Archive for April, 2019

12 Ways for Tech Developers to Build Security into Their Projects from the Start

April 25th, 2019

Security is a consideration that should be top-of-mind in any new tech product. As technology advances, so too do the ways in which hackers can utilize applications and data storage to get past security systems. The latest best practices in security should never be an afterthought when it comes to launching new tech.

Below, 12 experts from Forbes Technology Council explain their best pieces of security advice for technology leaders working to build security into their products from the beginning.

  1. Consider the Three ‘As’ Of Security

Sticking to the basics will be my advice for fellow security leaders. Three “As” that define the basics of security are awareness, agility and advanced technology, in the same order as written. Often, organizations focus on advanced technology controls, but the best security return on investment is realized when we prioritize security awareness programs and embrace execution agility by eliminating the red tape. – Parthasarathi Chakraborty, Guardian Life

  1. Test Often, Early And Fast

Don’t wait until your product is well into the development process to test for security flaws. Run security scans in the daily build and treat issues as critical bugs. Also, make sure you subscribe to new releases of any part of your technology stack—security patches are released often and should be incorporated as soon as possible to reduce technical debt. – Bruno Guicardi, CI&T

  1. Allow For Security Updates

Bake in mechanisms that allow for updates to security capabilities as threats evolve. IoT (Internet of Things) is the perfect example of what not to do. The vast majority of IoT products aren’t secure and don’t allow for consumer-friendly firmware updates or downloads. In product builds, a little foresight goes a long way. – Adam Stern, Infinitely Virtual

  1. Include Security in the Build Process

You have to incorporate security standards into the design and build process. Think about building a home. If you decide to install smoke detectors once the house is fully built, painted and furnished, it will be expensive, and you may miss areas that need them. Think about where the data is going, who accesses it, and how the permission and authentication work during the build. – John J. Higginson, Enova

  1. Start with Data

The most important thing to note with security is around data management: How is data collected, how is it stored, how is it transferred and who has access to it? Understanding where your private user information lives will enable your team to better manage risk and prevent a breach from happening. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

  1. Use IoT Security Services

With IoT, you need to analyze where each individual component comes from. Even if everything on your end is scrutinized and secure, components come from different manufacturers who may not share your safety ideals. The same goes for your encryption protocol. Hackers can access your data as you’re sending it, so utilizing IoT security services like AWS Device Defender might be a good idea. – Artem Petrov, Reinvently

  1. Hack Yourself Before the Bad Guys Do

The bad guys are out there, but there are “ethical hackers” you can employ to find vulnerabilities. Use a security firm to run annual penetration tests on your infrastructure. Pay bug bounties (usually $500) to “white hat hackers” who find security exploits. And run phishing emails on your employees to see who takes the bait. Humans can be your weakest link, and “live fire” exercises do work! – Vinay Pai,

  1. Build a Fortress

When building security into a product—especially one that connects to the internet—assume everyone is out to “pwn” (hack) that product. Beyond designing defensively, it may also be necessary to lock down and verify all remote access, keep detailed access logs during testing and even proactively block access to bad actors. Achieving this in a friendly, easy-to-use consumer product is the challenge. – Chris Kirby Retired

  1. Be Cognizant Of History

So many technologists have such wonderful skills and creativity that they sometimes become “intechicated,” neglecting the greatest risk—physical security. Phishing, illegal access, copying, data manipulation, malware, and on and on all stem from poor physical security. If you can limit access and make it step one of your everyday cyber DNA, you will have a sound foundation for your technology. – Wayne Lonstein, VFT Solutions, Inc.

  1. Guard against Scale

Consider how security may be impacted by product growth: number of users, amount of data stored, geographic distribution, operations per second, etc. Security risks are always present; design your product to ensure that those risks do not become unacceptable when elements of the product or its use grow by orders of magnitude beyond expectations. – Seth Noble,Data Expedition, Inc.

  1. Minimize Your Attack Surface

Think like the adversary. There will inevitably be security bugs in any piece of moderately complex software, so think about how you can minimize the amount of your software that will be accessible directly or indirectly by an unauthenticated user. And implement a strong identity with multifactor dynamic authentication from day one. – Gaurav Banga, Balbix

  1. Build Trust between Security and Development Teams

IT leaders must start by establishing trust between security and development teams. Evangelize early and often and create win-win situations by finding someone on the team who’s doing it right. Celebrate what’s working, and use them as an example of where the team should be going. Help teams understand that the product will impact a customer’s life, rather than the organization. – Robert Reeves, Datical

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Forbes Technology Council.



