The tradition began during the Black Hat Conference in 2013 when a handful of CyberTECH and industry leaders were looking for a place to have breakfast meetings, the one restaurant to accept reservations was an Irish Pub. The ad-hoc breakfast was well attended with meaningful conversations and relationships being developed. This inspired CyberTECH to evolve the breakfast into what is now the CyberTECH Cyber+IoT Bangers and Mash Roundtable Breakfast with “Irish Pub style” with Bangers & Mash and other classic Irish breakfast foods.

The Cyber+IoT Bangers and Mash eWEEK Roundtable Breakfast will take place on Tuesday, March 1 at the Chieftain Irish Pub in San Francisco, CA during the RSA Conference.

To prepare for the upcoming breakfast, CyberTECH and Cooley, LLP partnered with the San Diego Business Journal to produce a Pre-RSA Bangers and Mash during the CyberTECH Security Table Breakfast on Friday, February 12.

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The Security Table Breakfast is the ideal setting for cybersecurity and IoT professionals to connect with members of the CyberTECH community to evaluate the current cyber landscape, and build awareness around the most relevant and hot-button issues in cybersecurity.

At this San Diego Meetup, we talked about this year’s RSA conference theme “Connect and Protect” and about the hottest Cyber, IoT and Emerging Technology Trends with regional and national peers and media.

Reo Carr, Editor of San Diego Business Journal and Bill Bonney, Principal Consulting Analyst and Information Security Executive at TechVision Research interviewed today’s leading experts about the hottest security trends at this year’s RSA conference.

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Special Guests included:

1.  Dave Titus – SVP, Cooley

2.  Gary Martino – Director of Information Security, West Health Group

3.  Scott King – CISO, Sempra

4.   Gary Hayslip, Deputy Director, Chief Information Security Officer, Department of Information Technology

5.  Erik Caldwell – Economic Development Director, City of San Diego

6.  Council President Sherri Lightner – City of San Diego

7.  Jonathan Parnell – CEO, Tuliva

8.  Rusty Sailors, CEO, LP3-SecurIT

9.  Adib Nasle, CEO, Xendee

10.  Loren Stocker, 800.net (privacy expertise)

11.  Rick Moy, CEO and President, EdgeNext (former NSS Labs Founder)

12.  Steve Nye, President and CEO, CyberFlow Analytics

13.  Darin Andersen, CEO, CyberUnited

14.  Michael Linehan, Member Technical Staff, Industrial Internet Consortium

15.  Emory Roane, Juris Doctor Candidate, California Western School of Law, Co-Host, This Week in Law

16.  Joseph A. Oregon, Information Security Program Manager, IT Security/Cyber Intelligence Unit, San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center (SD-LECC)

17.  Jauher Zaidi, Chairman & Chief Innovation Officer, Palmchip Corporation

18.  Paul Martini, CEO iboss

Event sponsors included Cooley LLP, Randstad USA, CyberUnited, SquarMilner, CyberCalifornia and our Media Sponsor San Diego Business Journal.

For more information on the March 1 Cyber+IoT Bangers and Mash eWEEK Roundtable Breakfast at the Chieftain Irish Pub in San Francisco, CA during the RSA Conference, please contact Darin Andersen.

CyberTECH Kicks Off CyberCalifornia Initiative at National Data Privacy Day Securing the Internet of Things Masters Event

CC Logo Screen Shot

On January 28, 2016, CyberTECH, a leading cybersecurity and IoT network, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and the nation’s most distinguished privacy think tank research institution, the Ponemon Institute, hosted the “Securing the Internet of Things: Data Privacy Day 2016” event in Sacramento, California. This event addressed these privacy concerns and provided a clearer understanding of the perceptions and potential threats that will affect the collection, management and safeguarding of private information about individuals and organizations.

2016-01-28 07.55.44

It was during the morning session at the California Governor Brown’s Office that Director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (calOES), Mark Ghilarducci and State of California CISO, Michele Robinson joined CyberTECH Co-Founder, Darin Andersen and other members of the Governor’s Office and Cybersecurity Task Force including Louis Stewart and Oliver Rosenbloom to announce a new California Initiative, CyberCalifornia, to promote the state as the epicenter of commercial cybersecurity.

With over 60 attendees and participants present, the group was among the first to learn how the CyberCalifornia Initiative will help further position California as a leader in cybersecurity as it relates to commerce and the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

The mission:

CyberCalifornia will advance the goals and promote the accomplishments of the State of California’s Cybersecurity Task Force, with a particular emphasis on the connections between cybersecurity and economic development.

CyberCalifornia will help organize public-private partnerships in cybersecurity, with the goals of facilitating research and innovation in cybersecurity, educating California businesses about cybersecurity needs and resources, and connecting the state’s robust workforce development system with employers and their needs.

CyberCalifornia will collaborate with the Innovation Hub (iHub) Network, a program administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The iHubs provide innovation platforms for startup companies, economic development organizations, business groups, and venture capitalists by leveraging such assets as research parks, technology incubators, universities, and federal laboratories.

The action plan:

Create a standing Board of Advisors to work with the California Cybersecurity Task Force, with a particular emphasis on the Economic Development Subcommittee.

Assist in organizing private sectors by vertical industry such as banking and finance, high technology, agricultural technology, and others. These advisory groups will encourage sector-specific cybersecurity innovation in their respective domains, in partnership with the statewide Innovation Hub (iHub) network. These groups will also publicize exemplary cybersecurity practices for industry members.

Assist in development and promotion of cybersecurity career pathways, in close partnership with the Workforce Development and Education Subcommittee and the Economic Development Subcommittee of the California Cybersecurity Task Force.

Partner with local and regional economic development organizations, including the Innovation Hubs (iHubs), economic development organizations, small business development centers, workforce investment boards, and other strategic partners, to inform California’s business community about cybersecurity needs and solutions.

Establish connections between the Cybersecurity sector and the Internet of Things sector, through such activities as conferences and media events.

2016-01-28 10.26.56

Following the announcement, eWEEK Editor, Chris Preimesberger led the interactive Cyber + IoT Bangers & Mash eWEEK Roundtable discussion. The second half of the Masters event took place at the Leland Stanford Mansion where security and privacy professionals participated in a panel on Government and Academic Initiatives related to IoT security and privacy and a panel on security, privacy and trust in IoT platforms. The day concluded with a group exercise on securing the IoT supply chain for connected devices.

An international effort to empower and educate people and organizations to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint, Data Privacy Day also raises awareness about existing cybersecurity partnerships in California and help to facilitate further collaboration amongst key cybersecurity stakeholders in the Golden State. Given the inextricable link between cybersecurity and overall economic vitality, it is crucial that businesses, universities, and other collaborative assets throughout California work together to enhance the security of California’s digital infrastructure.

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For additional information or to participate in the CyberCalifornia Initiative, please visit the CyberCalifornia website.

 

Comments on Startup Week Convergence Tech Crawl

Friday night, the San Diego CyberTECH organization initiated Startup Week Convergence Tech Crawl attracting about 150 people. The space was large enough to accommodate the gathering and plenty of good food and drink present.

CyberTECH-Crawl

 

CyberTECH itself  invests volunteer activities for California State’s, CyberCaliforniaprogram. We are a dedicated community and events like this one are not only fun and informative, they serve as a public relations forums to spread the news among the many participating companies including numerous incubator startups.

A number of attendees spoke in support of the participating organizations and how the combined efforts continue to make San Diego a focal point for technology. I quote a part of that linked 2015 article in support of what takes place in this region:

“As long as this level of interest continues, there is nothing to keep San Diego from expanding to a point where it could even eclipse Silicon Valley. For now, entrepreneurs and established tech companies will keep taking advantage of the many viable opportunities in this area, and tech workers can choose between a wide variety of high-paying jobs that can put their skillsets to work.”

CyberTECH’s Co Founder and CEO, Darin Andersen, asked me to present topic of 5-7 minutes for two different segments of this meeting. I chose to speak on: Leadership;  Teamwork; and Mentoring. Those three elements must always be present as strong foundations to build effective and supportive organizations.

I believe CyberTECH provides a motive force in that regard and formed its presence, being referenced as a template for other related volunteer organizations to evolve themselves.

In closing, I always think a meeting is successful when much conversation takes place. Friday night’s event succeeded on that point very well.

This blog was written by Don Larson.

San Diego CyberTECH Annual Planning Meeting Comments

The San Diego CyberTECH Annual Planning Meeting early today was very productive. Six hours later we created a set of activities to guide the organization going forward.

Some of the next steps for the Directors and we Advisors to the Board are to help standup the committee for the organization’s 2016 goals, develop the strategies and tactics to manage those deliverables. This setting lets me practice my leadership and project management skills.

Also, I was appointed as a second Co-Chair for the Internet of Things Meetupsthroughout the coming year. It’s a great opportunity to help shape this very important element of this large CyberTECH organization.

Blog written by Don Larson, Co Chair Internet of Things (IoT) Meetups, CyberTECH.

CyberTECH to Launch 4th Incubator and Shared Workspace, NEST

On February 1, CyberTECH will launch NEST, a co working, incubator and startup collaboration space in San Diego.  Perched with amazing views overlooking downtown and the San Diego Bay, NEST is 5,000 square feet of full service co working space with a full kitchen, gym, showers, a meditation and relaxation room, and many work options.

The new co working space is part of CyberTECH’s 15,000 square feet network of work spaces located in the Manpower building in Bankers Hill just adjacent to downtown and Little Italy. CyberTECH’s work spaces in Manpower include a coffee shop, 4 kitchens, 3 conference rooms, 2 telephone rooms, a meditation and relationship room, a gym, 2 patios, a live music and DJ stage and many other amenities.

NEST will have 20+ reserved and non reserved “hot” desks accessible on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. There are also numerous private offices suitable for 1 person to entire 12 person teams.  “Our CyberHive and iHive co work and incubator spaces are 100% occupied, so we are opening NEST (and xHive announced late last year and currently under construction) to accommodate additional Members” says Mohammed “Mo” Rahseparian, CyberTECH’s General Manager.

