23 April 2016

Trust Decisions: The Wealth of Our Cognitive and Digital Transactions...

As you embark on your journey out the door today, you will be required to make dozens of "Trust Decisions".  You and the digital smart machines and the numerous human and digital trust transactions that you will encounter is quite fundamental.  Or is it?  As you walk into your office building the surveillance cameras are watching you and recording your behavior.  The iPhone in your pocket is transmitting your unique signals to digital data sensors embedded in the lobby.  As you press the button on the elevator to go up to your office, you are making another affirmative decision to trust.

When you step off at your floor and approach the door to your office, you might utilize your small "Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) device to swipe a small square mounted on the wall.  You hear the deadbolt unlock and you are now granted access to your office space to start your workday.  Now as you walk to your corner office, you glance at the top of the screen of your iPhone to see if you are connected automatically to the corporate wireless network and the VPN.  When you were granted access to the office, the corporate computer network knew you were now present in the office and you have been automatically granted access for your role on numerous software applications on your computing devices.

Start your day at work and now the number of digital trust encounters has just begun.  The "Trust Decisions" that you and your digital devices will be making, could reach into the hundreds after a long 8 hour day.  Yet there are five principles that emerged in May of 2015 from Oxford professor and author Jeffrey Ritter in his book "Achieving Digital Trust" we should consider now:
  • Every transaction creating wealth first requires an affirmative decision to trust.
  • Building trust creates new wealth.
  • Sustaining trust creates recurring wealth.
  • Achieving trust superior to your competition achieves market dominance.
  • Leadership rises (or falls) based on trust (or the absence of trust).
Think about a day in the life of your entire organization and the number of digital trust transactions that have nothing to do with actual monetary currency transfers.  The wealth that is being described here on first glance may be thought of in terms of dollars or yuan or property, yet what about the wealth of human trust?  A plentiful amount or an abundance of anything.  How tangible is the decision to trust the computing machine before you, or the person sitting across the desk who is a key supplier or that new client half way around the world just sending you a text message?

You see, we walk to work and communicate everyday, making hundreds of trust decisions.  Our corporate computing devices are making tens of thousands or millions of transactions of trust each hour.  The rules, information and calculations are known, because they are being measured.  Jeffrey Ritter says it this way:
Take a moment and think about each of these with respect to what you do in your business or in your job. How does the organization acquire wealth? Where does new wealth originate? How are customers retained? What provokes them to keep coming back and paying for your goods or services? Why does the leader in your market succeed? If you are not the market leader, why not? How is the loyalty of your team maintained? 
 The future is clear and becoming more revealing to us each day.  Digital trust, security and privacy of your organization and our societies are being defined before us in plain sight.  Can you see it?  The Washington Post illustrates a single example:

By Hayley Tsukayama and Dan Lamothe April 22 at 7:22 PM

Ever since Chinese computer maker Lenovo spent billions of dollars to acquire IBM’s personal-computer and server businesses, some lawmakers have called on federal agencies to stop using the company’s equipment out of concerns over Chinese spying.

This past week, those lawmakers thought the Pentagon finally heeded their warnings. An email circulated within the Air Force appeared to indicate that Lenovo was being kicked out.

“For immediate implementation: Per AF Cyber Command direction, Lenovo products are being removed from the Approved Products List and should not be purchased for DoD use. Lenovo products currently in use will be removed from the network,” stated the message. The apparent directive was generally welcomed as it circulated around Capitol Hill.

Then the Pentagon’s press office weighed in. Not so fast, it said.
Making "trust decisions" today at work and as you navigate home for the evening will be more apparent.  A heightened understanding of digital trust and how you engage with these transactions each waking hour may assist you in creating new wealth.  Improving the trust you have with computing machines and others at home or work, can make all the difference in life.

Where do you work and live?  Washington, DC.  London.  Moscow.  Beijing.  New Delhi.  Sydney.  It doesn't matter anymore because we are all connected by the Internet.  The opportunity for the societies of our planet to utilize "Information & Communication Technology" (ICT) to produce greater wealth is before us.  How will you proceed with your Trust Decisions?

16 April 2016

Leadership in Crisis: Building Trust with Continuous Training...

How often have you ever heard the leadership management philosophy that you must "Train Like You Fight"?  Here is another way to look at it:
The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.
Norman Schwarzkopf
The theme is all too familiar with Operational Risk Management (ORM) teams that operate on the front lines of asymmetric threats, internal corruption, natural disasters and continuous adversaries in achieving a "Defensible Standard of Care."

As the senior leader in your unit, department or subsidiary the responsibility remains high for preparedness, readiness and contingency planning.  Your personnel and company assets are at stake and so what have you done this month or quarter to train, sweat and prepare?  How much of your annual budget do you devote to the improvement of key skills for your people in a moment of crisis or chaos?

