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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Competency of Decision-Making

 One of the  most important things in business is your competency of decision-making which I believe plays an integral role throughout the strategic planning and the short-term business planning of an organization. I agree with your point that decision-making would mean to take responsibility and demonstrating an excellent commitment towards organizational means and approaches in a timely manner. The decision-making process is cumbersome and time-consuming but the overall output is beneficial for the organization as it impacts the organizational directives, policies, critical thinking, and overall rules and regulations. Using SWOT as the positioning strategy is an interesting choice because this helps to collaborate with the core competencies and create a sustainable competitive advantage for your organization. This means that every organization must design a distinctive proposition of value in order to stay ahead of the game and respond to business competitors.

Customers tend to improve on the product purchases when they are offered better price and good product quality. This leads to a competitive business advantage because an organization tends to outperform when the customer is satisfied. I believe your core competencies focus on the same facts because as you suggested that your core competency relies on customer services, quality, and value which relates to my perspective as well. They tend to value high quality product and the low quality products do not reap the same results and outcomes as the product which satisfies the customers.  I believe that you shouldn’t have upped the price to compensate the revenue lost as this is a major risk that can lead to losing your customer base. Tailoring your products to meet the specific needs and demands of the customer is an excellent approach and brings you one step ahead in the game.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Raising Awreness with Organizational Strategy

I understand the desire to keep costs low, but wonder if R&D low costs is beneficial for your company.  Sometimes it is important to spend money in areas in order to make money on the other end.  Being able to extend the life of your product is important, but does that raise the costs of the product?  If so, are you still within the low and high tech customer's criteria?

Your customer awareness percentage is impressive since my company is only at 78%.  I guess I need to increase the marketing promo budget to get more product awareness.  Your customer accessibility for the high tech companies is comparable to mine, but my low tech customer accessibility is quite low due to the unit price being outside the criteria of the low tech companies.  Reading about how well your company is doing, increases my incentive and enthusiasm for my company. 

You're right in that marketing helps increase product awareness.  I focused on the price because by doing so, it increased sales/cash in finance.  I also find by reducing the size of the product, increases competitive advantage for the high tech companies.  

I like the plan you have set up for your R&D department. Pointing out that the R&D department can drive product improvement (in products that dont have to be entirely new) or innovation. Offering help developing unique products and/or services. This will help your company get rid of those items left over in your inventory from previous years. You did a very thorough job at discussing the core competencies and the competitive advantages of your simulation. The society for Human Resource Management defines core competencies as differentiating an organization from its competition and creates a company's competitive advantage in the marketplace. With that being said, I think the three you chose are very good choices and are very important for a company to be successful. Customer service in every industry that comes to mind is vital in how that company is regarded. Providing good customer service can increase customer loyalty, increase money spent with your business, how often a customer buys from you, and a positive reputation ( Also, quality and awareness are equally as important as customer service. Your competitive advantages of trending in the right direction for customer satisfaction and being in the top 5 of performance, size and reliability are all areas where you can gain ground on the competition. I like and agree with your positioning strategy. I think that you hit the nail on the head when you discussed that fact that your product fits the quality and customer satisfaction factors. If you can capitalize on this part of the market, your company stands a very good chance of being successful. Good work on your post this week and I have enjoyed working with you and reading your work.   

The society for Human Resource Management defines core competencies as differentiating an organization from its competition and creates a company's competitive advantage in the marketplace. With that being said, I think the three you chose are very good choices and are very important for a company to be successful. Customer service in every industry that comes to mind is vital in how that company is regarded. Providing good customer service can increase customer loyalty, increase money spent with your business, how often a customer buys from you, and a positive reputation ( Also, quality and awareness are equally as important as customer service. Your competitive advantages of trending in the right direction for customer satisfaction and being in the top 5 of performance, size and reliability are all areas where you can gain ground on the competition. I like and agree with your positioning strategy. I think that you hit the nail on the head when you discussed that fact that your product fits the quality and customer satisfaction factors. If you can capitalize on this part of the market, your company stands a very good chance of being successful. Good work on your post this week and I have enjoyed working with you and reading your work. 
The competitive advantage you listed was product design and you stated that "company can design high end products which cannot be duplicated by other business". Is this the case because your company has a patent on the design or what? Also, brand awareness is a good advantage to have especially since you stated you wanted to take over the high-end market segment. Lastly, performance is a must, if you want the high-end market. 
 Dawar & Bagga (2015) states that marketers have always had to juggle two seemingly contradictory goals: making their brands distinctive and making them central in their category. With that being said, Your positioning strategy if implemented correctly should help your company reach the goals that have been established. Good work on your post and I look forward to reading more in the coming weeks.
Dawar, N., & Bagga, C. K. (2015, March 17). A Better Way to Map Brand Strategy. Retrieved from
Competencies: How can our company determine its core competencies?. (2019). Retrieved from
Customers. (2019). Retrieved from