Pricing for NEST starts as low as $200 per month and private offices range from $600-$3000 per month. Membership to NEST provides access to the all of CyberTECH’s incubators. CyberTECH is a global cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT) network ecosystem providing cybersecurity and IoT resources, strategic programs and thought leadership events across the nation. Our membership includes business and financial leaders, academic and research institutions, government and non-profit organizations.

CyberCalifornia: The Epicenter for Commercial Cybersecurity

Acknowledging the truths about cybersecurity, protecting critical infrastructure, addressing the importance of information sharing and collaboration, and developing the cyber workforce are just a few examples of the many initiatives top of mind for California’s cyber leaders. 

In a recent United States Cybersecurity Magazine article, “California Gold: Cybersecurity’s Emerging Epicenter”, members from the California Governor’s Cybersecurity Task Force and CyberCalifornia’s Advisory Board discussed current efforts that support the Golden State’s position as a beacon of leadership in cybersecurity. 

As the most populous state in the country, and home to hundreds of startups, emerging automation technologies and ever expanding critical infrastructure, California is an example where the universal need for cybersecurity takes on interesting new connotations and challenges. Many of the State’s disruptive companies are focused on the Internet of Things (IoT), leveraging the Internet to boost speed, convenience, and productivity. 

“A lot of traditional industries…have never been faced with the need to create secure devices, because their products haven’t been connected to the internet and therefore they’ve never worried about those devices being hacked,” said Darin Andersen, founder of global cybersecurity and IoT community, CyberTECH, cybersecurity consulting firm, CyberUnited, and the CyberCalifornia initiative. “It’s one thing if you get a blue screen on your computer; it’s another thing if a bad guy can maneuver your car off the road into a ditch, or hack a pacemaker.” 

As for solutions, information sharing was high on the list for the cyber experts suggesting that the best way to prevent future compromises is to provide organizations with fast, advanced, and secure frameworks to facilitate the exchange of information. 

The development of this type of exchange is the focus of the Information Sharing Subcommittee of the Task Force, “working diligently to promote cyber hygiene and situational awareness by streamlining the exchange of cybersecurity information,” said Justin Cain, Cybersecurity Coordinator for the Task Force. 

Gary Hayslip, CISO for the City of San Diego, CyberTECH Co-Chair, and member of both the Task Force and CyberCalifornia stressed that “cybersecurity is a team sport. You can either collaborate with your peers to better defend your organization or get eaten.” 

Plans for protecting the present and securing the future were discussed by several other Task Force and CyberCalifornia members including Alberto Yepez, Managing Director at Trident Capital, Oliver Rosenbloom, Co-Chair for the Cyber Task Force’s Economic Development Subcommittee, William Britton, Director of California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo’s Cybersecurity Center (CalPoly), and Bob Ackerman of Alleges Capital.

CyberTECH Launch New Incubator and Shared Workspace for Emerging Technologies

This week, Gartner confirmed that 21 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will flood the market by 2020 and that IoT devices will encompass more than 6.4 billion connected objects in use by 2016, a 30% rise from this year. According to the Internet of Things 2015 Report released by Business Insider this month, nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years. The report confirmed businesses will be the leading adopter of IoT solutions with goals to lower operating costs, increase productivity and expand new markets or develop new product offerings to improve their bottom line. Governments are not far behind businesses when it comes to adopting the IoT with focus on increasing productivity, decreasing costs, and improving their citizens’ quality of life. Consumers will lag behind businesses and governments but will still invest in IoT ecosystems.

Approaching its fourth year, CyberTECH continues to lead the IoT and innovation community with plans to work with another 20-30 companies in 2016. With software-defined everything on the frontier, along with robotics, 3D printing, drones and other advancing technologies, CyberTECH will launch its third incubator and shared workspace, xHive, in February 2016.

xHive will provide a collaborative environment to drive the innovation that leads to the development of advanced new technologies including devices powering the IoT, software and app development including robotics, 3D printing and drones.

According to CyberTECH Executive Director Shirley Adams, “xHive is our fourth expansion in the Manpower building in Banker’s Hill. This will increase our floor space by 40% and add new parking space options and other new member amenities.”

Additionally, xHive has partnered with SD3D to construct a highly automated medium production 3D printing studio inside the expansed facility. There will also be a new Robotics and Drone Lab and a full service coffee shop, shower facilities and a new second outdoor patio area will provide CyberTECH Members with exciting new workspace options.

Opening in February 2016, xHive will offer shared workspace for as little as $100/month, options for dedicated desks and/or private offices, access to conference rooms, robust connectivity, and a variety of other benefits that can be found here. Members gain priority access to mentorship and other resources including 100+ fellow cybersecurity, high tech and IoT incubator and shared workspace companies.

Interested in xHive? Contact us today to visit the new space, discuss partnership opportunities, and learn more about how you can join.

Think Nationally, Act Locally

“Technology experts believe 2016 will be remembered in years to come as the tipping point where emerging technologies like driverless cars and virtual reality finally went mainstream.” – Neil Keene, The Daily Telegraph.

Neil Keene was among the 6,000+ members of the media who observed the 2016 Consumer Electronic Show (CES), the 1,278,870 mentions of the #CES2016 hashtag and 15.2 billion total potential social media impressions from January 5-9.

With approximately 3,800 exhibitors and more than 170,000 industry professionals gathering in Las Vegas for the world’s biggest technology showcase, CES is one testament to the tens of thousands of ways that technology is changing the world as we know it.

While emerging technologies like those observed at CES are considered more “mainstream”, the reality is technology is already considered to be “everywhere”. According to the Internet World Stats, there is an estimated 3,366 million Internet users worldwide – almost 50% of the world’s population. As modern technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to flood the markets, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with evolving technology landscape and the cyber attacks that follow.

A Global Cybersecurity and Internet of Things Network, CyberTECH has made it our mission to stimulate innovation and advance the adoption of cyber, IoT and emerging technologies, locally, nationally and globally.

CyberTECH understands information sharing of best practices, trending technologies, and the latest threats is essential to individuals and businesses looking to better understand, manage and consume emerging technologies. Because technology, and cyber threats, are not confined to one location and many of the best minds in technology don’t live in one region, state or even nation, CyberTECH is expanding efforts to produce thought leadership events both locally and across the nation.

We invite you to travel with CyberTECH in 2016 as we bring together the world’s top industry experts and cyber professionals to lead discussions around emerging technologies, IoT security, privacy, innovation, the influence of policy and to provide forward thinking and actionable intelligence in an evolving, competitive marketplace.

Visit the CyberTECH Events website to learn more about our local and national efforts.

Children of Light: Riding the Insecure Internet of Things

During a middle school field trip to my hometown power utility, the Plant Manager and our tour guide for the day, made a statement that stuck in my mind, “our customers are children of light and when they flip a switch, they expect light.”

The notion that we are “children of light” has served as a kind of guidepost to me about the nature of human expectation and the relationship we have to the technology that powers our daily life.

The Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon brings convenience and new capabilities via smart devices and gadgets but at a cost; namely IoT devices are susceptible to the same malicious hackers that have plagued computer users for decades.

Connected drones are an emerging technology that will play a central role in the IoT ecosystem.  Drones can communicate images and audio, sense various conditions including chemicals and certain radio frequencies.  They are relatively cheap and simple to operate and can also carry payloads such as a package for Amazon.com or an explosive for military purposes.

Recently, we have seen rash a of incidents involving drones whereby they have interfered with police and fire operations, buzzed (and crashed) on sports field and violated the privacy of average citizens.  With a million customer drones expected to be sold over the Holidays, drones hold both great potential and some danger.

The fact is most Internet connected devices including vehicles, medical and fitness devices, cameras and drones have been successfully hacked for years.  A recent study by Hewlett-Packard showed that 70 percent of Internet connected devices are vulnerable to some form of hacking.

Our societies, comprised of children of light, are becoming heavily dependent on IoT devices. As such, it is important that we continue our efforts to secure these devices while protecting privacy and delivering expected improvements to the quality of our lives.

Blog written by Darin Andersen, Chairman and Founder, CyberTECH, President and CEO, CyberUnited, Co Chair for Economic Development Subcommittee on California Governor’s Cybersecurity Task Force.

CyberFlow Analytics Wins First Place at the Cisco Innovation Grand Challenge

It has been a long but exciting journey for CyberTECH Member, CyberFlow Analytics, a San Diego-based cybersecurity company specializing in “anomalytics”. In successive rounds since June competing against more than 3,000 entries from more than 100 countries, CyberFlow Analytics took first place at the Cisco Innovation Grand Challenge at the IoT World Forum in Dubai for securing the IoT with Anomalytics, taking home the Grand Prize of $150,000.

The Six finalists from Canada, Finland, Germany and the United States delivered Shark Tank-like pitches and demos before a live audience and finalist judges – themselves a “who’s who” of IoT industry leadership.

Beyond the cash prizes, the winners earned VIP access to industry, investment and business experts, including Cisco’s global Innovation Centers and Cisco investments team for potential business acceleration and joint go-to-market strategies.

A big congratulations to CyberFlow Analytics!

CyberTECH to Partner with Cutting-Edge Hybrid Service Provider ScaleMatrix

CyberTECH is partnering with ScaleMatrix to bring our Resident and Community Members the world’s most cutting edge data center technology. By partnering with best of breed technology providers like ScaleMatrix, we are able to provide the diverse CyberTECH community with the right platform and performance criteria based on their needs.

As developers of ground-breaking data center efficiency technology, ScaleMatrix delivers an array of cloud, colocation, managed services, data protection and connectivity options under one manageable umbrella. The company has developed a revolutionary high-density, high efficiency Data Center driving down the cost of cloud, HPC and colocation services.

“CyberTECH and ScaleMatrix share the same spirit of innovation and drive to stay ahead of the evolving technology landscape,” said CyberTECH Founder, Darin Andersen. “ScaleMatrix understands the importance of robust, reliable and secure IT infrastructure. Because the companies working with CyberTECH all have different objectives and problems they are solving, uptime, scalability and security is extremely valuable. We are looking forward to building a long lasting relationship with ScaleMatrix.”

