In conunction with ALC Training, I'm proud to offer a FREE Cloud Computing Mini-Course, for both technical and non-technical people. It covers the very basic concepts of Cloud Computing and is perfect for anyone with an interest in Cloud.
All you need to do to access the course, is click the link below, enter your email address, and away you go:
Let me know what you think......and have fun.
It's not often I blog about someone else's work, but these stats on Tesla's meteroric rise, are too good NOT to share. Credit has to go to Tom Randall (@tsrandall), Senior Reporter at Bloomberg for the awesome pics and stats in this blog post.
But first I wanted to share my awesome experience of the latest version 9 Autopilot, that I tried out in Brisbane, a few months back,
Boy....has there been some serious improvements. Last time I took a Tesla Model S for a test drive, was around 1.5 years ago. And since then, the 'stay in lane' feature has come on leaps and bounds. I used the feature for around 5 minutes on a stretch of highway. The car in front was doing 70kmph in a 90kmph zone, and the Tesla slowed down gracefully. It kept perfectly in the centre of the left lane, as the road curved, left, then right and sharply left again.
At the next slip road, the vehicle in front exited. Once it was clear of the Model S, the car gracefully accelerated up to the speed limit of 90kmph without a hitch and without any input. All I had to do was to keep my hands on the wheel, so the car knew I was still alive. The 'hands-on wheel' feature was brought in by Tesla after a couple of accidents in the US, where drivers had totally relied on the Autopilot and were not paying attention to the driving. This feature aims to prevent such occurences.
All I can say it that is absolutely amazing, and I'm sure the experience translates precisely into the Model S and Model X cars. Unfortunately you can not test drive a Model 3 in Brisbane, so here is the closest I got:
In Q3 of 2018 you can see that the production of the latest Model 3 car increased exponetially. And it's likely this curve will continue through 2019 and 2020, as Tesla forfil a backorder in excess of 500,000 Model 3 orders.
It took Tesla 10 years to see 0.5 million cars, which includes significant amounts of research and development time and money. This was to hone the battery technology, the look of the various cars, and ensuring that all the components integrated seamlessly, and costs effectively. This includes the following models:
It looks like it will take only 15 months to reach the first 1 milion cars. Check the stats below:
You can see from the stats below that the Model 3 is the 5th Best-Selling Sedan in the US.
Not bad for a car that still costs around $55,000 USD.
Let's now take a look at the value, known as market capitialisation, of the world's most valuable automotive makers:
Now this next graphic shows the progression of Tesla's cash flow. This will likely lead to a positive $837millionUSD, as opposed to spring 2018, which was a negative at $795millionUSD:
Mmmmm...maybe I should invest in Tesla stock???
This blog article is designed to be ready by everyone. By everyone, I mean people who are new to the cloud, and maybe uploading a picture of their great grand children to Facebook, for the first time. Or maybe you're a seasoned technologist, like myself, with over 300 cloud-based logins. Chances are, you're probably somewhere in the middle, and this is perfect for you too.
The 5 simple tips I have outlined above, will help everyone. They're universal to everyone that uses the cloud. They are simple to implement, and need you to put aside a little time. They will protect you from cyber attacks.
Oh...and I also follow these 5 tips myself. Probably for about the past 5 years. I will not only explain how to implement each tip, but I will give you a specific personal examples. That way, you know my advice is real and that I follow my own advice. Only a fake person wouldn't follow their own security advice....right.....?
Each image in this blog is clickable, offering additional information about that subject.
What is a Complex Password?
Let me show you what a complex password looks like:
If you click on the image, it will take you to Troy Hunt's blog on passwords and hacking, which explains a bit more around why complex passowrds are important.
Let me break this down for you.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
It's a service, that most well-known cloud providers, now offer, as a means of additional security protection. Let me break it down with a specific example. I'm going to outline the overall approach using a cloud app called Xero. It is used for accounting and I love it:
Using Xero as an example, here is how it works, once it is configured:
If you're not sure, whether you cloud service offers MFA, either contact them directly, or perform a Google search to look up whether they offer the service. You may need someone technical to help setup for you, or if you have paid support, you call up your cloud provider.