Competitive advantages create value

Core competencies and competitive advantages create value for your company. C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel state that organizations harmonizing streams of information through different departments that create value for the company (Prahalad, 1990). One of your competencies was communication and this comes into play with information being harmonized to each department. If the leader cannot effectively communicate the goal, then the message will be interrupted by each employee differently and the end goal will not be met.  When the correct information is communicated then each department can meet the goal to create a competitive advantage and this will bring value to the company. 
I support your positioning strategy because you followed the six principles of strategic positioning that Porter recommends. You started with a goal of how you want the consumers to see your brand. Making the improvement will lead to a “superior long-term return on investment” (Bedrossian, 2010). Next, you delivered a value proposition and established a competitive advantage by listening to your customer’s needs by providing the products they want. Finally, you have proven how all the elements of your decisions will be accomplished in each department and what your company stands for.

The top resources in your company and I believe all these resources will be applied to the core competencies to give your company the competitive advantage to succeed. Each of your core competencies will lead your company to a competitive advantage. If the company doesn’t focus on the core competencies, then you will not get the results you need to have a competitive advantage over your competitors. For example, William G. Forgang mentions that you will need a weighted mix of price, product, etc., to differentiate over your competitors (Forgang, 2004). If you didn’t apply competency in product design, then you would not be able to build a product upon differentiation. Your competitive advantages will support your positioning strategy and your company will be successful. The customers will focus on your product characteristics, price, and the simple fact you are creating a product they want. 

Analyzing these and watching the market can give you an idea about how to improve your products, services, and advertisements to better attack the market. If you want more detail on that you can look at Business trend awareness to excel your knowledge further on that subject.  
I believe the best thing to do is to listen to the needs of your customers and differentiate your product from competitors. I also think it is great that you are trying to create new advertising strategies as well because I believe improvement is a great thing and it’s also a great way to attract new customers. Your core competencies are great ones and I understand the importance behind each one. I also agree with your ideas on positioning because they are good ideas that can help improve your business. Would you agree that meeting the needs of customers can be difficult at times and can have an effect on your competitive advantage? 
Under increased customer awareness you stated that you had 38% and 33% customer accessibility and because of this you wanted to change its approach towards customer valuation and product presentation, could you detail a little further how you will do so? Lastly, it seems that high tech products are doing better for you. If this is the case, who are you going to improve the low tech products to compete with the competitors?
Business Trend Awareness | Definition, Importance for Career, Ways to Improve. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Prahalad, C. K.; Hamel, Gary. Harvard Business ReviewMay/Jun90, Vol. 68 Issue 3, p79-91. 13p
 Bedrossian, H. (2010, Nov). Six Principles of Strategic Positioning (M.Porter). Retrieved from HAIG:

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Core Competencies

The choice of the concept of core competences is well articulated in terms of its application in the general marketing sector and how it can be used to develop personal projects. By focusing on the adaption of the essential capabilities in internal process, the author gives a practical application of the concept. Emphasis on the use of core competencies in analytical thinking, decision-making and client services can be complimented with the mention of technical tools for business analysis such as data analytics, statistical models, or industry data analysis. Overall, the focus on position strategy will depend on the feasibility of industry research and the data you collect. Nonetheless, core competence development for your proposed business is supported by recent literature on application and therefore, merits your choice of concept and variables to support it. 

This association of competencies and competitive advantage is supported by literature such as Yang (2015) who associates competitive advantage as an outcome of total quality management. In the literature by Yang, total quality management is achieved by the engagement of resources including the employees. In your writing, you focus on employee understanding of core competencies to influence success factors that include the designs of the products, human resource awareness, and communication strategies. The support of previous literature for your positioning strategy connects employee commitment to the duty of serving customer needs and cost reduction.