USD Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology

The University of San Diego recently launched its first Cyber Security degree program, a fully online Masters of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership. In keeping with their strategy for a robust cyber security education program, approvals for their next degree, a Masters of Science in Cyber Security Engineering, is scheduled to launch in January 2016 as a fully on-ground program.

This degree is accelerated and focuses on the engineering aspects of cybersecurity.  It is designed for those with computer science, electrical engineering, or computer engineering bachelor degrees.  While work experience will certainly be considered in admission decisions, because of the rigor of this offering, it is very important to have a fundamental background in order to succeed.

The program will consist of 30 units of coursework and is designed for the working professional.  It will take 5 semesters or approximately 20 months to complete.  It is an extremely specialized degree of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering – not only is it the engineering school’s first Masters degree, but it is part of USD’s first center (CCSET).  While the term is often overused, students in this program will truly be pioneers at USD.

The program is being led and developed by Dr. Winnie Callahan, an educator with 20 years of experience at the University of Nebraska and the University of Southern California. She brings together experts in national defense, business, information technology and education to train a new generation of cybersecurity professionals.

“It made sense to me with the things I was seeing that we needed to address this national problem at a couple of levels, including better trained cyber professionals,” said Dr. Callahan.

CyberTECH Executive Director, cyber professional and program champion, Shirley Adams stated, “The center will play a key role in San Diego’s regional efforts to be recognized as the National Center of Cyber Security Excellence. Working together we can help produce the high quality cyber security engineers that our nation so desperately needs.”

Confessions of a Social Engineer: What Every Business Needs to Know

While the global media consistently churns out a deluge of reports about “sophisticated” hacks against prominent individuals, organizations and institutions, the Social Engineer uses well known tactics and techniques to “hack the human” leveraging “bugs” in human phycology.

Exploiting these “bugs” allows the Social Engineer to gather information, implement fraud to further a purpose, agenda or actually access a government or corporate system. The Social Engineer typically uses non-technical methods to gain access to sensitive systems and platforms by tricking one or more people into breaking normal security polices, procedures and protocols. It is one of the greatest threats facing organizations today.

There is a lot that organizations can do to defeat the Social Engineer. The best defense is to create a “security culture” inside your organization. Security culture is all about building awareness, common goals and best practices around protecting sensitive and confidential information. It teaches everyone in an organization to develop situational awareness and begin actively looking for the tell-tale tactics of the Social Engineer.  Further, your organization can conduct security assessments, determine your Cyber Value at Risk and prepare for a sensitive data breech before,during and after it occurs to build organizational resiliency.

Blog written by Darin Andersen, Chairman and Founder, CyberTECH, President and CEO, CyberUnited, Co Chair, Economic Development Subcommittee for the Governor of California’s Cybersecurity Task Force.

Protecting the Internet of Things and living in Smart Cities

Last week both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned of risks associated with the emerging Internet of Things. The term IoT often refers to devices that are readable, recognizable, locatable, and controllable via the Internet. Gartner estimates there will be around 26 billion networked devices on the Internet of Things by 2020. Certainly, there are many risks inherent with so many objects connected to networks, but there are also many smart technologies that can enhance security and DHS’s mission to protect the nation.

In public safety, sensors, embedded security systems and surveillance cameras that can monitor public behavior are becoming a norm. In 2005 in London, closed-circuit TV cameras helped lead to the identification of those who carried out the attack on London’s subway and bus systems. More recently, the identification of the prime suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing came in part through security-camera images. Because of the limitations of personnel to constantly patrol areas of cities, surveillance monitoring by video and acoustic devices have enabled law enforcement to magnify their reach and also keep an electronic record of forensic evidence.

The integration of sensors, networks and data analytics is what composes a “Smart City”. Smart Cities integrate transportation, energy, water resources, waste collections, smart-building technologies, communications, and security technologies and services. Frost & Sullivan estimates the combined global market potential of these smart city segments to be $1.5 trillion ($20 billion on sensors alone by 2050, according to Navigant Technology.)

The IoT for Smart Cities has received much attention from DHS, especially from the under secretary of science and technology,Reggie Brothers. His S & T Directorate is continually seeking, developing and sharing innovative technologies. In its own words, “S&T is looking for your best ideas on how we can mobilize and repurpose cutting-edge smart technologies to strengthen the safety and security of our nation. Focusing on wearable tech and Internet of Things, this discussion is a ‘call to action’ to challenge you to think differently about the role science plays in preparing for future threats and risks. S&T envisions a future where mobile sensors, communications, materials, and visualization technologies seamlessly work together to enhance the safety of the public and our responders.”

For DHS, this mission directly correlates to incorporating technologies for shared situational awareness and enabling integrated operational actions to prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from cyber incidents as well as crime, terrorism and natural disasters.

Specifically for DHS and law enforcement, there are a variety of key areas of IT, Smart Cities — or in the case of homeland security, “secure cities” — component roles:

  • Physical and cyber security;
  • Intrusion prevention/surveillance;
  • Resilience;
  • Public safety services (first responders);
  • Sensors, detectors, biometrics, wearables;
  • Drones, robots;
  • Data analytics, urban informatics;
  • Cameras;
  • Command & control centers;
  • Interoperable communications;
  • Crime mapping;
  • Social media monitoring.

The primary focus of DHS has always been to detect and mitigate weapons of mass destruction. The defense against chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threats will continue to be priorities of DHS because of the asymmetrical terror consequences they present From its onset, the agency has been working with sensors and networks that detect the presence of toxic gas, pathogens, radiation and explosives. The automation, deployment and analytic derived from these systems continues to be enhanced as components are integrated in to smart and secure cities.

Wearables is on one of the newer promising technology areas for DHS. The S & T  Directorate recently announced a business accelerator program named EMERGE! That is aimed at developing new interoperable wearable technology for the public safety community. Future first responder technologies will likely include headset systems with cameras for visual awareness with embedded, computers that will analyze visual data. They will have sensor technologies for sharing information in real-time with hospitals that will be invaluable for rescues in disaster. This summer, S &T launched  the Incident Management Information Sharing (IMIS) Internet of Things pilot to apply IoT to the challenge of vastly improving responders’ situational awareness during emergencies.

I would be remiss if I did not mention DHS’s role in cybersecurity. DHS is responsible for overseeing the protection of the .gov domain and for providing assistance and expertise to private sector owners and operators. Because the IoT touches both government and private sector networks, DHS in an integral part in deterrence, ameliorating risk, and ensuring resilience to the IoT networks. As a society on the verge of unparalleled exponential connectivity, DHS’s role is in cybersecurity is a critical one.

New risks, privacy issues, and unforeseen issues will no doubt confront us as the Internet of Things continues to evolve and expand. DHS will be at the forefront of addressing those developments and will continue to fulfill a vital role in its mandate of keeping citizens safe by harnessing new technologies for secure and smart cities.

Blog Written by Charles “Chuck” Brooks, Vice President of Government Relations and Marketing, Sutherland Global Services.

Path to a Career in Cyber

When I started my career in the US Navy, almost three decades ago, I originally went into the field of advanced electronics. It was close to what I wanted to do, which was work on computers. However, in the mid- 1990’s, I read a book that changed my life.

The book, “Information Warfare,” was written by Winn Schwartau and after reading it I became fascinated with not just computers, but the idea of global networks and how computers could be used as both an offensive and defensive weapon. The book started me down a long twisted path full of curiosity and after 25+ years of walking that path I find I am always curious.

Information Technology (IT) today permeates every facet of our daily lives. We would be very hard pressed to find a place in the world where some type of IT is not being used. With that said, because this technology is such a multi-faceted tool, it can be used in an exponential number of ways for both good and evil.

So, over the years as I have walked this twisted path in IT I have sought to expand my knowledge into the field of what we now call Cyber Security. I have purposely worked in many positions to learn new ways to use computers and increase my understanding of enterprise networks and how to protect them.

Over time I even built a lab in my garage, to the dismay of my wife, made from way too many shopping sprees on eBay and Fry’s. Before you knew it I had a full rack of Cisco equipment and several rows of Windows and Linux desktops and servers (pre-virtualization days – I feel old). I used this equipment over many long nights to teach myself networking, a little hacking – who am I kidding a lot of hacking, and computer forensics. I also used this lab to help me study for my first certifications and as I changed jobs I would reconfigure the lab to study for new certifications.

This lab would teach me that to work in the field of Cyber Security you need to start small. You need to figure out what you don’t know, lay out a plan for where you eventually want to be, and then put your head down and get to work.

I used the lab to experiment and increase my knowledge, I used it to break things and then figure out how to fix them. Sometimes, humbling that it may be, I learned I was not as smart as I thought I was and I would have to ask for help after breaking something. In spending this time, over several years, working in that lab and taking any class I could find at the local colleges and junior colleges I developed what I called my Cyber Career Map.

This map consisted of a certification tree, a tree where I mapped out what certifications and experience I would need to eventually be at a certain skill level. The hope was someday I would have an interesting job in Cyber Security. As I look at where I am at today I would say that plan worked very well.

So fast forward to today, I was recently asked to describe how I developed my map and to write an article with some mind maps as a visual tool so readers would better understand my process. There are three tools that I used to develop a Cyber Career Map, those are the Certification Maps, Employment & Networking Web Sites, and Education & Cyber Web Sites. This article is centered on Cyber Certification Maps and its three sub component areas:

• Certification Maps
o World of Cyber
o Cyber Career Map
o Cyber Career Map – My Career as an example

Before I get started, I want to say I am by no means an expert. This article is just based on what I learned from experience over the last 25+ years as my career has progressed in both IT and Cyber Security.

I believe my experience in having moved through multiple disciplines within the IT and Cyber Security fields gives me a unique perspective on the experience and insight a senior cyber security professional gains from having a broad range of IT knowledge. So with that said I plan to describe some of the tools and web sites I used to help me in my career and why I used them. Let’s get started.

Continue reading…

Blog written by Gary Hayslip, Deputy Director and Chief Information Security Officer for the City of San Diego.