You can also reach out to me publicly on twitter:
I'm always willing to help 'coach' you through to success.
What is a Password Manager?
t's an app that you download that stores all your passwords for you. It's very, very important that you create a complex password to open the app, as this becomes your key to all your other passwords. You also want to setup multi-factor authentication.
Typically the average technical person probably has around 200-500 cloud accounts they use or have used. So for the average person, 50-100 cloud accounts is not unusual.
If you're using an app on your mobile phone, then you most likely have a username and password for that app. Therefore if you have 100 Apps on your phone, you will probably have close to 100 usernames and passwords. Clearly it's very difficult to remember 100 different passwords, so the password manager really comes into play here for everyone.
There are also two extra benefits, among many, that password managers provide:
When changing your password, I would recommend doing this every 12-24 months, for all your accounts. And also delete cloud accounts that you no longer use.
Because that cloud provider may suffer a data breach in the future. A data breach is where a hacker gains data from a cloud provide. This could mean a malicious actor, could use your account to attempt to steal your money, damage your reputation or worse still assume your identity.
My top pick is Last Pass and I would recommend the Premium (Paid) version:
What is Anti-Malware Software?
This is an app that helps detect any malicious activity on your device. Sometimes known as anti-virus software, however devices can be attacked not just via virus, but also via many other attack vectors. So I prefer the term anti-malware.
I personally install anti-malware software on my Android phone and my Windows 10 machine. I don't install it on my Mac or my iPad. However, I would recommend that you install it on all your devices. Generally when you buy anti-malware software they give you a number of licences to run on different types of device, so it probably won't cost you extra. So I always recommend this extra level of protection.
The reason I don't do that, is because I have additional security controls to mitigate this risk. These are a little complex to explain. I also don't want to give away this information to potential hackers, who could also exploit me personally. I hope that makes sense. :-)
My top pick here is to use the Kaspersky.
I've personally used it for probably 10 years now. I came across it, when I was running high-powered flight simulation sofwtare on my machine and I wanted anti-malware software that would detect incoming threats, as well as viruses, without sucking all the processing power from my computer. I found that Kaspersky was the most cost effective and smallest footprint softoware on the market at the time, and have used it ever since.
What is SpearPhising or Phising?
Never click on links in an email, that are sent from outside your company.
Because you are opening yourself up to a Spearphising attack. Sometimes also known as a Phising attack for short.
So a Phising attack, is when a malicious actor, sends you an email with a link inside. You click on the link and a number of bad things can happen:
Here is an example, of a reasonably sophicated phising attack:
Click on the link above to be redirected to another simple definition of Phising.
But what about if you do business with external companies?
That's fine, we can modify this advice. Make a note of all the people you personally deal with outside your company. Agree with them, using the phone, how you're going to communicate via email and how you're going to share information. I personally use the OneDrive cloud links to share read-only files and I always set the link to expire after 30 days.
By creating a list, you're effectively creating a 'whitelist'. A list of people whom you trust. There is no guarantee, that someone else won't impersonate them, so by having an agreed format for the exchange, you can validate if it is genuinely from that person. If in doubt, give them a telephone call. You know that old-fashioned thing, that emails has replaced.......LOL.
If you're dealing with clients directly via email, then you'll hopefully be validating them as leads anyway, so there shouldn't be any reason to click on the links they are sending you.
If you're business is truly an exception to this rule, and clients need to send you a link then you're need additional security:
And remember...be aware but not alarmed. Cybercrime is relatively rare. Follow these tips and you'll put yourself in the Top 10% of the population, which means you're highly unlikely to be scammed.