Market Orientation and Innovators’ Success: an Exploration of the Influence

This article defines the concepts of market coordination and invention, and in some perspectives, their interrelationship has been discovered with professional achievement. However, research in this field has not found any change between start-up and established businesses. The research study developed information from more than two hundred chief operations officers and management directors from both start-ups and manufacturing corporations. The results highlight discrepancies in both types of corporations and disclose new philosophy about the location of the market and its essential elements and its relation with incremental and original inventions. The main study result is that strong opponent orientation, a major component of market place, is a constructive relationship for start-up corporations, but it is creatively controlled for developed corporations. In mature corporations, a secure customer location is related with major inventions. There are various essential associations between exact customer orientation variables and incremental, elemental and total inventions slash. Typically, there is a steady link with all consumer coordination variables but fundamental innovation (Leviq, Omar and Williams, 2011).

Lewrick, M., Omar, M., & Williams, R. L. (2011). Market Orientation and Innovators’ Success: an Exploration of the Influence. Journal of technology mangement and innovation, 6(3).

The rapid development of technology

Due to the rapid development of technology, courses using a variety of media are being delivered to students in various locations in an effort to serve the educational needs of growing populations. In many cases, developments in technology allow distance education programs to provide specialized courses to students in geographically remote areas with increasing interactivity between students and teacher. Although the ways in which distance education is implemented differ markedly from country to country, most distance learning programs rely on technologies which are either already in place or are being considered for their cost-effectiveness. Such programs are particularly beneficial for the many people who are not financially, physically or geographically able to obtain traditional education.
Information technology provides the best tools for communicating with customers and solving their problems in real time. It has unlocked the facilities like Email, social media and other messaging platforms for this purpose.A business has a variety of resources. These may include financial resources, human resources and so on. For large organizations, managing resources becomes quite difficult. Information technology plays a vital role in managing these resources effortlessly by introducing a wide range of feasible solutions. For example, the integration of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has improved the efficiency of various business processes. ERP is a business management software that enables an organization to use a series of integrated applications that can manage and automate various business operations.

What is disruptive innovation?

A large number of individuals who discuss "interruption" have not perused a genuine book or article regarding the matter. they utilize the term freely to conjure the idea of advancement in the help of whatever it is they wish to do. Numerous scientists, essayists, and specialists use "problematic advancement" to portray any circumstance in which an industry is shaken up and already effective occupants falter. In any case, that is much too expansive a utilization. 

The issue with conflating a troublesome development with any leap forward that changes an industry's focused examples is that diverse kinds of advancement require distinctive vital methodologies. To put it another way, the exercises we've found out about prevailing as a troublesome trailblazer (or shielding against a problematic challenger) won't have any significant bearing to each organization in a moving business sector. In the event that we get messy with our marks or neglect to coordinate bits of knowledge from consequent research and experience into the first hypothesis, at that point chiefs may finish up utilizing the wrong devices for their specific situation, lessening their odds of achievement. After some time, the hypothesis' convenience will be undermined. 

This essay is a piece of a push to catch the cutting edge. We start by investigating the essential principles of problematic advancement and inspecting whether they apply to Uber. At that point, we call attention to some basic entanglements in the hypothesis' application, how these emerge, and why accurately utilizing the hypothesis matters. We proceed to follow real defining moments in the advancement of our reasoning and put forth the defense that what we have realized enables us to all the more precisely anticipate which organizations will develop.

Clayton M. ChristensenMichael E. RaynorRory McDonald, Christensen, C. M., Raynor, M. E., McDonald, R., & Harvard Business Review. (2016, December 19). What Is Disruptive Innovation? Retrieved from

Cyber Security at NIC

National information center (NIC) which is an important sector that has data of country citizens and residents to store and provide them to other governments sectors. The high quality and safety in the network between sectors are required. A large group of end-users from a variety of users required closed links to provide protected communications network which is Local Area Network (LAN) to link the servers with other sectors based on the required connections and access authority. (Brown, DeHayes, Hoffer, Martin, & Perkins, 2012).
The attempts of cyber-attack of the programs of NIC had failed. Those who say that they have no attempts of cyber-attack, their system or cite means that either there have attempted and they do not know about them, or there are no cyber-attack attempts because the system is not important.
The electronic infrastructure of NIC must have attempted to penetrate, but we do not show these attempts to attackers and what we know about them, and to know that there are no successful breakthroughs for the infrastructure of NIC. NIC is built of layers so that there is continuous protection, the National Center for Electronic Security and security expertise inside and outside Saudi Arabia.