12 Creative Ways to Repurpose a Successful Marketing Campaign

April 18th, 2019

Marketing campaigns require extensive preparation and guided execution. Not only does the process involve brainstorming and innovative content creation, but it also entails tailoring the idea to the specific audience and finding the best channels to reach them. After all that work, it would be a shame not to make the fullest use of the carefully crafted resources for the company’s best advantage—especially if the campaign was strong and well-received.

In fact, after a successful effort, agencies may be tempted to reuse the concept and/or content in other marketing outreaches—and why shouldn’t they? We asked 12 experts from Forbes Communications Council to share tips for breathing fresh life into a proven marketing campaign.

Members of Forbes Communications Council share methods for repurposing a marketing campaign that’s been successful in one venue for another.

  1. Take A Multi-Channel Approach

When you have a compelling piece of content that is showing signs of success, look to see if there are ways that you can repurpose that content across channels. What is successful via email could show additional value on social, display or even direct advertising channels. Understanding how to maximize your content across the channels can multiply success. – Alyssa Kleinman, CipherHealth

  1. Never Let The Sun Set On A Good Message

In today’s oversaturated world, effective marketing messages are hard to come by. We recommend taking a “create it once, use it many” approach for messages that speak to your core audience. With digital tools, elements can be mixed and matched into all types of multi-touch campaigns. The first thing to do when starting a new campaign is to pick a few elements from the previous top performers. – Ryan George, 1st Global

  1. Use Display as a Testing Ground

Display advertising is a great testing ground for different campaigns. Trying different messaging and offers is typically easy to do. Once you find a successful campaign in display, repurpose it to pay-per-click, Facebook or LinkedIn to target your ideal buyer. Since those are generally higher costs, you are limiting your exposure by going with an already vetted idea. – Jessica Hennessey, Resonate Online, LLC

  1. Increase ROI through ABM

In the business-to-business world, we take successful campaigns and package them into accounts-based marketing (ABM) opportunities. This allows us to tailor successful campaigns to a specific account and run engagement, such as a workshop or other mini-event, leveraging the campaign materials. We’ve seen great success with this strategy, and we’re not alone—85% of B2B marketers say they see increased return on investment from ABM. – Jennifer Kyriakakis, MATRIXX Software

  1. Apply Audience Insights Cross-Channel

Leverage insights from a successful campaign to inform efforts beyond that channel. We see clients leveraging offline insights from their digital campaigns to increase performance in search and social—from which times consumers were most receptive to the ads to how many exposures it took to convert, what days/times customers are visiting and what other brands they have an affinity for. – Valentina Marastoni-Bieser, Cuebiq

  1. Maximize Your Efforts, Expand Your Reach

Take a high-performing display ad to new channels within a similar context. If you have a message and creative that worked well on a big media website, look for similar websites that can provide opportunities to tap into new audiences. Maximize your efforts and expand your target audience’s awareness of your company and its offerings. – Dana Córdova

  1. Reuse Channel Combinations That Work

We’ve had success replicating campaigns with similar elements from year to year. For example, the past few years we’ve run a nurturing campaign on accounts that have a direct mail element along with automated emails with content assets and personal follow-up from sales reps. From year to year, we change the direct mail piece and offer new content, but the elements/channels are the same. – Amanda Sullivan, TEAM Software

  1. Design with Multiple Uses in Mind

The most effective way to use a marketing campaign in multiple venues—and via multiple channels—is to design it that way to begin with. The messages and themes you use at an event can appear in email, banner ads and social media. You can have more content on Web pages, with videos and written pieces to add to it. Even if you can’t implement everything at once, consider it all as you plan. – Erica Vener, RedSeal

  1. Go the Extra Mile via Video

One of your digital campaigns got a lot of engagement—that’s great! What is that telling you? Your audience wants more. Try taking the topic to the already existing audience and new audiences by creating a YouTube show, where you dive deeper into the topic that got great attention. Give the experts at your company some face time and consistently put out video content that can gain a following. – Ashton Belk, Agile For All, LLC

  1. Test Ideas on Social Media

Social media can be the engagement testing ground before you invest more money in a full marketing campaign. Social media can help you determine your clients’ interests, attract them to engage more and teach you what doesn’t work with your audience. Once a solid social campaign has been established, carry over the messaging and design into your print or digital campaign for even greater success. – Kara Cowie, SkillPath

  1. Turn an Article into an Infographic

An effective way to repurpose a blog post that received a lot of engagement is to turn it into info graphic. This works best with listicle-style blogs (e.g., “Top 5 Ways to Increase Email Open Rates”). Condense the information into digestible points, and then design it into an info graphic that can be shared on your social channels. – Antoine Bonicalzi, Cyber impact

  1. Repurpose Your Video Content

Video is hot for marketing these days. Repurposing video is easy and often effective. Create a video that you love, and then post it on multiple social sites. Each site will get different results as they each have a different audience. You can also live stream, then upload it to YouTube. When repurposing it, add subtitles, because many people watch videos on silent mode while in public. – Ellicia Romo, Peoples Mortgage Company

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Forbes Communications Council.


