Cyber Security Chicago Wrap-Up: Mark Lambiase of Fox Technologies


(Special thanks to Cyber-Security Chicago for complimentary access and Mark Lambiase of Fox Technologies for his time and insight. For other highlights, please check out part one with Kevin Mitnick and part two with Rotem Kasir) Please don’t forget about the Puerto Rico relief fundraiser at Uncommon Ground on October 27th).

According to Mark Lambiase of Fox Technologies, we currently live in an interesting period in computing. After attending his presentation for Cyber Security Chicago and a short conversation with him afterward, I believe that it is critical for nonprofits and other mission-driven businesses to see the impact of these rapid changes.

To paraphrase Mark’s presentation “Cloud, AI, Big Data… OH MY! How the Growing Scale of Systems is Changing the Game”, businesses are facing many challenges in an “interesting period in computing.” Movement from monolithic to modular systems, from “waterfall” to “swift” to “agile”, even thinking from “MIS” to “IT” to “DevOps”…technology is forcing businesses of all sizes to rethink their approach to technology. As changes in technology happen, both Moore’s Law (computer power growing for each dollar spent year) and Rubin’s Law (reduced cost of technology due to business growth, not savings) impacts how businesses spend their resources. As a result, as technology tools are revamped and become more efficient, there is increased use and many enterprises are challenged to stay up to date, as per the Jevons paradox. To summarize, businesses can do more because tools are becoming increasingly accessible and capable of handling complex tasks.
Photo Courtesy Cyber Security Chicago
Many companies are learning how to handle “virtualized” work, leading to an increasing reliance on “rented” cloud-based resources. As a result, businesses (including nonprofits and mission-driven organizations) are participating in a restructured tech economy.  With increasing scales of data, businesses are learning that Optimal is not always available and have to adapt accordingly. As he finished his presentation, Mark presented four key takeaways for businesses:

  • Do not expect past solutions to solve future problems
  • Expect failure (in plans, procedures, and tools)
  • Accept workarounds 
  • Plan as best as you can

After the presentation, I was fortunate enough to have a one-on-one conversation with Mark Lambiase. Mark is the Chief Technology Officer for Fox Technologies, a global security company that helps organizations centralize Linux and Unix access management across hybrid IT environments. As a leader in the data security industry for over 30 years, Fox Technologies is trusted by several of the world’s top Fortune

In my conversation with Mark, we both agreed about the implications of current technology trendlogo-fox-technologies-300x150s for nonprofits and smaller/mission-driven businesses. One key takeaway for organizations of all types was that as the costs for adopting tech are dropping, various organizations have to accommodate changes in how they operate. For many nonprofits and mission-driven organizations, agility is a driving principle in their operations. Cloud-based technology has resulted in greater economies of scale (since businesses can rely more on “rented resources” like SaaS), and nonprofits/smaller businesses are poised to take advantage of these trends.

For nonprofits used to scrimping and fundraising, investing in IT may seem counterproductive. However, with greater ability to perform greater tasks as reduced cost, nonprofits/mission-driven businesses now have the ability to modernize their tools to manage greater complexity and chaos. To summarize Mark’s perspective “Technology needs to be an appliance…and technology should be accessible, understandable, available, but does not have to be technical.” Changes in technology have a great impact on how businesses handle complicated tasks…and nonprofits have a strong advantage in leading the charge.

Encapsulating everything about Mark Lambiase’s presentation (and our follow-up discussion) would be difficult in a single blog post. However, there will be some posts in the future that discuss these implications in detail.

Tomorrow will be the final part of our Cyber Security Chicago wrap-up and will summarize my overall impressions. As a tech-minded individual who has a background working for nonprofits and other technology-based companies, this was a show that piqued my interest. Tomorrow’s post will answer one question – do I feel Cyber Security Chicago was worth attending?

Spoiler alert: the answer is “yes”. Details tomorrow.

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And as always, thanks for reading!

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