Before there Were CISOs – Part 2 (Into the 21st Century)

In Part 1, I covered my first two decades of ‘growing up’ in Information Technology (IT) and cybersecurity before the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) title existed. I left off with the early stages of implementing security measures at the birth of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the explosion of connected computer usage that we know today as the Internet. In reality, the Internet existed years before the WWW, which took advantage of new graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to make the user experience easier and friendlier; because, after all, the Internet is just a network of networks interconnected across the globe.

In Part 2, I continue with my third decade, breaking out of the “IT box” into aspects of security for operational systems, industrial control systems (ICS), and underlying information assets, as well as the transition of cybersecurity becoming a recognized business function with newly defined areas of responsibility. The technology changes that seemed to be happening so radically during those earlier years (e.g., moving from a mainframe, text-based environment to desktop PCs with graphical interfaces), slowed down during this next period. While new technologies were still being released frequently, they weren’t major shifts in the paradigm (yet).

To me, the most important characteristic to have in this type of position is integrity – always speak the truth, say what you’re going to do, do what you promised you would do, and maintain confidentiality.
During this time, the private sector was taking steps toward identifying what was ‘cybersecurity’ and the roles associated with it; this, sadly, was not the case for municipal government where I was working. I found that municipal, regional, and even state governments were not yet concerned with creating formal cybersecurity roles. Instead, they were still using a single job title to cover a dozen different roles, such as my general umbrella role as “IT Manager.” During the early part of this time period, we were all dealing with resolving the Y2K date issues (to this day, I still write my dates as mm/dd/yyyy). I became involved with control systems and other embedded systems which were, at the time, not considered within the realm of IT – they belonged to the process control engineers. These systems had two positive things going for them; (1) the systems were on a closed, internal network located at each facility and not connected to any office network or the Internet, and (2) work crews would simply take over manual operations of the equipment in case of a system failure. However, with Y2K approaching, we performed the Y2K assessments on these control systems and the results revealed some potential security issues which needed to be addressed. While the latter condition (taking manual control) remains true, the former condition would change in the years ahead, by enabling secure, remote access into certain control systems. In addition to the ICS located in major facilities, we also had Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to monitor small (and often remote) pumping stations. These systems were mostly secure, based on the fact that they were used for only monitoring the local process controls and not managing them (the “supervisory” function being disabled), and they were not connected to any network. The SCADA systems communicated through either dedicated telephone lines or across point-to-point, restricted frequency radio signals, and later used licensed, spread-spectrum radio frequencies. While I provided recommendations, SCADA security was handled by another division. As you can see, at this time, security was not centralized or managed, it was spread out among many divisions and was still not a formal discipline within municipal government.

Soon afterwards, my view of system security took a new twist for several months, as I was unexpectedly pulled out of my regular job for a special assignment – overseeing city-wide electronic discovery (eDiscovery) in response to a federal subpoena. I managed 15-20 IT technicians & analysts, taken from a dozen different departments for this task. I was assigned a system administrator and network security analyst who helped modify user rights for the eDiscovery team members, as they went into numerous work sites in over 15 departments to collect data from local PC systems. Another small team had the task of searching for and retrieving data from dozens of departmental file servers. We had to manage “just-in-time” security rights to give team members access to the specific workgroup data when they went to collect potential evidence, and then remove that access when they were done. We also had to coordinate physical security for access into closed office spaces, including having security guard escorts in restricted work spaces (at least they preferred having my team come ‘visit’ them, rather than the FBI). Needless to say, this brought the whole data security issue to the forefront for almost all managers and executives, because their files were the primary focus of the investigation. In addition, while many of the IT analysts had some previous exposure to system security, this was a new area for them as well, especially having to log and track their activities. In my administrative group, we had online system logs to maintain and keep secure, and we had to document which team members were given access to specific server or workgroup data, when it was activated and terminated, and a summary of the files retrieved.

Later, when I returned to my regular job assignment, I was fortunate to become a Department Information Officer (department-level CIO) which brought all of the technology functions under one central division. I managed four sections which were responsible for control systems engineering design (planning new control system installations), control systems administration (setup, management, and ongoing maintenance of the systems), SCADA & telemetry support (managing & administering SCADA systems), and IT services (Help Desk & technical support, application management, network administration, and security). It was during this time that the ICS designs started including cross-over access points between the control systems network and the operational (office) network, so that data could be exported out of the control systems for administrative reporting purposes. My staff worked cooperatively in both the planning and implementation of necessary security controls, at first making this a one-way connection to get the data out, and later providing secure connections for specific remote access into the control systems by designated and authorized system administrators. The team also coordinated integration with physical security systems, so that certain control systems alarms would display at the facility security guard consoles.

It was at this time that information security became a recognized service area and we had to start reporting monthly and annual performance metrics to senior management. I’ll digress for a moment – how many of you had the discussion (some may consider it an argument) with senior management about how to report attempted intrusions? They wanted to know how many attempts were blocked each week or month and didn’t understand that the volume would normally fluctuate from 10s of thousands in a week to 100s of thousands, because it depended on who was targeting our local government or any “dot-Gov” domain. I told them the performance goal should not be blocking X-number of attempted intrusions, the goal needs to be zero actual intrusions. After two years, they accepted my goal, but still wanted to know how many intrusions were blocked. One benefit of having more visibility of security metrics, was being able to use them as part of the business case for our budget. While there wasn’t a line item in the official budget for security, the underlying documentation outlined the security-related costs (i.e., staff, hardware, software or third-party services); however, I still had no designated security positions.

Now that we were finally growing a departmental security program, organizational changes were made, in the name of “streamlining government,” resulting in my position and my boss’ position being re-engineered out of existence. Fortunately, the teams I was leaving behind were now established and self-sufficient, and I moved into a position as city-wide Enterprise Architecture and Infrastructure Manager (which included security functions). During my last five years, there was further turn-over in senior management and the city changed from a City Manager to a “strong Mayor” form of government. My new role morphed into IT Operations and Security Manager, where I worked under three different CIOs and, when there wasn’t one, I reported to the Assistant COO and was responsible for operational management of the IT Department. At that time, I was also responsible for managing data retrieval for confidential internal investigations, including senior management, locking down user accounts, and impounding hardware.

Over the last several years, I had made a point to create working relationships with department directors and other senior management, offering assistance and guidance to support their IT functions. I believe these developed relationships were critical for me in my new position, because, when it came time to interact with them on a regular basis as part of the IT governance process, I already had their trust and respect. To me, the most important characteristic to have in this type of position is integrity – always speak the truth, say what you’re going to do, do what you promised you would do, and maintain confidentiality.

One of the last tasks in my position was helping implement a new IT Strategic Plan, which included forming an Information Security Committee. Committee members were appointed from a minimum of twelve departments by their directors and at least half the members were from operational management positions, not IT functions. This was a strategic requirement in forming the committee, to ensure that business needs were being addressed as security measures and solutions were proposed. The committee’s first task was to update the incomplete set of security policies and procedures. We obtained the current ISO/EIC 27000-27005 set of standards and used applicable ones to incorporate into a detailed set of information security guidelines and standards to augment a new set of information security policies.

As I ended my career with the City, I convinced the CIO and COO they needed to create a specific position for security, and relegate my other job functions to other IT managers. In the end, I was able to define an “IT Security, Compliance, & Risk Manager” position – which a few years later would be formalized as the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) role with overall responsibility for cybersecurity on all City networks. This was especially important because the city’s IT services transitioned from a hybrid, internal/external service model, to one that was almost all outsourced and having a cybersecurity role to provide overall governance would be critical for the City of San Diego. The CISO position has since been held by two very competent professionals – first, Derek Sandland, and currently, Gary Hayslip.

Blog written by Alan Watkins, Cybersecurity Consultant, Adjunct Professor for MS-CSIA Program, Member of InfraGard San Diego. 

Before There Were CISOs – Part 1 (The ‘80s and ‘90s)

Some close friends and colleagues in cybersecurity encouraged me to write about ‘growing up’ in Information Technology (IT) and cybersecurity during the computer era before there were CISOs (Chief Information Security Officer). I’m sure there are other Baby Boomers out there, who have similar stories to tell and understand what it was like as technologies rapidly advanced and became business assets that needed managing (the “Rise of the CIO”) and, much later, securing those assets became a business risk management concern (the “Rise of the CISO”).

My point of view is from public sector experience; although, I have had much contact with my private sector counterparts. My public service started in high school as a volunteer swimming instructor and lifeguard, then working in a public library in a small southern California city. My professional civil service history covers over 36 years with the City of San Diego, California, including over 12 years in law enforcement as a sworn officer and almost 25 years in positions related to IT. My last 10 years were in IT management, retiring as the city-wide IT Operations & Security Manager.

The intent of this two-part article is to share how information security needs and functions existed before the roles were defined, as has been the case when new inventions cause shifts in business operations (i.e., the industrial revolution). What follows in this Part 1 is the first two decades of my cyber evolution, climbing the career ladder while ‘growing’ IT staff, and the requirement for open communication, cooperation, and collaboration between both IT operations and business operations. In Part 2, I will continue with my third decade, breaking out of the “IT box” into the strategic aspects of security for operational systems, industrial control systems, and underlying information assets. It is in the second article where I will discuss how the rising cybersecurity functions become identified as major roles created to manage newly defined areas of responsibility.

As I look back over the decades, a couple of sayings come to mind – “what goes around comes around” and “what’s new is old” (or vice versa, “what’s old is new”) – meaning that the underlying security needs in today’s environment really aren’t new, they’re just using different technologies (which will continue to change).

So with that, let’s get started – in my last two years in law enforcement, I got hooked on technology and developed some simple applications to issue and track certain permits and accident data. While I was not consciously aware of performing any security measures at that time, I realized not everyone should have access to the data being collected, so these simple applications did require a user ID and password. To keep this in a technology perspective, these were all mainframe-based, using ‘dumb terminals’ (some of you remember – the ones with black screens and green text). To be honest, the mainframe seemed mostly secure – you needed an ID and password just to login to the host system, then a different password for each application (usually assigned by the System Administrator) – long before the days of Active Directory® (AD) and Single-Sign-On (SSO).