Sometimes, specific Topology needed to be changed or developed based on a load of processing data, or the types of networking required to the business. (Alderson, Li Willinger, & Doyle, 2005).
Alderson, D., Li, L., Willinger, W., & Doyle, J. (2005). Understanding Internet topology: principles, models, and validation. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 13(6), 1205-1218. doi:10.1109/tnet.2005.861250
Blass, G. D. and D. Plocher (1991). “Finding Government Information: The Federal Information Locator System (FILS),” Government Information Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 11-32.
Brown, C. V., DeHayes, D. W., Hoffer, J. A., Martin, W. W., & Perkins, W. C. (2012). Managing information technology (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
International Organization for Standardization (2003). ISO 14721:2002 Space data and information transfer systems – Open archival information system – Reference model, 1st ed., Geneva, CH, International Organization for Standardization.
Ministry of Interior. (2007). National Information Center. Retrieved from

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Moderating Role of Customer Orientation on the Link between Market-Oriented Behaviors and Proactive Service Performance among Relationship Managers in the Business Banking Industry

Moderating Role of Customer Orientation on the Link between Market-Oriented Behaviors and Proactive Service Performance among Relationship Managers in the Business Banking Industry
This article describes that banking services is one of the essential areas of the segment, where human capital and knowledge are measured separately from productive strategic assets, credit and systems. Extensive growth like the liberalization of service segment and the narrowing of capital needs has encouraged economic forces for the most part in the Malaysian state. By directing on B-2-B banking in different ways for retail banking, the enactment of the Business Banking Segment depends severely on the individual parts of the relationship managers or RM, which showcase their connections as a connection to consumers who do their financing work. Financial Segment is well-known for its excellent workforce business. Segment is also one of the most wanted open market for headhunters and job experts, which is to fill opportunities of occupation from central to high-level locations. There is a constant petition for RM and Salespersons, which are active, consumer-focused and market-centric, in the opinion of potential benefits which they drive to take the bank (Hamzah, KadirOthman, and Hassan, 2016).
Hamzah, M. I., KadirOthman, A., & Hassan, F. (2016, June 15). Moderating Role of Customer Orientation on the Link between Market-Oriented Behaviors and Proactive Service Performance among Relationship Managers in the Business Banking Industry.Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 224, 109-116.

Adobe Cyber Security Attack

Cybersecurity and Risk Management
Adobe is one of the companies that faced a cyber-attack in recent years. In 2013, Adobe admitted that cyber attackers had gained access to the data of 2.9 million customers. Adobe is a software company characterised as a key target by cyber attackers. The attack led to the removal of certain information regarding its customers. The company reported the loss of customer names, encrypted credit and debit cards, as well as other details regarding the orders made by customers (Rauch, 2017). Further reports emerged that the attackers had gained hold of important source code for different software such as Adobe Acrobat and Cold Fusion. Adobe’s official announcement regarding the attack confirmed that the company was taking measures to ascertain whether the attackers were using the information on other platforms (Öbrand, Holmström, & Newman, 2018).
The company’s public disclosure made it evident that Adobe customers needed to worry because the cyber attackers had the potential of using the data in continuous and strategic attacks. The company responded effectively by highlighting the measures it was taking to protect customers from further losses (Vincent, Higgs, & Pinsker, 2017). Notably, the attack compromised some of the customers’ orders, which was a major disadvantage for the company. The other loses included the potential use of the company’s source code to stage further attacks in the future. To mitigate the risks of future attacks, Adobe adopted a more complex encryption process as a way of protecting customer information. As a business manager, I would recommend a better security system for Adobe that can protect both customer information as well as the company’s source codes (Kelly, 2017).
Kelly, S. (2017). Fighting the Cyber Threat. Public Utilities Fortnightly, 155(1).
Öbrand, L., Holmström, J., & Newman, M. (2018). Navigating Rumsfeld’s quadrants: A performative perspective on IT risk management. Technology in Society, 53, 1–8.
Rauch, R. (2017). 4 keys to cyber threat detection. Retrieved February 5, 2019, from
Vincent, N. E., Higgs, J. L., & Pinsker, R. E. (2017). IT Governance and the Maturity of IT Risk Management Practices. Journal of Information Systems, 31(1), 59–77.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Thoughts on liability

One issue that I see with an "opt in" function is that similar to many services online, people might accidentally opt in. While most people wouldn't willingly opt in, I've accidentally opted into something like "email newsletters" by accident because I didn't read carefully or I was in a hurry. While I realize that this is a completely different situation, many could make the same mistake and unintentionally opt in. I also think that adding the clause that the data would go to a third party wouldn't be enough. Because not only will the third party have the information, but they could potentially sell it to others.

