Ivanti Interchange Podcast

On a personal note, I was humbled to be considered a guest on Ivanti’s Interchange Podcast addressing ransomware in healthcare.

it interchange podcastI added their new series to my collection of InfoSec podcasts as soon as our Hospital server team acquired Ivanti’s Patch for Windows service back in June.

In this timeframe, I suggested to our Hospital’s patch subcommittee to consider Ivanti’s Patch Tuesday Webinar series into our meeting scheduled.

Ivanti launched their monthly webinar in April 2017 and provide a solid overview to Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday releases. This also includes key third-party updates from Adobe, Google, and Mozilla.

After registering for October’s webinar, by chance an out-of-the-blue a marketing specialist from Ivanti called. When I confirmed our participation in the coming Patch webinar, they suggested considering their new IT Interchange Podcast. I believe they were pleasantly surprised that I was able to recite all their podcast topics.
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Ivanti Patch for Windows

The 2017 Ransomware attacks on healthcare or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ivanti.

Ivanti’s Patch for Windows helps hospitals, clinics, and health systems mitigate ransomware attacks with agile change management, security controls and third-party patching for healthcare in the age of ransomware.
patch for windows
How did hospitals and clinics come to rely upon Ivanti? In 2017 the healthcare industry was confronted for the first time by a multi-headed monster in ransomware attacks. WannaCry, NotPetya and multiple ransomware strains have forever changed the data security landscape for hospitals, clinics and health systems.
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Ransomware attacks on Healthcare

The 2017 Ransomware attacks on Healthcare or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ivanti.

The American healthcare industry was attacked for the first time by a multi-headed ransomware monster. Ivanti’s Patch for Windows can help hospitals, clinics, and health systems mitigate these attacks.
wannacry screenshot
By establishing and maintaining agile, effective patch management Ivanti has a solid solution for hospitals in the age of ransomware. How did hospitals and clinic come to rely upon Ivanti? First a look back on the tumultuous year in healthcare:

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Latest Read: Viet Nam A History from Earliest Times to the Present

Viet Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present by Ben Kiernan is a refreshing historical view void of French or American influence. Kiernan is a professor of History, International, and Area Studies at Yale University.
Viet Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the PresentMy interest, of course,  French and American wars focused on Part Five: Colonies: Chapter 9 Writing and Revolution from Colonialism to Independence, 1920-54.

Kiernan delivers an amazing deep look at the American nightmare in Southeast Asia in the twentieth century. We have few if any books that look at Vietnam’s history from Kiernan’s perspective.

Still seeking to learn new insights into French rule across Indochina this was a deep, intense review of the shifting powers between Ho Chi Minh and Bao Dai. Kiernan should be credited with documenting the impact of a great famine over the previous sixty years.

This produced a very odd relationship. Bao Dai was the final emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam. Until the end of the Second World War, Bao Dai was appointed emperor of Annam under French rule. His role remained after March 1945 when Japanese troops ousted French military rule throughout Indochina. He abdicated upon the Japanese surrendered.

Yet during the previous two generations, thousands of Vietnamese starved to death. Kiernan reveals in elaborate research the role of journalism spreading in the early 1900s throughout Indochina. The most immediate impact was upon Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism throughout Vietnam. This also launched the first public political parties in 1919.

Bao Dai ruled the State of Vietnam from 1949 to 1955 under French influence during the first Indochina war. Yet he ruled from Hong Kong and China. After the French installed Dai to govern the country, Ho persuaded Dai to abdicate in August 1945. His departure handed power to the Viet Minh. Yet Dai was appointed Supreme Advisor to Ho’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
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Latest Read: Going After Cacciato

Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien is his third title regarding his Vietnam war experience. I have also recently read If I Die in a Combat Zone and The Things They Carried. These are three of the best books of fiction and mixed non-fiction regarding the war.
Going After CacciatoAs a soldier in Vietnam in October 1968, Paul Berlin discovers that Cacciato, a soldier in his unit has gone MIA. Cacciato previously informed Berlin that he was planning to walk from Vietnam to Paris.