After leaving law enforcement, I took an administrative position in a six-person division, which would, over the next several years, become a major department with over 1100 employees, plus hundreds of contractors. [A note of reference for those in the private sector – the city structure consists of departments (e.g., police, fire, library, water, etc.) which are comprised of several divisions. This is generally opposite of a private corporate structure where divisions are the larger business unit.] In my first six months, I was given the task for our first staffing growth to purchase and outfit 100 employees and contractors with new “personal computers” which had to be networked to a MicroVAX server. The mainframe team said, “these personal computers are just a fad, stick with the tried and true…” A few months later, while starting to configure the new PCs on an Ethernet network, the existing network team said, “why are you testing that Ethernet technology, you should stick with the standard token-ring technology…” We all know the outcome of those statements (can you say, Sony Betamax?). In that first growth spurt, our IT budget went from $150,000 in the first year, to $1 million in the third year and, needless to say, the designated security budget was zero. As the department continued to grow each year, I was able to justify hiring more IT staff, and, as a result, getting myself promoted to oversee the new staff. How did that happen?

While I was given mostly free reign in the area of new technologies, I had close working relationships with senior management and also the operations supervisors, engineers, scientists, facility & field maintenance supervisors, and administrative staff. I needed to understand their basic job functions and operational requirements in order to obtain the necessary technology to meet their needs. This is nothing new (today) for a customer-centric approach to IT services. At that time, executive management understood the need for new technology, without understanding the technology itself. They trusted that I didunderstand what was necessary to maintain and improve work efficiencies by implementing appropriate technologies. I had to earn that trust by demonstrating system capabilities (usually a live demo) and providing cost-benefit analyses in selecting a product for purchase. Keep in mind that, with government budget cycles, I was justifying the technologies and costs about 14 months before the budget would be approved. In those early years of having PCs, products mainly included desktop productivity tools for word processing, databases, and spreadsheets, well before there were any integrated “office” packages. Email was still based on the mainframe for several years.

As we added department staff, I was able to find several national surveys describing the recommended number of IT staff to adequately support a specific number of users for desktop support. I started with a ratio of 1-to-200 when I was the only IT person, then as we grew, I changed the ratio to 1-to-100, which was still nearly double the national average. At this time, I justified and added the first two new IT positions, and I became a lead IT Analyst. In the following year, the department would experience explosive growth and expand to nearly 600 employees at five sites. Of course with this growth I was able to justify four more IT staff, and have my position elevated to an IT Supervisor. This was achieved partially through the rapport with senior management, who were not focusing on the technology itself, they were relating to how the increased use of technology required skilled IT support technicians to maintain efficient business operations – a very novel concept at that time. I believe I helped influence this executive support with internal and external help desk call statistics I had collected. I used those collected metrics to provide an estimated cost impact of employees’ lost productivity due to system degradation and the average mean time to resolve, in relation to how many IT staff were available to provide critical support services. The projected reduction in costs were used to more than offset the cost of increased staffing, and I was able to justify the four new IT positions, while now managing an annual department IT budget of nearly $12 million.

One critical viewpoint I believe assisted me during this time, is my understanding that management, engineering, and operations needed to be fully “in the loop” when moving ahead with new technologies and their companion security measures, so I made sure to provide them with this visibility. However, it should be noted, that with these new technologies came increased responsibilities for my growing IT section. The IT staff had to meet increasing operational and performance requirements. They also had to ensure the security of its systems and permit public access to records when necessary. At the time, this was a daunting task; remember this is in the early stages of enterprise IT and there were no published functional frameworks on how to manage large, distributed networks. To get this far in building out the IT program and continuing its forward momentum, in retrospect, I now find that I was (unknowingly at that time) following most of the steps described by my good friend and colleague, Gary Hayslip, in his LinkedIn article, “So you want to be a CISO” (Jan. 17, 2015), and his five related, follow-up articles (Jan. – March 2015). I was actually executing the steps of a CIO and CISO before anyone knew what these positions were – it was definitely the wild, wild, west in IT back then.

So, now that I have given you some idea of the explosive growth in IT that we were experiencing, let’s discuss the security side of technology during this time period.

It was during this time, in the early-1990s, when we implemented our first Local Area Network (LAN) with 30+ PCs and one server. We had to design file structures to segregate different work groups and we had to manage user accounts and access rights. Since the city staff already had assigned user IDs, we had to create a naming convention for the contractors. Remember, at this time in the world of IT, there we no written policies or procedures related to IT management or security. The combined experience of myself, a network analyst, and a contractor’s system administrator, we proceeded to build our first network infrastructure. We defined user and group naming conventions, server directory structures & naming conventions for groups, user security groups, group access rights, system login requirements (including two-factor authentication, minimum password length, and password age/expiration – no ability to require or enforce password complexity), and system logging requirements (only for performance monitoring, not security). We also set up system administration tasks to be done on the server using its Unix-based VMS operating system, while the desktop PCs ran on MS-DOS with no client/desktop security software. It’s amazing, at that time, that we built this out with no industry guidelines and it actually worked!

Later, during another staffing expansion, which included multiple sites, the single MicroVax server was replaced with Novell NetWare servers at each location. This new network operating system provided several built-in security features, and also required IT staff to understand the platform and how to manage the five LANs across our new Wide Area Network (WAN). It was during this time of expansion that the first version of Windows was released; so, needless to say, the IT staff and I had to take new training classes, because again, technology changes proceeded to speed up and we had to support our users. I want to mention that at this time when Windows came onto the scene, we concurrently had a contingent of Macintosh systems, used for technical drawing and graphical rendering. It was at this point in my career, I started creating written internal procedures, documenting current practices for consistency across the IT staff, so expectations were set and system administration was standardized. I now had two staff dedicated to security and system management; still primarily concerned with internal security issues (i.e., someone gains access to another group’s files without proper authorization), and still no official designated security budget. In addition, we did create procedures for how and when a modem could be connected to a networked PC, including security precautions which would hopefully prevent unauthorized people from dialing-in and connecting to our computer or internal network. This was the birth of our cybersecurity efforts, on the cusp of the World Wide Web!

So it is here, as we are about to step into a new era of online computing, that I will defer the remainder of my article about how I have observed the progression of cybersecurity into today’s current cybersecurity paradigm. As I look back over the decades, a couple of sayings come to mind – “what goes around comes around” and “what’s new is old” (or vice versa, “what’s old is new”) – meaning that the underlying security needs in today’s environment really aren’t new, they’re just using different technologies (which will continue to change). Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article…

Blog written by Alan Watkins, Cybersecurity Consultant, Adjunct Professor for MS-CSIA Program, Member of InfraGard San Diego

Houston, We Have A Problem (Cyber)

We all know every city has this same problem, so why share what’s up in Houston?   This city is in many ways like San Diego, as is Texas and California, so collectively they can set the cyber tone in the west. That is, doing collaborative, actionable things versus just continuing to admire the problem (threat).

Houston is the 4th largest city in the USA (SD is the 8th), both are very diverse in culture, business and academia (with SD the lead on the latter).

Houston has a large port district and maritime influence, SD has an even larger, more global port ecosphere.

Both have an economic and symbiotic relationship with Mexico and cross border opportunities (with SD the more mature effort).

Houston has a strong high technology effort, while SD leads in the cyber startup / incubator support infrastructure.

The academia, university, overall educational efforts are similar as well, with SD leading in education, especially with SOeC.

Houston is second only to New York with the most number of fortune 500 companies – thus business does business there.  SD has a wide industry base of government, academia, research, diverse businesses, etc. The two can complement each other in a highly symbiotic relationship.

So in short, it’s natural to link up the two as cyber sister cities, as well as the larger CyberTexas and CyberCalifornia initiatives. The ability to share cyber information can be geometrically increased, highly leveraged, and better integrated as partners between all three – government, business and academia.

So what’s Houston doing?  They have the usual professional security groups of course: ISSA, ISC2, Infragard and Houston InfoSec (a monthly happy hour, network, presentation affair), and a few others.

Infragard is especially active and has several SIGs, of which I support two – Maritime and Technology.

We’ve recently initiated a “Cybersecurity Solutions SIG” as a Houston MeetUp (though open to anyone) to better harmonize the various security groups as well as take a project, action oriented cyber focus, going beyond just information sharing. http://www.meetup.com/Cyber-Security-Solutions-SIG/

Something we think every city needs to do in some manner.. aka, start DOING more cyber.

Blog written by Mike Davis, Deputy Director and Senior Manager, IT Security, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

September 17, 2015 San Diego Internet of Things (IoT) Meetup

I recently attended the San Diego Internet of Things (IoT) Meetup, covering the topic, Can Bitcoin Pay for IoT? at CyberTech Network in San Diego, California.

Cybertech/iHive now has over 1,000 members. It is involved in local state, and national activities. There is a schedule of upcoming events at the Meetup website.

This meeting was sponsored by:

About 100 or so people attended and we had a Panel Discussion consisting of five leaders in IoT .

The Five Panelists were:

  • Bill Bonney (Moderator), Information Security Evangelist
  • Emory Roane; Juris Doctor Candidate
  • Justine Phillips; Special Counsel, SheppardMullin
  • Paul Puey; CEO & Co-Founder, Airbitz
  • Paul Boulanger; CIPP/US, CISSP, CIPT, CCSK, SoCal Privacy Consultants

There was much interaction between the audience and panelists regarding security of using BitCoin as a solution. After some initial exchanges of the benefits and complications of this new technology, the conversation evolved into other areas of using the BitCoin concept beyond financial transactions.

This is a continuing conversation topic. San Diego region has the technology talent and is a focal point for anchoring that talent here.

Some of the 100 attendees.

Each Meetup I attend brings many new faces and many new ideas to technology topics. At CyberTECH and The Silent Intelligence meetings the attendees are getting to the heart of the issues. I’m proud to be at the focal point efforts for both organizations in San Diego.

This blog was written by Don Larson.

CyberTECH 2015 San Diego Startup Week Breakfast Report

On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, I attended the IoT Startup Table Breakfast held at CyberTECHin San Diego, California.

cybertech_2015_startup_week_breakfast

During the general introductions by all 105 attendees, Erik Caldwell, Director of Economic Development at City of San Diego, spoke about his department’s objectives for making sure the city of San Diego remains a place to retain highly qualified talent for the large number of technology companies there.