I never really thought of how much liability the data holder would have. I agree completely with the indecency of it. And there are so many instances in our lives where we do just throw data into the wind without really truthfully knowing who has our information. I'm just as guilty being active on social media and I also use a lot of online payment functions. (Knock on wood) So far my data has been protected, but I wonder how many times I was close to getting my information stolen or compromised? I would hope that the companies that I am entrusting my information to are taking as much care to protect my personal information.

Organizational values, mission, culture, and goals

Although hiring a manager with experience can have its benefits but hiring someone without it can be beneficial too. Just because someone may not have held a management title does not mean that they do not have the qualities to become good managers. It is important to see someone's overall projects and positions they have held so the hiring managers can get a better idea of how they deal with leading projects and work through conflict management. 
Also, making sure that the values, mission, culture, and goals of the organization are clearly communicated to new hires at the start of the employment. It will prevent misunderstandings in the future and will ensure that all the employees are on the same page from the beginning. Leaders also need to believe in what the organization stands for in order to make it appealing to those who are new. Having different views on a personal or organizational level does not mean that the goals aren't met in an ethical way. Aligning employee's individual identity to those of the organization will allow the employees to feel more connected to the organization's mission which will increase productivity and motivation.

We are individuals that have the ability to choose from right and wrong, good and bad, honesty and dishonesty. It is ultimately the employee's choice if they want to align their individual identity to those of the organization and I value my integrity more than a title or position. It is important as the organization to communicate their values and culture at the start of a relationship in order to allow employees to decide rather quickly if they ultimately fit/align to the culture or if it is best to cut ties. Most organizations will commit to an ethical environment but it does not mean that their way of doing things won't differ to those of their employees. Hiring employees that may have a different method (ethical) may help an organization see their processes from a different perspective and can positively impact their success. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Management experience

The best predictor of future performance is looking at past performance. This can apply even if they don't have the specific kind of experience you're looking for but if it relates then it should still be utilized. If I was faced with a situation like this in which I had an employee who had been with the organization for seven years, has completed his/her master's AND has worked with the customer service department with minor experience overseeing others or has proven that they are capable of doing such I would definitely hire him/her if I felt they were the best candidate. You need to be given the chance to gain experience for the first time so I understand that not everyone will always have management experience to offer until you give them the opportunity to get it. 
I think it really depends on the position you are hiring for and what will be required of them. If it is a position that will be overseeing many people and making big decisions that will directly affect employees and the organization I would for sure require management experience. But if it was a smaller management position, such as being in charge of a small department, and the candidate has relevant experience and has the skills needed to excel as a leader then I would not require the management experience. 
It is definitely in the employer's and the organization's best interests to hire those whose personal identities align with the company's, but that may not always be the case. I think it's great that you brought up how someone's personal identity and the organization's identity may differ. It probably isn't likely that anyone's individual identity will perfectly match up with the company's anyway and that's okay. This way the organization can be challenged to think differently and take other perspectives into consideration. While values and beliefs should not be sacrificed it will help individuals and the organization grow when they are forced to think outside the box and interact with those who act and think differently. Say you worked for a company who did something unethical that really didn't align with your beliefs or morals, would you be able to continue working there? 

How to develop employees

I have worked in an organization that did not develop employees and would fill management positions with external candidates that had prior management experience, rather than developing current employees and preparing them for management.  The majority of employees at that organization resented leadership for this.  Often times the managers hired externally would not have the knowledge base of everyday operations, policies and procedures, systems, etc. to effectively coach the employees in one-on-ones and team meetings.  It really created a negative divide between front line staff and management.  Employee engagement was low and employees felt stuck in their jobs with no opportunities for growth.