The unit chases Cacciato as ordered by their unit commanding officer. The soldiers track him to a hill, but Cacciato sets off a smoke bomb and disappears.

O’Brien reveals how Berlin recalled his service beginning in June 1968 with the 198th Infantry Brigade. As their chase leads into November, the unit loses Harold Murphy who left on his own. Yet the unit permits three women to join their chase. Soon they fall into a hole and discover a deep underground network of tunnels. As they crawl through the tunnels they meet a Vietcong soldier. They are able to somehow escape the tunnel and land in Burma.

Berlin sees Cacciato dressed as a priest and tries to capture him but is overwhelmed by Cacciato’s new friends who are also dressed in priestly robes. One of the women still in their unit tells Berlin she saw Cacciato catching a train to Delhi. The unit is able to catch the next train and continue their chase.
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Latest Read: The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a powerful story of fictional experiences. His storytelling is a mix of life as a child, before the war, serving in a platoon, and after the war back at home trying to recover from the war. It is also about returning to the battlefield.
The Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienIt was enjoyable to see Tim O’Brien interviewed extensively in the new Ken Burns documentary The Vietnam War. O’Brien’s opening chapter is quoted in the show.

The book also describes a girl from his childhood who died in grade school and he describes how she looked at the funeral home. This story seems to prep him up for serving in Vietnam.

He shares the struggles to decide whether to avoid military service by fleeing to Canada. His story about the duty to country, the hometown feeling that you are required to follow the family and friends who answered the call to fight in World War II.
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Latest read: Beyond Bitcoin

Beyond Bitcoin: The Economics of Digital Currencies by Hanna Halaburda and Miklos Sarvary is a wonderful read to learn about digital currencies and the state of Bitcoin. The authors clearly defined the real world use of digital currencies.

Beyond BitcoinBeyond Bitcoin explores the emerging and dynamic universe of digital currencies, to understand how they developed and what the future holds for our economy.

The authors use an economic framework to explore platform-based digital currencies that are centrally managed by the businesses that introduced them. The book ends with a comparison between various cryptocurrencies.

The authors use an economic framework to explore platform-based digital currencies that are centrally managed by the businesses that introduced them. The book ends with a comparison between various cryptocurrencies.

The history of currencies is rather fascinating and the third chapter covers currencies we are familiar with including BerkShares, Food Stamps and Mortgages. Also addressed are gaming currencies including World of Warcraft, and Diablo; virtual worlds including Eve Online and SecondLife and social networks including Facebook Credits or Amazon Coins.
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Cetus Extended 3D printer

The Cetus Extended 3D printer, a Rails-based printing technology has been occupying a great deal of my time as of late. This 3D Printer has a build volume of 180x180x280mm and supports 1.75mm PLA filament.
Cetus Extended
A very important consideration for children is a printer’s power source. Many 3D printer kits from GearBest, eBay or AliExpress contain open, live wiring that may prove extremely dangerous to children. This printer is a safe choice for children and schools. Cetus ships a kid-friendly power supply that will put to rest any parental concerns. Remember kids are curious. IMHO the Cetus minimalist design provides a better introduction to real hands-on 3D Printing for my children.

Cetus printers have an active Facebook group providing great feedback from a growing community of owners. I am also pleased to see an active Reddit community.

Popular 3D applications Simplify3DUltimaker Cura, Slic3r, and Craftware all connect to the Cetus Extended and run very well on an iMac. USB and WiFi are built in and Cetus has an iPad client. The Cetus app will also convert G-code to native machine code before sending objects to the printer.
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Latest Read: Blockchain Basics

The Blockchain Basics by Daniel Drescher. This is a very basic blockchain book. I would recommend this to someone completely unfamiliar with blockchain. Daniel hits his mark as he places a repeated template for each step. In this design, I felt the book had trouble flowing for anyone who has already read a blockchain textbook.
Blockchain BasicsDaniel pushes the elementary lessons through 25 steps.