What will the crisis environment look like?  Will it develop with clouds, water and wind or the significant shift in tectonic plates?  Will it begin with the insider employee copying the most sensitive merger and acquisition strategy to sell to the highest bidder?  Will it start with a single IT server displaying a warning to pay a ransom or lose all possibility of retrieving it's data and operational capacity to serve your business?  Will it end up being another example of domestic terrorism or workplace violence like San Bernadino, Paris or Ft. Hood?

Leaders across our globe understand the waves of risk and the possible issues that they may encounter each year.  Many travel to Davos to the World Economic Forum where the world tackles these disruptive events, with the best minds and exchange of information.  Why?  They understand that vulnerability is what they fear the most.

Yet what can you do in your own community, at your own branch office to address the Operational Risks you face?  How can you wake up each day with the confidence as a leader, that you have trained and prepared for the future events that will surprise you?  It begins with leadership and a will to lead your team into the places no one really likes to talk about.  The scenarios that people fear to train for, because they think they will never happen.

Achieving any level of trust with your employees, your customers and your supply chain revolves around your leadership.  The discipline of "Operational Risk Management" is focused on looking at all of the interdependent pieces of your business mosaic.  The environment you operate in, even the building that houses your most precious assets.  All of these factors are considered in developing and executing your specific plan for training and readiness.

So what?  The question is "Why Don't Employees Trust Their Bosses"?
Why this lack of trust?

There is a disparity, the survey revealed, between areas that employees said were important for trust, and the performance of company leaders in these areas.

For example, half of respondents said it was important for the CEO to be ethical, take responsible actions in the wake of a crisis and behave in a transparent way. However, a much lower number of respondents actually felt their CEO was exhibiting these qualities.

This disparity is in part responsible for trust decreasing as you move down an organization’s hierarchy. So, while two-thirds of executives trust the company, less than half of rank-and-file employees do. Equally, peers were rated as much more credible than CEOs.
As a leader your roles are multi-faceted and there is never enough time or money in the budget.  The leaders who excel in the next decade, will find a way.  They will invest in their teams training and the systems to increase trust, by addressing Operational Risk Management (ORM) as a key component of the interdependent enterprise.

The "TrustDecisions" you require and the understanding developed to insure effective "Trust Decisions" by all of your stakeholders will remain your most lofty goal as a leader.  How you train to fight and how you sweat now will make all the difference in your next war.  From the boardroom to the battlefield your leadership is all that is needed.  Your leadership will make a difference.

09 April 2016

Trade Secrets: Gearing up for DTSA...

The Fortune Global 500 and the smallest research and development organizations in the U.S. have another ruleset to keep their eye on this week.  It is named DTSA or S.1890 - Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 has passed the Senate.  Operational Risk Management (ORM) is preparing for the next addition to national laws.

The attribution of cyberespionage adversaries has been gearing up since the Sony Pictures hack.  The private sector has been hunting and identifying those shadow individuals and nation state special units for years.  Now the lawyers can get more aggressive with civil actions.

The question remains, will another law deter the actions by global organized crime and the intelligence community of some significant nations?  How will attribution and more aggressive civil actions in foreign jurisdictions make a difference?

As a global organization, can you access your database of confidential trade secrets?  No different than the task of the identification of information assets that you are going to protect, you need an inventory.  What are they and where are they?  Everyone knows the formula for "Coca-cola" is written on a single piece of paper that is locked up in a vault in Atlanta, GA right?  Or is it?

There are trade secrets across America that have been stolen by operatives working inside organizations.  They may be preparing to leave the U.S. for another country outside the reach of law enforcement and the legal process for seizing the stolen property.  That is going to change soon.
The EX-Parte Seizure Order is part of the Trade Secrets bill that allows a trade secret owner to obtain an order from a judge for U.S. marshals to seize back the trade secret from the alleged bad actor without prior warning. This is to protect the trade secret owner from having the alleged bad actor skip the country or destroy the evidence before it is recaptured.
Now that Trade Secrets are in the same legal and enforcement category with patents and trademarks, you can predict that your legal budgets will need to be adjusted, upwards.  In general, what is a Trade Secret?
The subject matter of trade secrets is usually defined in broad terms and includes sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, and manufacturing processes. While a final determination of what information constitutes a trade secret will depend on the circumstances of each individual case, clearly unfair practices in respect of secret information include industrial or commercial espionage, breach of contract and breach of confidence.
The effort to make intellectual property a "Trade Secret" is another strategy in itself. The determinations to designate something a trade secret is going to depend on the invention or the data itself. We understand. So what?
A Chinese businessman pleaded guilty Wednesday (March 23) in federal court in Los Angeles to helping two Chinese military hackers carry out a damaging series of thefts of sensitive military secrets from U.S. contractors.