Most organizations will not have unethical values though, and if these typical organizations with positive values have leaders and managers with different values, these differences will hinder success.  It will hinder success because there will be less compromise and negotiation as beliefs and goals will differ.  Look at our political landscape right now as an example.  Look at the issue regarding the border wall.  Congress presented options to the President regarding what they feel is appropriate funding and an appropriate compromise for a border wall, but Congess' values are different than the President's values.  Because Congress' values and the President's values do not align, our country has experienced many setbacks as a result of lack of compromise and negotiation.  We have experienced the longest government shutdown ever and the President has now declared a national emergency to free funds to support a project that aligns with his values, but is not fully supported by Congess.  Unfortunately, because Congess' values and the President's values do not align, I think there will be more setbacks for the country as we move forward with America's current administration in office.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cyber Security with Keeper Password Management and Digital Vault

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: I'm really happy to have you on the show today Darren. I was telling Arron Gessner, who you and I both know, that last year I got an email from my web service provider that I recently changed my password and I did nothing of the sort. So I called the company up and sure enough someone tried you know breaking into or hacking into our site. So I think everyone believes that having your website hacked and your private information stolen can happen to somebody else but that's not the case is it?

DARREN GUCCIONE: No, I mean it’s pretty common. I think you know specifically 3 out of every 4 websites out there will eventually be hacked and it's basically a cybersecurity war.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: It was terrifying you know Darren happens because I'm connected all day, so I mean of course we found out about it right away but I said my God what if I was away on vacation or God only knows what would happen when I came back you know to the website. I mean your services are so important. Maybe we can start off with what is Keeper and how does that work?

DARREN GUCCIONE: Keeper is a password manager and digital vault. So just imagine having your own private secure ubiquitous vault for storing all of the passwords and information that sacred to you. So everything from log in credentials to all of your websites, secret codes, credit card information, bank information, routing numbers, images of your driver's license, passport, secret documents, secret photos, files, videos and everything that you want completely encrypted and private is kept in this very simple and straightforward vault that sinks and works with all of your devices. So it works on smartphones, tablets, computers, and also integrates with your web browser. You never really have to remember any passwords ever again; it's very easy to use.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: Which is fantastic Darren because I mean if you think about it we have enough things to remember during the course that day right? I mean so instead of writing these things on little post-it notes it really frees up your brain doesn't it?

DARREN GUCCIONE: Yeah I mean it's essentially like a gigantic second brain and the beauty of the product is that it makes security and convenience one beautiful thing. It's really a unifying type of product from that perspective in traditionally you know when you hear about the security products out there you know most people think all this is going to be more difficult to use its a pain in the ****, I don't want to have to even think about it. With Keeper, we've really tried to just work on simplicity and security in one platform.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: It was a great entrepreneurial story too. I mean when I was reading about you and your biography there and your business partner, I mean you pretty much were talking about this thing. Was it on the way to China or coming back from China? Is that how it the whole idea started?

DARREN GUCCIONE: It was on the way to China. We had a lot of flight time back in late 2008. We were in a different business. We were in the hardware business at that time and the iPhone had just come out and we were checking it out. We were like wow there's really no app out there to protect users on their smartphones. So we decided to create Keeper and the rest is history.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: So you launched a business solution for Keeper in 2013 call Keeper for Groups. Can you tell us how businesses utilize it Darren?

DARREN GUCCIONE: Yes, so we have thousands of businesses that use Keeper for Groups to basically protect and secure their passwords and private files, photos and videos. Most often it's used for password management inside a company. So for example, if we looked at a franchise like Chipotle—Chipotle is one of our customers--their IT department uses Keeper to basically secure and protect you know their most sensitive and private information in the company such as passwords or secret files or whatever you have that you need to protect from hackers and it's a beautiful application in that if I was sharing it let's say you and I are in a project team together and you Darren I need the Federal Express record and share that login credentials with me, I just going into my Keeper vault, I click share and it'll sure the FedEx record with you and when you go into your vault all the FedEx records are there and all of the login activity, the website the way you launch it is the way you login is really one-button click. It's extremely secure because everything happens within the Keeper vault.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: Many of the business preaches over the past few years have been due to weak employee passwords. What are some tips for helping businesses create stronger passwords for employees and protecting those passwords?