There is a very basic outline to the security of the blockchain. Again this book has a specific target audience: Newbie.

I have to admit that I was bored reading the text. yet was impressed by the lessons and related topics that are presented.

Yet his lessons and related topics are simple to follow. For an overall tip of the iceberg, you can fly through this book and then move to Don Tapscott, William Mougayar and Melanie Swan.

Latest read: A War of Logistics

What really caused France’s humiliating loss to the Viet Minh in the French Indochina war? To understand we must focus on logistics. Charles Shrader’s A War of Logistics: Parachutes and Porters in Indochina, 1945–1954 reveals the true staggering failures of the French were simply the result of poor logistics.
A War of Logistics: Parachutes and Porters in Indochina, 1945--1954 (Foreign Military Studies) by Charles R. ShraderOn the surface, it may not make sense. A western power falling to an agrarian band of guerrilla fighters? No author has precisely examined Viet Minh and French military logistics in great detail. This is an impressive view.

Shrader has taught at West Point, the Command & General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, and at the Army War College. He is a former executive director of the Society for Military History. His metrics and well-written history document those French military pillars that collapsed triggering their retreat not only from Indochina but from the world stage.

Many respected books point to Dien Bien Phu as the surprising French loss and later defeat in the war. Shrader documents how this battle was the culmination of a series of shocking logistical failures that plagued their efforts against the Viet Minh.

The shift benefitting the Viet Minh developed after the Korean War. China began delivering overwhelming logistical resources to the Viet Minh. While French and CIA intelligence captured communications confirming numerous deliveries of infrastructure, France did not adjust to this threat.

In retrospect, the logistical failure to support the French effort should have sent strong signals to American military advisors that success against this communist enemy would be a long and difficult task.
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Latest read: Operation Vulture

Operation Vulture by John Prados reveals President Eisenhower’s plans to use nuclear weapons at Dien Bien Phu to “rescue” the French garrison. An analyst of national security based in Washington DC, he is a Senior Fellow and Project Director with the National Security Archive at George Washington University where he leads the Archive’s documentation projects on Vietnam and CIA.
Operation VultureThe US National Archive has released multiple classified documents since 2000. We now understand Eisenhower’s deep involvement. He ordered the US military into the First Indochina War in 1953. Prados reveals startling details of Eisenhower’s wish to use nuclear weapons and his order to the US Air Force and Navy bringing a nuclear weapons attack upon the valley as the French garrison was being quickly suffocated by the Viet Minh.

The details of those military actions moving men and arms throughout Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia along with the international political maneuvering by Allen Dulles in the early 1950s dispels any myth that America simply went to war in Vietnam under President Kennedy.

Prados stitches an enormous amount of Eisenhower’s actions regarding Vietnam beginning in 1953. Eisenhower acted on his view of the world that required a strong American confrontation in Asia to offset China.
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Latest read: Who the Hell Are We Fighting?

Who the Hell Are We Fighting?: The Story of Sam Adams and the Vietnam Intelligence Wars is the story Sam’s incomplete memoir War of Numbers could not deliver. Sam Adams died suddenly in 1988 at the age of 54. Sam was a gifted analyst at the CIA. Author C. Michael Hiam delivers a well written narrative of Sam’s life.
Who the Hell Are We Fighting?: The Story of Sam Adams and the Vietnam Intelligence WarsSam displayed the uncommon trait of speaking truth to power. As history often suggests Sam was in the right place at the right time.

His truth revealed outcomes that pitted him against the White House, MACV and even senior leadership within the CIA.

What also made Sam unique was his inability to backdown to the highest offices in the government. Sam created a point of great turmoil by discovering and confronting repeated MACV intelligence failures. His analysis was not supported by CIA Director Richard Helms. Nobody wants to make their boss look bad.

Haim traces Sam’s life from Harvard to a rising star within the CIA to a disillusioned analyst. War of Numbers did not shed light on Sam’s death. Realizing Haim was going to discuss his passing at the close of the book I dreaded the last chapter to the life of Sam Adams.
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