After the general introductions by , the group was broken into three sections to participate in the interactive workshops on these three topics:

  • Prove your MVP
  • Traction
  • Preparing for seed financing

The Thought Leaders for those sections were:

I enjoyed each session and discovered new facets of the three workshop topics that I didn’t know before today. That’s the advantage of attending CyberTech events where exposure to new knowledge is always present.

Thanks again for Darin Andersen, CEO of CyberTECH for hosting today’s event along with the detailed help from Maggey Felix and Jenny Woudenberg.

This blog was written by Don Larson.

April 9, 2015 San Diego Internet of Things (IoT) Meetup

I recently attended the San Diego Internet of Things (IoT) Meetup, covering the topic, Internet of Things (IoT): Robotics and IoT Convergence at CyberTech Network in San Diego, California.

About 68 or so people attended and we had a Panel Discussion consisting of five leaders in IoT, Robotics, and CyberSecurity.

The Five Panelists were:

  • Jeff Debrosse: Founder and CEO of Nxt Robotics
  • Kaveh Akbari Hamed, PhD: Assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University
  • Ping Wang PhD, Director at Techstars
  • Jason Oberg PhD, Co-founder and CEO at Tortuga Logic, Inc.
  • Bob Jannarone, CEO at Brainlike, Inc.

Four of the Five Panelists (not shown on far left is Kaveh Akbari Hamed, PhD, seated)

Much of the discussion revolved around definitions to try to distinguish between what is a machine vs. a robot, what limits do robots have, are they really a part of IoT or something else? The answers are not always easy to explain and in many cases there may be great or little overlap amongst them.

As the discussion and interchange with the audience evolved, I started to realize that although those questions have been raised previously in other meetings, I sensed the questions posed to the panelists and their combined responses contained less variation than in the past.

Could it be we are closer to committing to a common unification framework or is our vocabulary becoming clearer as a necessary first step?

Ping Wang made a very cogent analogy comparing Plants to what IoT is, and Animals to what Robotics is. That’s when I started to consider we are into a new phase towards convergence. I hope he considers publishing a White Paper on that concept.

Each Meetup I attend brings many new faces and many new ideas to technology topics. At CyberTECH and The Silent Intelligence meetings the attendees are getting to the heart of the issues. I’m proud to be at the focal point efforts for both organizations in San Diego.

This blog was posted by Don Larson, Time Out of Mind

 

Webpass Brings Disruptive Innovation To San Diego

Webpass entered the San Diego market in 2012 with the idea of making people rethink their Internet. They did this by designing a product that was better and less expensive than what their competitors could provide, making them one of San Diego’s newest disruptive innovators. Through the simplicity of set-up, absence of contracts, blazing fast speeds and personable customer service their business model has proven successful. Disruptive innovation in the telecommunications industry will force companies to develop forward-thinking technologies otherwise they will start to see a decrease in customers and eventually be put out of business. It’s time for the industry to seize the opportunities the disruption presents or face the consequences of not adapting. Webpass is a driving force in changing the Internet and we are excited they have landed in San Diego. We look forward to partnering with them at our Good Neighborhood Taste of Downtown event this April.

Top 5 mistakes startups make with their privacy policies

Privacy policies are a critical pre-launch step for many web based companies. But not all privacy policies are created equal. Here are the top five common mistakes we see startups make with their privacy policies.

5. The company doesn’t have a privacy policy.
Collecting information from your users without a privacy policy is remarkably risky. In some states it may even be illegal depending on the type of website you operate. For example in California, commercial websites that collect personally identifiable user information which includes information that is commonly collected by commercial websites like names, emails and addresses are required to have a privacy policy. Even if you’re not in a state that requires your website to have a privacy policy, privacy policies are still helpful for setting consumer expectations regarding your use of their data.

4. The company copy and pasted (insert big companies name here) privacy policy as their own.
While most major companies do employ very good privacy law attorneys to write their privacy policies, these policies are tailored for that company’s specific needs. Copying and pasting their privacy policies as your own use can lead to a whole host of problems. While some problems, like forgetting to replace their business name with your business name, hurt you more from a business and customer trust perspective. Other problems, like making promises to do things you don’t do and can’t actually do (i.e. removing user data in a set period of time), could be legally actionable. So while having a privacy policy is important, it’s even more important to have a privacy policy that fits your company’s specific needs.

3. The privacy policy violates the privacy laws of the state in which the company is located.
Privacy law is a bit of a moving target and laws vary significantly from state to state. Certain state laws even contradict other states laws. However, as a rule of thumb it’s a very good idea to make sure you comply with any relevant federal privacy laws as well as the privacy laws of the state(s) where your business is located. If you’re not sure what laws you need to comply with, we highly recommend consulting an attorney in your area.

Continue Reading

This blog was written by Teri Karobonik, Staff Attorney Fellow at New Media Rights.

A True Story and Opportunity to Share Yours!

Q. What does Hush Technology, CyberTECH, Emic Media and YOU have in common?

A. An actively passionate interest in seeing San Diegan tech start-ups blossom!

Let’s start with a story. A true story. Three Daniels at UCSD just wanted to get a good night sleep, so they invented “The World’s First Smart Ear Plugs”, Hush Technology. The Daniels made a great decision and signed up for a CyberTECH Pitch Event, SAM Fest (Startups + Art + Music). At SAM Fest, Lise Markham from Emic Media was left speechless and helped them secure a massive round of funding and support. Now they are featured on BuzzFeed and making lots of noise, silently of course.

Now we are calling you out – we want to hear your brilliant idea, be dazzled by your new product, and really just get to know you! So invite your family and friends and RSVP for the January 30th CyberTECH Spotlight Friday Pitch Night right now!

Interested in pitching? Sign up here!

Don’t have anything to pitch right now? That is totally fine. We would love for you to attend, network and enjoyed a night of innovative ideas!

Cybersecurity Awareness – Identity Theft (Part 1)

After conducting a public cybersecurity awareness seminar in February, and since my interview in April, the Borrego Sun has been interested in getting additional information and tips for people to stay safer online and protect their personal information. This article is the first in a short series to be published periodically, picking up where the interview left off, and focusing on a widespread problem – Identity Theft. Anyone can become a victim – young or old; in school, working or retired; male or female; any race or nationality – identity thieves do not discriminate! The information presented here is not new and is derived from several publicly available sources, as well as personal experience. The Identity Theft Resource Center (www.idtheftcenter.org) is a nationally recognized organization, based in San Diego, that monitors and reports on U.S. computer breaches resulting in loss of personally identifiable information. They offer free services to people who are victims or think they might be a victim of identity theft, as well as dozens of informational brochures on identity theft prevention and reporting. Another free resource is the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Protection Division (www.comsumer.ftc.gov). In addition, the three main credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax – all offer information on identity theft prevention and protection.

Before getting started, I’m sure there are some of you reading this and wondering, who is this person, what are his credentials in cybersecurity, and why should I read further? Briefly, my background includes working for the City of San Diego for over 36 years, the first 12+ years in law enforcement as a sworn officer and the following 24+ years working in different capacities related to information technology (IT). I became involved in computer systems before leaving law enforcement, helping with the development of San Diego’s county-wide Automated Regional Justice Information System (ARJIS). During the last half of my career with the city, I had 10 years’ experience in emergency management and preparedness, 13 years’ experience in critical infrastructure protection, and 5 years’ experience in cybersecurity management and cyberterrorism defense. I spent the last 11 years in management positions, and when I retired in late 2011, I had been the city’s IT Operations and Security Manager for the last 5 years. I have worked with the Cyber Squad of the San Diego office of the FBI since 1998, and I have been an active member of the FBI’s national InfraGard public-private alliance for critical infrastructure protection since 2002. From 2010-2012, I was on the steering committee and co-chair of the critical infrastructure workgroup for Securing Our eCity, another public-private non-profit partnership (securingourecity.org) with over 300 members across the San Diego region and nation; whose purpose is public awareness and education of cybersecurity (their mission is “to enable every San Diegan to live, work and play safely in the cyber world”). For the last two years, I have been teaching online courses for the Master’s Program in Cyber Security & Information Assurance at National University.

So, now let’s delve into the criminal world of identity theft, one of the most common types of cyber crimes, and learn what precautions you can take to help protect your personal information. If you think you are reasonably safe from identity theft because you don’t use a computer or the Internet to conduct any financial transactions – think again! Even if you don’t conduct online transactions, your information is stored online by retailers, financial and healthcare institutions, whose systems may be attacked. Also remember, people have been impersonating other people for centuries; so, computers and large databases of personal information have just increased a criminal’s ability to perpetrate and hide this crime. Do you know how many different types of identity theft there are? We will discuss one type that relies on the victim having money or high credit limits to make it worthwhile for a criminal, and three types that don’t depend on the victim having any financial resources or require the use of a computer.

The first type, and the one you hear about most in the news, is stolen credit/debit cards or other banking information, where the criminal’s purpose is to take as much money as possible (as either cash or merchandise). The second type, which is not so well published, is criminal identity theft, where someone takes on your identity, often with a fraudulent Driver’s License and Social Security number in your name, they commit a felony, get caught and arrested under your identity; they post bail and leave the area, and now you have an arrest warrant and a criminal record. The third type, which is on the rise, is medical identity theft, where the criminal uses your identity to gain access to medical treatment or medicine. In either case, your personal medical history will be altered to include whatever ‘new’ condition was introduced by the criminal and could cause adverse (potentially fatal) procedures the next time you need medical treatment or prescription medicine. The fourth and last type covered here, is child identity theft, where the criminal takes the Social Security number of a young child and uses it to get a job, take out a loan or get a credit card; often using the child’s name with a different date of birth close to their real age.

There are lots of details for how criminals commit each of these types of identity theft, which we do not have space to cover in this article. One common method to any type of identity theft, which has been used for decades and is still widely used today, is “dumpster diving” – going through people’s trash to find personal information. Unfortunately, criminals will gather personal information from many different sources, until they have enough to create a false identity (in your name). The rest of this article will address some physical protection methods for your personal information, to the extent it is within your control.