The plea by Su Bin, a Chinese citizen who ran a company in Canada, marks the first time the U.S. government has won a guilty plea from someone involved with a Chinese government campaign of economic cyberespionage.

The resolution of the case comes as the Justice Department seeks the extradition from Germany of a Syrian hacker — a member of the group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army — on charges of conspiracy to hack U.S. government agencies and U.S. media outlets.
Our adversaries are determined. They are already here. It has been documented for years. Let the next wave of legal indictments and seizures begin. One thing is certain. The "Insider Threat" is still present and your organization can do better. The ability to effectively utilize the correct combination of controls, monitoring, technology and internal corporate culture shifts will make all the difference. What are you waiting for?

03 April 2016

Fifth Discipline: The Evolution of Digital Intelligence...

"Learning organizations themselves may be a form of leverage on the complex system of human endeavors.  Building learning organizations involves developing people who learn to see as systems thinkers see, who develop their own personal mastery, and who learn how to surface and restructure mental models, collaboratively.  Given the influence of organizations in today's world, this may be one of the most powerful steps towards helping us "rewrite the code," altering not just what we think but our predominant ways of thinking.  In this sense, learning organizations may be a tool not just for evolution of organizations, but for the evolution of intelligence."  --Peter M. Senge -The Fifth Discipline - 1990

Many senior executives and a cadre of experienced Ops Risk professionals who are waking up across the globe today, keep this text book within arms reach.  Why?  All 413 pages of wisdom and knowledge transfer, is applicable this moment, even though it was written and practiced several years before the commercial Internet was born.

Our respective cadre of "Intelligence Analysts" spans the organization continuously seeking the truth, analyzing the growing mosaic, applying new context and taking relevant actions.

In an environment now vastly more virtual, far beyond the paper pages of Senge's book, lies the contemporary intelligence of "IBM's Watson."  At the finger tips of Dragos operators or the Palantir Forward Deployed Engineer, we have new insights almost in real-time.

The "Learning Organizations" are no longer in a traditional hierarchy.  They are flat, agile and capable of tremendous autonomy at light speed.

So what is the opportunity now?  How can we potentially move towards more collaborative systems thinking and "rewrite the code" even in the 2nd decade of the 21st century?  It starts with rewriting the new digital code.

It continues as we reengineer our "Learning Organizations" for a digital environment that operates 24 x 7 and is ever more so fragile where trust is so inherent.  We can still create and deploy systems thinkers to question the truth and learn from the speed and capabilities of our new intelligent machines.

Peter Senge outlines five learning disciplines in his book on three levels:
  • Practices:  What you do
  • Principles:  Guiding ideas and insights
  • Essences:  The state of being of those with high levels of mastery in the discipline
The five disciplines are:
  • Systems Thinking
  • Personal Mastery
  • Mental Models
  • Building Shared Vision
  • Team Learning
The enterprise architecture for our modern day learning organization is in it's infancy.  You see, the technologies and the software has outpaced our human ability to apply it effectively, with the five disciplines.  One of our continued vulnerabilities is the ignorance of information governance as it pertains to the truth of data provenance and how as humans, we apply the disciplines of learning in our digital organizations.

Our organizations are a "plume of digital exhaust" that is invisible to many and crystal clear to some.  As you begin to capture and document the digital footprint of today's knowledge worker, the trail is long and deep.  Even for those shadow planners, logistics experts and operators, they can not escape the digital encounters they have each day.  However, the apparent threat is that they will continuously become more aware and more disciplined.

The art and practice of gaining and preserving "Digital Trust" is at stake for all of us.  The vast and consistent application of understanding "trust decisions" in our digital lives, will forever provide us new found challenges and new discoveries.  How we consistently apply our digital disciplines going forward, will make all of the difference in our prosperity or our future peril.  How we reengineer our learning organizations for 2025 and beyond, is now at our doorstep.
Today, privacy, information security, cyber defenses—all revolve around the same target: achieving trust to sustain electronic commerce and create new wealth. Digital trust is not only required; achieving digital trust will prove to be the competitive differential for the winners of the next generation.  --Jeffrey Ritter
Think about your digital footprints as you interact, communicate, travel and read the news today.  Activity-based Intelligence (ABI) is a business and you are the product.  The question is, how can you and your learning organization move from the "Fifth Discipline" to the next one?

What cognitive strategies and new disciplines will you and your organization deploy this year to attain new levels of prosperity and insight?

The journey will be long and the opportunities will be explored.  It's time that more learning organizations start the reengineering with the right tools and talent.  Yes, this is the next evolution of intelligence...