Who’s securing “My Stuff” at Google, Microsoft and Yahoo?

29 Nov , 2007  

Microsoft_and_google_cloudWe think the security threat landscape changes every day. Now the underlying assumptions about what we have to secure and where are changing like a foundation made of sand.

Microsoft is beta testing Microsoft Office Live Workspace to create a virtual shared folders workspace online. WSJ rumored that Google is planning the “My Stuff” service to provide 10-400GB of space for between $20 and $500 per year. Live Documents is a startup offering similar services. An add from MicroCenter (my favorite geek store) arrived in my mailbox today; 4GB USB flash drives are $24.99 for Christmas.

And of course, we have Amazon S3 (Secure Storage Service) and EC2 offerings for hosting data center compute and storage by the drip. Cisco’s WebEx and Salesforce Exchange are other On Demand framework and cloud offerings for software delivery. Applications are moving outside of the datacenter into computing and storage clouds and predictions are this will continue to be a strong trend.

Will everything evacuate the datacenter? I’m not saying the company data center is going away, just that the total picture of what we think of as the datacenter is expanding outside the four walls of traditional datacenters. Large enterprises and high volume systems aren’t moving anytime soon but software they use is often being provided through On Demand services. On Demand is something many medium and small businesses use every day. Take payroll, if you don’t run it internally you very likely access the payroll system through web based software, and many general purpose and specialized software applications are being offered through On Demand services.

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and other offerings are just the tip of the iceberg from a business security perspective. Our thinking about security needs to broaden to include the cloud and virtual worlds we and the industry are creating.

See more about Who is rethinking security? on my Network World blog.


Portfolio: Publication, Media and Product Awards

23 Nov , 2007  

The following is a summary of published articles, bylines, interviews, white papers, books and other online media appearances of Mitchell Ashley.

Online Community, Blogging and Podcasting

Industry Recognition

Product Awards

Infoworld_excellent_2004 Windowsitpro_editors_choiceSc_magazine_finalist_2008Sc_magazine_finalist_2007Sc_magazine_best_buy_2Crn_9_of_10_stars_2005_2



Video Interview

Q&A Interview Articles

Media Appearances and Quotes

Authored Books

  • Growth Strategies For Software Companies: Industry Leaders On
    Management Team Leadership Strategies, Financial And Profitability
    Measures, And Setting Goals For Long Term Success

Authored Byline Articles

Authored White Papers
    General Security

    Network Access Control

    Regulatory Compliance

Speaking, Podcast and Webcast Appearances


Dilbert says it well

16 Nov , 2007  

In a Security Incite email from Mike Rothman today, Mike included a link to a great Dilbert cartoon. I just had to share it with you.



Cisco NAC Guest Server gives receptionist keys to the network

14 Nov , 2007  

Cisco announced their new Cisco NAC Guest Server product today. The basic idea is to move the provisioning of guest access out to a user or users who are authorized to give visitors temporary access to a limited guest segment of the network. After the guest is provisioned, they are given a print out, email or wireless text message with their login credentials.

ReceptionistI like the premise of the idea, though I can’t speak as to how Cisco implements it. It sounds like Cisco may only be doing access control and not really NAC (validating the endpoint against security policies) but for guest access (provided it’s in a walled off network) this may be good enough. It may be confusing to the market though if buyers expect Guest Server to offer more than access control and actually do NAC.

Lets hope though that receptionist has a password set on their screen save when they walk away.


Ike Elliott and Telecosm reaches 100!

13 Nov , 2007  

Ike Elliott’s new blog Telecosm celebrates 100 subscribers (probably more than that now.) If you want to know what a real telcom expert looks like and see how one thinks about happenings in the industry, head on over to Ike’s blog now.

Congratz, Ike.


Angel Capital Summit is Today – Bring your business ideas!

13 Nov , 2007  

Angel_captial_summitA great entrepreneur and funding event is happening today in Denver, The Angel Capital Summit.

Hosted by the Rockies Venture Club, this event brings entrepreneurs, business ideas, angel and venture capital people together to network, look for funders/investment, and collaborate as a community. The event is from 1:15pm to 6:30pm, followed by a cocktail hour, at the Denver Marriott City Center.

Best of luck to every attending and I hope to see you there. I’ll share any interesting happenings from the event here on my blog.


First blog posts on NetworkWorld Microsoft Subnet are up

12 Nov , 2007  

Mashley86x88We’ll, I’ve started my parallel blogging career (it is a career, isn’t it? 🙂 ) up on NetworkWorld today.

I’m excited to take on this challenge while continuing my blogging and podcast here on The Converging Network blog and After All These Years podcast. NetworkWorld give me a chance to expand the dialog beyond networking and security into the realm of Microsoft. I’m not a Microbot zealot, nor am I a Microsoft hater. Microsoft has done a lot of good for our industry and has made their share of colossal blunders and overbearing business moves; enough to keep us all interested in what’s happening in Redmond.

Probably the biggest challenge with Microsoft, aside from when their market dominance which can make it difficult for others to breath, is the cocoon Redmond creates and lives in. Hopefully, that’s where I come in, giving a broader market, product, competitive, and some day-to-day perspective about the pervasive Microsoft technology so many of us use.

So join me on the NetworkWorld blog (, starting with these two posts (here and here). And thanks for continuing to read The Converging Network blog and listening to the podcast.

Podcasts, Security

Podcast #49 – Byron Acohido, USAToday reporter and Pulitzer prize winner

11 Nov , 2007  

MicrophoneIt’s that time again… time for another podcast episode.

Joining us for a very special interview is Byron Acohido, USAToday tech reporter and Pulitzer prize winner for Beat Reporting. Byron, together with fellow USAToday journalist Jon Swartz, are working on a new investigative book, Zero Day Threat. (Check out their bio’s here.) The book, due out spring of 2008, exposes the participants and enablers in the growing industry of identity theft. This is a fun interview and I know you’ll enjoy hearing about Bryon’s and Jon’s new book.

ByronacohidoAlan and I also jump into the fray and talk about the war chest big security companies claim they will use to continue buying up companies in the security industry. We also talk about all the new things happening with me, creating my new company Converging Network, LLC, and helping companies with product, technology and business strategies.

Enjoy the podcast and feel free to drop us any suggestions or questions at

Icon_enclosure_music_7mp3 file


Marty named CTO of the year by Maryland Tech Council

11 Nov , 2007  

I saw that Marty Roesch was named CTO/IT Executive of the Year by the Tech Council of Maryland this past week. Marty’s the creator of SNORT and co-founder of Sourcefire, the private, now public company supporting Sourcefire.

Congratz Marty!


Are they related, one in the same, or just coincidence?

10 Nov , 2007  

Steve_balmer Young_frankenstein Is it just me, or does Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have a striking resemblance to the late actor Peter Boyle, of Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein and Everybody Loves Raymond fame?

The scene with Gene Hackman as the blind man and Peter Boyle as Frankenstein has to be one of the best ever in motion picture comedy.

As far as Ballmer and Boyle goes, I've seen the resemblance for a long time. I just finally got around to posting it up on my blog. Father and son, maybe? Uncle and nephew? There's got to be a connection somewhere.