4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Help You Be More Strategic, Dynamic and Productive

April 11th, 2019

Widespread job loss, autonomous robots, humanity being rendered virtually useless as people are thrown into the depths of poverty.

This isn’t the description of some post-apocalyptic film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger or Will Smith. These are the very real fears of many workers across the world as automation and artificial intelligence (A.I.) grow in prominence across all industries and companies — including burger flipping — in what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

According to a study done by the University of Oxford, researchers estimate that in the next 20 years, nearly 47% of U.S. jobs will be impacted by automation. Additionally, a 2014 Breugel analysis reported that nearly 54% of E.U. jobs were at risk of computerization.

When looking at these numbers, people are understandably concerned about the future of work.

But the future of work isn’t as bleak as these statistics claim. In fact, it’s pretty bright.

Yes, automation and A.I. have disrupted the job market. And yes, they have both changed the ways we define and do work. However, in doing so, both technologies have allowed humans to tap into cognitive skills that many haven’t explored before. And let’s face it, there are certain cognitive abilities and capacities that we possess that are, and will probably remain to be for some time, better than that of our robot counterparts.

Beyond that, automation and A.I. can help us work more effectively and efficiently. Just like the ways we collaborate on a team and have team members bring different valuable skills to the table, so can A.I. and automation. Both technologies are already enabling machines to assist humans with complex tasks like forecasting and have taken over dangerous tasks like stocking the shelves of a warehouse.

But the perks of A.I. and automation aren’t limited to industrial warehouses. They can also be used to make the life of the everyday professional easier. In the same vein of using A.I. to take on tedious tasks like inventory replenishing, these technologies can help the modern worker simplify their workload and help them focus on the bigger picture instead of the little things.

And it doesn’t stop there.

By taking on these functions, they’ve given human workers a chance to explore new growth opportunities and to update their skillset — basically upgrading ourselves like an iPhone to the latest iOS. And even though our personal upgrade won’t give us new emojis (as fun as they are), it’ll ultimately make us more decisive, collaborative, and efficient.

Here are four ways A.I. can help you upgrade your workflow to be more strategic, dynamic, and productive.


A lot of people complain about the amount of time they spend in meetings (virtual and in-person) but scheduling them can be just as much of a pain. A.I. can help break the scheduling shackles by not only finding free time on your and your team’s calendars but also managing attendee responses and feedback. Thus, freeing up your time and inbox so you can give your attention to things and to-do’s that matter.

Being on top of your schedule is essential for team leaders. Regular one-on-one meetings between managers and employees can boost team morale as well as provide full transparency between all team members, which will build trust between all people involved.

Routine one-on-ones don’t just lead to more engagement, but more productivity.

Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, a human touch is sometimes needed. In other cases, not so much. This is where the chatbot comes in. Teams and companies can use a chatbot to handle basic customer service issues and inquiries like simple how-to’s or troubleshooting an issue.

Many chatbots are programmed with natural language capabilities to either directly respond customer requests or to route the client to a human representative if needed. Incorporating chatbots into your team eliminates the mundane issues that usually make up most customer requests for representatives, while simultaneously streamlining the process for clients. That way, customer service representatives can spend their time and energy on high-priority tickets and concerns.


Drafting and sending e-mails can be a drag — especially when the content in each message remains more or less the same with a few tweaks here and there. This is especially true for marketing and sales teams, where following up on leads and speaking with customers sometimes follows more of a template than a natural conversation. With A.I., the banality of e-mail is nearly banished from everyday tasks.

A.I. features like predictive personalization for e-mail recipients; smart segmentation, optimized e-mail subject lines, e-mail automation workflow, and more can help increase open rates and click-through rates. With these techniques you can spend less time in front of a blank e-mail message trying to figure out what to write and how to write it.