One method to see if you might be a victim of identity theft, is to monitor your credit reports (not just your credit score, which is used by lenders for issuing credit/loans). Everyone is entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three primary credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The best place to access your reports for all three agencies, is at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/. You should get a report from just one agency at a time, spread out every four months during the year, so you can review the information without waiting a full year. You should be checking to see if any new credit requests were made that you did not initiate, or if there are any address changes that are not yours, or if credit balances have reached maximum when you haven’t been using the accounts. If you see any discrepancies, immediately notify the credit reporting agency and contact the company that posted the erroneous information (this may be a bank or credit card company). If you think you might be a victim of identity theft, contact your local law enforcement agency (San Diego County Sheriff for Borrego Springs). You can also contact the ITRC for free advice and counseling (888-400-5530, Mon.-Fri., 7:30am-4:30pm).

Physical protection of your personal information is generally a simple task. If something has only your name and address on it, such as an envelope or other mail-related papers, then you can usually just dispose of those in the recycling/trash. However, if something contains your name and any type of account or ID number – including those free credit card applications, and especially your credit card or banking statements, insurance or medical statements, and even a utility bills (water, sewer, gas, electric, cable TV or cell phone) – then you need to use a cross-cut or ‘confetti’ shredder to destroy those documents before they go into the recycling/trash bin. Don’t use a straight-cut shredder, because those documents can be reconstructed fairly easily. For information about ‘pre-screened’ credit offers, including how to stop them, visit http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0148-prescreened-credit-and-insurance-offers. Another physical security tip – whenever you are using an ATM or logging in to websites on your laptop/tablet or smartphone in a public place, always be aware of your surroundings and who might be watching you (which might be a remote camera mounted nearby, usually overhead). If possible, use one hand to cover the keypad or keyboard while you enter your PIN or password, so it’s not visible from prying eyes. One last tip – if possible, avoid using a debit card at a gas station, use cash (or at least a credit card), because gas stations are prime targets for criminals using illegal card scanners inserted within the gas station’s payment machines.

Protecting your information in cyber space becomes a little more involved and will be covered with some tips and best practices in the next article – Part 2 on the topic of Identity Theft.

This article was written by Alan Watkins

CyberTECH Intern Discusses e-Block Classroom Experience at e3 Civic High

Jah’neice Mitchell
October 17, 2014
San Diego, CA

For the 2014-15 school year at e3 Civic High, an additional course called e-Block has been added. e3 students attend different e-Blocks on Wednesday for 3 hours. The e-Block I am placed in is called Community Classroom. Community Classroom prepares students for internships, college and developing professionalism.

During my sophomore year at e3, I started to intern for a company called CyberTECH. Because I still have my internship for the 2014-15 school year, during community classroom I help Dean Krotz, Mrs. Leon and Ms. Lozano prepare other students for internships. Being able to help other students in this e-Block strengthens my leadership skills. When new interns come to CyberTECH, I will be able to use the skills I’m developing in this e-Block and put it to use.

Another topic we are going over is college and getting outside scholarships and letters of recommendation. During a couple of CyberTECH events, a few members have told me that they would write me a letter of recommendation and informed me about programs I could apply for to get scholarships. This is one of the many opportunities I have been faced with while working at CyberTECH.

Developing professionalism is also key when going out to intern. Taking selfies and posting them on social media when you are supposed to be working could be considered unprofessional. Posting pictures of your supervisor without permission is unprofessional as well. When I am at CyberTECH and all my work is completed, if I choose to take a couple of pictures, I will first ask my supervisor for permission.

Community classroom is a really great course for me because I am developing many skills that I will apply to CyberTECH. Not only is this e-Block helping me with my internship but it is preparing me for college as well.

WHAT TO DITCH FOR THE PITCH, START WITH POWERPOINT

The winner of yesterday’s CyberTECH Spotlight Pitch Night. was EDGEHome. It was a honor to be invited to judge the competition. I focused on form while substance was handled by an extremely talented, intelligent and experienced group of start-up veterans. including Garrett Borunda, Neal Cunningham, and Ed Lake.

EDGEHome CEO and Founder Scott Steele chose images for his slide deck. The contrast between a futuristic George Jetson image and the reality of the modern kitchen brought his point home in just two slides. It got my vote and more importantly, also the vote of my colleagues of substance.

Other participants chose text heavy slide decks (some in all caps). It cost them points in spite of the substance of their pitch.

What I learned all over again was there are no neutral slide decks. Clear images, a minimum amount of clear, readable text and smooth delivery wins, anything less should ditched.

What to Leave In.

Good Posture, Manners and Dress – I’m just saying.

Your Authentic Voice – You are the first asset investors consider.

Visual Focus – Please don’t make any sudden, threatening moves.

Fun – If you relax, we will all have great fun.

This blog was written by Jerry Gitchel

The Art of the Pitch

When I first started speaking professionally a 45 minute keynote was the standard. At the birth of TED, the model got cut to ribbons when the standard became 18 minutes. On Friday night a small group of entrepreneurs will sweat and squeeze their pitches into an incredibly tight 3 minute box. I wish them luck. Hell, wish me luck, I’ve got the pick a winner! I’ve been invited to serve as a judge for this Friday’s CyberTECH Spotlight Pitch Night.

Not being one to throw my fellow entrepreneurs to the wolves, I’m going to share with I’ve learned from my 15 years on the platform. Including the nightmare of speaking to Ms. Joanne’s 5th grade class and surviving the ComedyZone’s Stand Up Comedy School.

When it comes to presenting on any topic, to any size audience, there are three areas of focus. Visual, Vocal, Content. We’ll look at each as we walk through the three phases of Pitchfest.

Pre-Pitch

Start with the content. It’s a variable that expands or contracts based on the length of the presentation. As the duration shortens, each word becomes more important. What to leave in and what to take out also varies. Each investor has their own idea of what they need to hear. Consider asking them directly. It’s not against the rules. If they say yes to your pitch, you’re going to have plenty of serious discussions later. Why wait? Start asking questions.

Rehearse, out loud please – At first it will be too long. Type it up, print it out, cut and slash and pound on it until you are UNDER the time limit.

Once you’re close, record it for your personal review – I know this is hard, but watch the clip Hey, it’s only three minutes!

Review then repeat until you’re satisfied. When you’re done, burn the evidence.

Prepare a list of possible questions. Rehearse your answers. The trick here is to provide a direct answer, then elaborate. If asked about 7, don’t start with 1. By the time you get to 3, no one will be listening.

The Pitch

The key here is to capture the audiences visual focus. As your introduction ends, walk to the center, turn and HOLD STILL. Wait two short beats then start your presentation.

Keep Calm and Pitch On – Don’t stop, but don’t hurry. Like playing the Blues, it’s the space between the notes that count. Bracket each statement with a pause.

You can move, but only in sync with the rhythm of your voice – Speak, stop, move, speak. Focus on an individual and deliver the next statement to them. Don’t stare, share.

Never. Ever, let the timer have the last word – It’s your pitch, you need to take it over the finish line. Trying to squeeze in a few more words at the end is selfish. Finish before the time calls you out.

Questions are the most important part – Have a member of your team jot down which questions get asked during Q & A. It’s the best feedback you can get for crafting your next pitch.

Post-pitch

It’s NOT Miller time. Engage audience members individually. You already know how do did, so don’t even ask. Asking, “What did you like best?” gets the conversation started on a positive note. “What area would you have liked to hear more about?” eliminates the simple yes or no response.

Put the worms back in the can with a closing that includes a request for a follow-up conversation. Close with gratitude. Thanks for being here wraps up your pitch with a big bright bow.

I’m looking forward to working with San Diego’s finest. If you agree, use the link below to RSVP. You will be amazed!

Event Details

CyberTECH Spotlight Friday Pitch Night

This blog was written by Jerry Gitchel

CleanTECH San Diego Partners with CyberTECH to Support San Diego’s Startup Community

Local nonprofit industry trade organizations CleanTECH San Diego and CyberTECH today announced a partnership to advance San Diego’s technology startup industry.

Both organizations share a mission of stimulating and accelerating the San Diego region’s innovation economy. This new partnership combines CleanTECH San Diego’s focus on clean technology with CyberTECH’s expertise in cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT) to nurture startups that bridge the sectors.

In January 2013, CyberTECH launched an incubator program and shared workspaces to provide startups with resources such as opportunities for mentorship and places to work. CleanTECH San Diego’s partnership with CyberTECH includes dedicated workspace for early-stage cleantech companies in iHive, CyberTECH’s IoT incubator located in downtown San Diego. iHive members receive benefits such as business support services, robust data connectivity, shared reception area, and conference rooms.

CleanTECH San Diego and CyberTECH will also work together to introduce San Diego-based startup companies to the clean technology and IoT industries through organized pitch events such as CyberTECH’s Spotlight Friday Pitch Nights and CleanTECH San Diego’s SCRUB Program. Both programs support early-stage companies seeking professional guidance and practice presenting their business plans.

“Cleantech, cybersecurity, and IoT technologies are rapidly converging in the marketplace, and San Diego, with its diverse and collaborative cluster, is poised to capitalize on this,” said CyberTECH Chairman and Founder Darin Andersen. “By leveraging robust IoT applications, CleanTECH San Diego is at the forefront of developing San Diego as a leader in clean technology innovation. Coupled with the CyberTECH community of the nation’s top security and IoT companies, CleanTECH San Diego and CyberTECH will work collaboratively to position San Diego as a smart and secure city.”

“Today’s cutting-edge energy efficiency solutions are innately tied to Internet of Things technologies,” said CleanTECH San Diego President Jason Anderson. “As society moves toward smarter cities and the ability to use sensors and big data to more effectively manage our energy use via online platforms, questions of privacy and cybersecurity inevitably arise. CleanTECH San Diego’s partnership with CyberTECH is a prime example of San Diego’s propensity for open collaboration between and across industries.”

Jason Anderson will serve on the Advisory Board of CyberTECH and Darin Anderson will join CleanTECH San Diego’s Board of Directors.