Below is a great website to check for the latest scams too:
I passed my TOGAF Essentials 2018 assessment this year...but why? Well I run coaching and mentoring masterclasses, covering a range of new digital courses. The most popular at the moment is the Certified Cloud Security Professional course (CCSP), which leads the CCSP certification endorsed by the ISC2. The next most popular is the TOGAF standard, a standard of the Open Group. As an instructor, I have to maintain my currency on all the latest materials and the TOGAF Essentials 2018 assessment is a great way of doing that. It basically makes clear all the differences between the TOGAF Standard Version 9.1, from 2011 and the TOGAF Standard Version 9.2 standard which was released only a few weeks ago.
So let's cut to the chase. What are some of the key differences:
I've also released a FREE set of flashcards specifically to help you remember all the TOGAF 9.2 terminology for the Part 1 and Part 2 exams. Check them out on Quizlet: quizlet.com/_57zkpz
Check out our course at ALC Training:
www.alctraining.com.au/course/togaf-9-level-1-2-certificate-course/wotertAod ApplieThered Business SBusinecurity ArchitectureSherwood Applied Business Security Architecture
TOGAF(R) is a registered trademark of the Open Group.
Only this week, I upgraded my SAFe Program Consultant certification to teach the latest Leading SAFe 4.6 course. This gave me a renewed passion for the framework and a love to share some of the most exciting case studies I found on the Scaled Agile website. First let me back up a bit......so what is the Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe for Lean Enterprises?
It is a large knowledge base of proven principles, compentencies and practices, that are integrated together to help bring about cultural change in organisations. What these means is that your teams will deliver faster, more frequently, on time and on budget. The practices are drawn from over a 100 sources, including webinars, books, white papers, conferences, etc and help organisations and individuals apply Lean, Agile and DevOps best practices. The diagram below, shows the Full SAFe configuration:
When starting out with SAFe, you would consider implementing only the Program and Team layers at the bottom of the diagram and gradually build up to Full SAFe. Or alternatively you can stay with the Program and Team components, if the Large Solution and Portfolio constructs are not required.
One of the reasons I believe that SAFe works so well, is that it's all based around cultural change. That means we train leaders, executives and teams to think and act differently. It's not about working people harder, it's about improving flow across a value stream to deliver faster, deliver on-time, foster new experimental ideas in a safe environment and about bringing the best out of your people. If there is a problem with the system, then it requires strong leadership to identify the bottlenecks in the system and remove them. An Agile Release Train is a team of teams and is a core component of the SAFe system.
For me the link to the case studies, is the real eye-opener., since the business benefits are clearly articulated These are written by the clients themselves, not the SAFe people, which adds another layer of credibitliy to the stories.
My personal favourites are the Australia Post, Fitbit and NASA stories. Below I outline only the Australia Post and NASA stories.
Australia Post wanted to achieve sustainable, lasting and permanent organisational change based on four key areas:
By implementing SAFe, the following benefits were realised.
The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) will be the next NASA spacecraft capable of carrying a human crew to destinations beyond what is known as low Earth orbit or (LEO). It will contain up to four crew and be capabile of long duration missions.
In order to ensure that NASA maintain their gruelling schedule and to foster a close working relationship with their partners, they decided to utilise SAFe. With SAFe, they can speed up development velocity, through regular system demonstrations, automated testing and employing a Lean-Agile mindset. The regular demos will also allow them to see the real capabilities that are coming together and allow NASA to bring the integration of the components together, must faster than with previous craft. The diagram below, shows the components of SAFe that they have used for the project:
The link to the original published NASA material, can be found here:
Telstra is one of Australia's leading telecoms and IoT providers. They wanted a framework to help with cultural change, reducing delivery cycle times, improving delivery flow, reducing costs and making processes and people more efficient and motivated to innovate. After choosing SAFe, they realised a number of key benefits.
If you're interested in learning more about SAFe, then consider the Leading SAFe course run by ALC Training:
ALC can run this course in-house for any organisation, anywhere in the world, so just reach out to them anytime.
Paul Colmer is a digital coach for ALC training and consulting, with a real passion for learning and applying disruptive technologies. Paul has responsibility for building and delivering ALC's digital architecture strategy and the development and execution of a number of cloud courses, including Cloud Security (CCSP), Amazon AWS, DevOps, Microsoft Azure and Office 365.