What We Learned at the Secure360 Conference
We attended the Secure360 Conference at the River City Center in St. Paul this year and learned a few things about the various needs of the attendants. Everyone is concerned about security in their organization, but the topic is so broad that it takes on a different meaning with every person we talked to. Some were concerned with protection from viruses, malware, and phishing scams. There were people looking to detect and mitigate DDOS attacks, perform audits to be in compliance with any number of 3 letter acronyms (PCI, SAS, SOC just to name a few), and there were people dealing with physical security and paper file or electronic data protection. I spoke with everyone ranging from students just getting into IT to IT Directors and even mechanical engineers, and it was great to get such a wide spectrum of perspectives.
Protecting Online Assets
One thing I noticed was that even if a company had not heard of Dotcom-Monitor, when I gave people a brief rundown of what we do, they acknowledged that if they don’t work with us, someone in their organization probably already works with one of our competitors such as Keynote, AlertSite, Pingdom or Uptrends. As a business with a local headquarters in Minnesota, we encouraged those attendees that may have worked with our competitors to give us a try- being local, we would be happy to give them some in person face time to get everything setup properly.
Regardless of who they have worked with in the past- anyone that values their online presence should be concerned about the availability and the performance of their servers. We believe our suite of monitoring products can round out the set of tools that IT professionals use to insure that websites, web applications, email servers and other servers are up and running properly. Let’s face it, if things aren’t running properly, you’ve got bigger problems than the spectrum of security concerns mentioned above, but when it does come to security concerns, our services are helpful as well. For example, if your site is being hit by a DDOS attack, and Dotcom-Monitor is monitoring the performance of the site, you can setup alerts to notify you when the site is unresponsive or slower than normal.
We Didn’t Drone on at the Conference
If you were in attendance at the show, you may remember us as the guys giving away remote control helicopters. A few people joked that they were going to put cameras on the copters and use them as security drones. I’m not sure that the battery life of these choppers would live up to their expectations, but if anyone is able to do it, let me know because I would love to see the video. It made me think of this viral video where a property owner appears to have had enough of his neighbor’s drone: httpss://youtu.be/KPZSgiUF2-A
Surprising Uses for Online Monitoring
Of all the conference attendees, I was most surprised to talk to some mechanical engineers that were looking for something to monitor the actuators within HVAC systems so they could record, report and alert on the status of mechanical systems. While this was a different audience than we expected to see at the show, they weren’t without precedence. We’ve worked with a university system to monitor temperature of a controlled storage environment to send alerts to their team if temperatures fluctuated outside of normal ranges. You can tell by our name- Dotcom-Monitor that our core products arose from the need to monitor websites and servers, but our services can really be used to monitor anything. If it is online, we can monitor it.
What Exactly is it You Do Here in DevOps, Anyway?
I spoke with one individual who identified his role as DevOps, which seems to be a growing role in businesses today. So I asked him the infamous question from the Movie Office Space- What is it that you do here anyway? His response was, well, we keep the lights on. I asked- oh, so you keep the website running, he said no… that’s the e-commerce team. I said oh, so you keep the servers running, and he said no… that’s the server group. At which point he admitted it was actually his first week with the organization, so he wasn’t entirely certain what he would be doing there.
It was fun seeing the various roles of people in attendance at the conference, and I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that even though monitoring online servers does not directly deal with online security, it made sense to people that monitoring is one of the many bricks in the wall of a successful organization with proper protections in place.
Help Me, Help You
If you haven’t checked out our services already, head over to our free 30 day trail and see how we can help you keep the lights on. We had a great experience at the show and look forward to future interaction with such a diverse and innovative group of IT professionals. Feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions or suggestions.