A Short Introduction: Interpreter for Embedded Target

One of my friends, Mark Williamsen, writes a blog about his various projects. Recently he sent me this link concerning his, Measurement Appliance Design Page. This is a deep topic (to me) concerning how to create interfaces for embedded devices that acquires and then measures data.

Here is Mark’s definition for a Measurement Appliance:

“A “Measurement Appliance” is simply a measuring instrument which exposes a file system interface. This is my definition, which I’m using to promote a new paradigm for data acquisition, measurement, and control. The concept is quite simple, based on the current generation of handheld devices which expose a file system interface via USB (Universal Serial Bus).”

I understand the thrust of his perspective for communicating with embedded devices relies upon the simple file system which is built into most computer systems. Mark describes his writings as, “simple proof-of-concept prototypes” that he would like to advance.

His description goes into a lot of detail, some of which is over my head and some has captivated my attention. Two references helped me better understand Mark’s idea:

Interpreter Pattern
Interpreters in Computing
Apparently the beauty and simplicity of his design revolves around the portability of text files stored on volumes that are automatically recognized by many standard computer systems that cause program execution by means of triggering filesystem calls!

Readers are asked to refer to Mark’s actual blog for more details. I’ve barely scratched the surface because this post is simply an introduction of the potential usage of this concept.

I can say Mark believes custom interpreters can be easily written for embedded devices using his idea and is a great solution for the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

This blog was written by Don Larson, NewAdventures

Where Does the Yellow Brick Road to IoT Lead?

In the Internet of Things: Fluidity of Purpose post, my main point spoke a little concerning how I perceive the ever-growing complexity of the Internet Of Things (IoT). I’ll admit there are probably an infinite number of perspectives one could take on that topic.

How would a person start and in particular, what path should a programmer interested in diving into IoT take? Someone after all might be starting out in Kansas and anticipating an adventure on the trip. Someone else might be from nearby Missouri and needs to be shown a great deal first prior to commitment. One approach I recently read about is the The ALLJOYN Open Source Project, briefly described by the ALLSEENALLIANCE as:

“AllJoyn is an open source project for the discovery and interoperability of things across brands, categories and platforms”

Qualcomm apparently is involved with promoting that path. But they are not alone. Apple with HomeKit and Google acquiring Nest Labs blaze other trails. It takes a certain amount of mind, heart, and courage for a programmer to jump in and devote time and energy with one of those approaches.

According to Daniel Price’s article, 5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth, he assembled some generalized facts about IoT. On that linked page he displays a graphic of complexity for the landscape and says this about it:

“The internet of things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and kitchen appliances at once, while also learning peoples’ habits, what they like, and what they do not like. See the infographic below put together by the team of Matt Turck and Sutian Dong at First Mark Capital which helps illustrate this growing landscape.”

So far my theme here revolves around a person taking copious amounts of information into consideration before starting out on a particular path, of which I’ve only mentioned very few options.

It turns out that humans are not the only entities suitable for IoT exploration. This article, Robots Can Learn Faster By Crowdsourcing Information From The Internet, may serve as a wake-up call for humans to previously unrecognized competitors. Can robots find the shortest path towards successfully reaching IoT integration by sampling the very information we might publicize on the Internet chronicling our own progress? How fast might robots compile, absorb, and reuse the content of what this PC World article describes as the face of IoT in 2020? Below is a snippet of what it predicts:

“Intel, Samsung and Dell are among the founding members of Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), which later this year will deliver the first of many specifications for hassle-free data flow between devices, regardless of the OS, device type or wireless communication technology.

The OIC companies will contribute open-source code so developers can write common software stacks for communications and notifications across handsets, remote controls, wearables, appliances and other sensor devices.

The consortium will first establish standards around connectivity, discovery and authentication of devices, and data-gathering instruments in “smart homes,” consumer electronics and enterprises, said Gary Martz, product line manager at Intel.”

I find the future of IoT exciting. At the same time though, it’s difficult to know where to put the best time and effort forward.

Darin Andersen, CEO of iHive/CyberTech here in San Diego assembled a Flipboard consisting of many topics about IoT. Below are a couple of articles from Darin’s Flipboard collection that may help bring focus to something important to us all:

Could the ‘Internet of Things’ Really Save the U.S. Economy?
What the Internet Of Things Will Bring to the Workplace
San Diego is a prominent Technology Hub already on the map of IoT. Being a part of CyberHive/CyberTech here in San Diego is a significant part of that Hub. I wrote about that impetus about five week ago on this blog.

In many ways the Yellow Brick Road to IoT has a Center of Activity in San Diego. Stay tuned about news from this region as the future unfolds.

This blog was written by Don Larson, NewAdventures

Soup Collaboration

In the famous fable a traveler arrives in a village with nothing to eat. The villagers rebuff him until he fills a cooking pot with water, lights a fire and places a single stone in the pot. One by one, the reluctant villagers respond to the traveler’s lament that the stone soup would taste much better if only he could add some “garnish”. As if by magic, each villager collaborates with ingredients until they do indeed feast on everything but the stone.

San Diego Tech Week demonstrated we have all the ingredients for a great tech soup right here in San Diego. All we need is to convince the villagers to share their gifts. We have collaboration at a high level as well as a commitment from the city administration. If we really want to get things cooking, we need your help.

In the recent report, The Rise of Innovation Districts, by the Brookings Institution, authors Bruce Katz and Julie Wagner report on the rise of urban enclaves fueled by innovation. Face to face collaboration was cited as the number one success factor.

If you are ready to rise above the labels “Just a Navy Town” or “Silicon Beach”, here’s some small steps that will swing big doors.

Dig Into Your Network – Identify your Peeps and Tweeps and give San Diego a shout-out in all your conversations. Invite them to visit, share your events, build the buzz.

Be San Diego Proud – Localize your social profiles by adding events focusing on the business of starting or investing in local business.

Sponsor a Cathedral Field Trip – As a teen I attended Encanto Baptist Church. We would attend the evening service of other local churches. It helped us build both awareness and a larger community. Engage the members of tech villages other than your own.

Cavett Robert, founder of the National Speakers Association said it best. Instead of trying to carve up the pie, “Let’s just work to build a bigger pie.”

So, which ingredients will you add to the pot?

This blog was written by Jerry Gitchel

The East West CyberTECH VIP Reception Experience

On June 25, 2014, I accepted a special invitation to attend the East West CyberTECH VIP Reception in downtown San Diego, California. As an Advisor to the Board of iHive, I found it to be an enlightening experience.

I had the opportunity to meet and talk with many of the people invited from the East Coast, specifically, The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB) and Maryland of Opportunity group, both of whom are involved in what is referred to as “CyberTech East“.

The purpose of the EAGB organization follows:

“The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB) is a not-for-profit economic development organization led by a partnership of regional business executives, elected government officials and leaders from higher education, focused on fostering business retention and development, job creation and new investment throughout the Greater Baltimore region.”

The mission of the Maryland of Business organization follows:

“Mission is to create, attract, and retain jobs while promoting Maryland’s vibrant cultural economies.”

Security in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry is a prime concern for all involved. Lawyers, CEO’s, Venture Capitalists, Developers, and Marketers all have a deep concern to make IoT succeed and be very profitable. Darin Andersen, CEO of CyberTech/iHive spoke about security before he welcomed everyone then asked the approximately 40 attendees to introduce themselves to each other.

One of the person’s I spoke to after introductions is, Teri Karobonik, Staff Attorney Fellow at New Media Rights. Teri’s non-profit organization is located here in San Diego and serves Internet Creators and Users. She made it a point to emphasize low-cost legal services, often a key factor in technology related industries.

I spoke to an Angel Investor from the East Coast. I was informed of some of the initial steps for considering this type of business investment. My software development S-Corp, Newbound Inc., is looking for investments to bring our business to the next level. Being able to meet established business professionals interested in IoT in CyberTech and iHive events is important to my business partner and I.

We attendees had plenty of time to talk about non-business and non-technical topics as well. Good food and tasty beverages as always was provided courtesy of CyberTech. Darin and CyberTech Operations and Marketing Manager, Maggey Felix are great hosts.

I appreciated talking to one CEO who had traveled from Baltimore to San Diego by vehicle to arrive here. We spoke about the famous Wall Drugs signs, always a tourist comment for those traveling on I-90 in South Dakota. I believe the furthest Wall Drug distance road marker I ever encountered was in southern Arizona!

Later this year San Diego CyberTech travels to Baltimore, Maryland among other places to extend San Diego’s favor of fellowship.

This blog was written by Don Larson, NewAdventures

iHive Launch and San Diego Startup Week

San Diego, California is a fine and strong city. The people here want this city and region to remain a place of prosperity and growth. We in the Information Technology industry work hard with companies and government to achieve and then surpass worthwhile mutual beneficial goals.

Today I was part of the launch of iHive, one San Diego Technology Incubator. I sit on the Advisor Board of iHive. Today is also the start of San Diego Startup Week and it kicked-off at iHive headquarters with a strong leadership lineup. Darin Andersen, Chairman & Founder of CyberTech and iHive, started the event with an audience of about 60 or m0re political leaders, corporate leaders, and entrepreneurs gathered in the courtyard area of iHive. Darin then introduced a round of speakers including these San Diego elected officials:

San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer
City Council President, Todd Gloria
Former San Diego Mayor, Jerry Sanders
San Diego Council President Pro Tem, Sherri Lightner

Other industry speakers followed including, F Christian Byrnes, Gartner Managing Vice President IT Risk and Security. At the break, I had a few minutes to speak to Christian about his security comments regarding the Internet of Things (IoT) and how my company’s Newbound Network software fits in with the security model of IoT. All the speakers validated the premise that we are putting San Diego on the map on par with San Francisco and Silicon Valley as one more premier technology region. All the speakers today reinforced that vision and pledged along with the rest of the attendees to work hard to continue. There are a number of Technology Incubators in the San Diego region. iHive will play a strong role in delivering the promise of the Internet of Things to San Diego. I’m proud to be involved with iHive at the start as all in iHive move forward. Stay tuned!

This blog was written by Don Larson, NewAdventures