Your Own Personal Assistant

If you consider Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa one of your BFF’s, then you’re quite familiar with the concept behind A.I.-powered personal assistants. From recipe directions to telling you what the weather is in Berlin, A.I. personal assistants have been built to make your life easier. This same notion can be applied to aspects of your workday as well, with A.I. assistants taking over your calendar, setting reminders for your to-do list, and sending meeting requests on your behalf.

It’s time to work smarter, not harder.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Florian Frey, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer of Ruum by SAP.


Why It’s Critical To Sales To Periodically Re-Evaluate and Update Your Website

April 4th, 2019

It’s very easy to overlook the “clutter” created on your website because it’s in the digital space. Like the old saying goes: out of site, out of mind.

Think of it this way, if you had a brick-and-mortar business and the backroom or sales floor was overflowing with old catalogs, sale product, empty boxes, and other clutter, you would address it immediately. Your website has to be treated the same way.

Customers give you about 90 seconds before they make up their mind about your product. For your website, assume you have less than a tenth of that time to get a user to click through. Most of the product’s initial impact is based on color and design, but there are other factors. If your page takes longer than three seconds to load, for example, you’ve already lost 53% of your mobile users.

Having a website that’s up to date is vital for continuous sales. But day-to-day operations are demanding, and often leave little room for tinkering with the website. Let’s look at five crucial aspects of your website that should be addressed periodically to keep your website in good operating order.

Give That Old Design Work a Makeover

If you’re using an old logo that needs some new life, or you want a more impactful brand look to improve your bounce rate, you can crowd source your design work with crowd spring. You’ll get work submitted from 50 to 150 designers, and you buy the work you like. Using generic templates like Canva may be a good solution if you have no budget, but canned design work says nothing about your identity and will hurt you in the long run.

DIY visual design is usually not recommended. Professionals exist for a reason. But if you just want to add some fresh photos to your site and you’re not familiar with the nuances of Photoshop, you can try online photo editors like piZap or PicMonkey. And for video, there are options such as PowToon to make snappy custom animations.

Review WebPages with Low Traffic

One look over your Google analytics and you can identify which pages of your site are highly trafficked and which ones aren’t.

For the pages that don’t have enough traffic, you should invest some time in doing keyword research and once you have long tail keywords that you want to optimize for, rewrite the copy for low performing pages incorporating the new keywords. This will bring more traffic to those pages over time.

Hire Hackers to Test Your Website for Weaknesses

A stale, outdated website may deter customers, but it’s very attractive to hackers. You don’t have to do much to avoid being a target, just make sure all your security patches, firewalls, and other security features are up to date. Find a good, inexpensive SSL/TLS provider if you don’t already have one. And brush up on best practices (or mistakes to avoid) for managing your public key infrastructure.

When your security is intact, enlist a penetration testing client such as Metasploit to assess your website for any vulnerabilities. The company evaluates your site from a hacker’s point of view, and equips you to stay a step ahead of current hacking technology. They offer an open source version as well as a commercial one, with online support for the learning curve.

Design a Website that’s Easy to Update In Real-Time

Running a website is difficult, and if you can’t be bothered with another task or an expensive web developer, considers a different way of managing your site and driving traffic. Having an updated website is crucial because majority of consumers are searching for local information online before making a buying decision. Millennials are more likely than any other generations to start with research, and whether they begin on social media or go directly to the local business website, up-to-date information is crucial.

Consider alternatives to a traditional small business website with apps like Go Nation. A free local business page on the platform does pretty much everything a small business website does. One key benefit, aside from ease of use, is a feature that can transform an outdated static website into a fully mobile website, while maintaining full control over your digital footprint. With two taps on your phone, you can add events, make product or menu updates, add photos, and update your business hours and more. Updated information shows up instantly on your website and is pushed out to other major platforms where your data lives, such as social media and community websites, saving business owners time.

“The goal of Go Nation is to make local business information relevant across the internet and not to complicate its purpose anymore, which is to quickly and accurately educate the consumer,” says Chaz Tanase, Go Nation’s CEO “Go Nation is designed to be the solution for both sides.”

Keep Your Web Copy Clean

If you’re writing or editing your own web copy, make sure you’re using a plugin like Grammarly. Small grammar or spelling mistakes are easy to make and look unprofessional. Grammarly is a free extension for Chrome, but requires a signup to unlock all the features. As with visual design, it’s always a good idea to work with professionals.

Now that your visuals are touched up, your security is tight, you’re connecting to locals and your copy is clean, you can start to measure the positive sales impact on your e-commerce business.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Jia Wertz.