DARREN GUCCIONE: Well I think the key is use the password manager you know not just pitching Keeper but straight up use the password manager because what a password manager will do is generate high strength random passwords for you and typically a high strength password is anything over 8 characters. It includes letters, numbers and symbols and it's something that you know a hacker would have an extremely difficult time figuring out and the beauty of the password manager is that you don't have to remember that password it does it for you. It auto fills in that log in you know for you so when you go to like Amazon or any website it'll automatically fill in your username and that high strength password and log you into that site so you never have to remember the password again.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: Usernames as well right Darren? I had trouble with usernames and don’t remember them as well. They are just as difficult as the password sometimes.

DARREN GUCCIONE: So for example if you look at like you know just how I use it, I have over 300 Keeper records in my involved and I have four Amazon account. One for my wife, one for me, one for my company so when I go to fill in my login credentials into Amazon, Keeper will give me the list different usernames because with each username as a separate password. It handles multiple usernames or accounts for websites with great ease and efficiency.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: I heard you mention in some of your interviews zero knowledge architecture. Can you talk a little bit about that Darren?

DARREN GUCCIONE: So Keeper is designed and created on a zero knowledge security platform and what that means is that we never have access to our knowledge of the master password that you use or the encryption key that is used to encrypt and decrypt your information. So all of the encryption and decryption of your password as well as your records stored in the fall always occurs locally on your device and we always make sure that that resides with the user so that they are in full control of their records so that makes us a zero knowledge platform.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: The majority of our listeners Darren we call them aspiring entrepreneurs and many of them want to get into buying a franchise. What sort of credentials/certifications should franchisees look for when seeking a third party cyber security provider?

DARREN GUCCIONE: I think number one is you know make sure that the providers is SOC certified and that stands for statement of controls. Okay so let's back to certification. SOC is really one of the highest certifications you can have which basically says that the security provider you know safeguards confidentiality, privacy and security safeguards for their users and that's really important. Our company is SOC certified by virtue of Keeper. You know we've had two SOC audits to date. We undergo extreme, high security, protocols, audits, testing and what have you. I would look for that. I would look for certifications like trustee for the security payment platform. McAfee is great. But there are several security protocols that you know you should look out for. If anyone wants a general background they can just go to and read about the different cert’s that we have.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: Maybe we can talk a little bit about when anti-fraud services are necessary Darren.

DARREN GUCCIONE: I think they're always necessary. You know any application that receives payments or goods or services or any type of value that is created or driven on a website or even locally at a franchise if it's a brick and mortar location or if it's a website the treatment of fraud protection needs to be pervasive and consistent. So I think it's absolutely critical.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: Many businesses have a “bring your own device policy” at work. Do you have any tips about how to keep employees sensitive work information safe on their personal smart devices?

DARREN GUCCIONE: You know the Keeper for Groups product, as well as some of the other products out there, address BYOD and that's one of the reasons why we created Keeper for Groups is because it's just common place. You know all of us as consumers typically own a smartphone and all of us as consumers work somewhere. We're all typically employed either for ourselves or for a company, and we pose a threat and a concern for companies’ IT administrators right? They're trying to figure out how to provision and protect and control devices that they don't own and that's the biggest challenge you know is how do you handle a BYOD device? I don't own the device, I know the employee has their own device, and I know that we're using it for work. How do I secure and safeguard that device? That's why companies have really embraced our product is because we make that process inexpensive and very easy to use and of course as hyper secure.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: I've heard you mention on interviews as well Darren and you've used the term “the internet of things” and how will it affect the business landscape over the next few years in terms of cyber security.

DARREN GUCCIONE: I think that the internet of things poses the largest single threat that we've probably seen in the last decade with respect to cyber security just through the proliferation of devices and how many connected objects and devices there will be over the next five years. It's going to be in the tens of billions in terms of the devices in circulation and if the proper security protocols and protection are in place on those devices then each one of those devices is in essence like a doorway for a hacker. So the greater number of doorways, the more potential entry points for a hacker to permeate a network and that’s really the biggest problem that I see in terms of risk.

MARTIN MCDERMOTT: So you are launching a new identity verification platform Darren. It’s called Keeper DNA. How does that work with the “internet of things”?

DARREN GUCCIONE: Keeper DNA we are really excited about it. It’s coming out pretty soon and the way that it works is that we felt that the devices you already own essentially define who you are as a person and I know that sounds crazy but if you think about it if I’ve got you know for example a smart thermostat, and a smart tv, a smart watch and I authenticate against those devices or with those devices on a daily basis then I can use those devices per se to create a Keeper DNA profile of me. So when I step into my house …..
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