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DARPA's proactive cybersecurity strategy, Hollywood hackers and effective performance reviews

DARPA’s Proactive Cybersecurity Strategy
Source: CNET

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is taking cybersecurity to a whole new level: DARPA has hired Peiter Zatko — also known as the hacker “Mudge” — to be in charge of developing new tools against cyberattacks.

Zatko is one of those people who used to turn government security folks’ hair gray by breaking into their networks. Over the years, though, he’s used his skills to help companies and the government improve security, and he was the target of an online campaign to get the Obama administration to appoint him cybersecurity czar.

At DARPA, he intends to work with cutting-edge researchers outside government, and he wants to focus on blocking attacks rather than simply reacting to them. “I don't want people to be putting out virus signatures after a virus has come out," he said. "I want an active defense. I want to be at the sharp, pointy end of the stick."

Hollywood Hackers
Source: Network World

Hollywood has been making movies about hackers for longer than you think.

When Damian Gordon, a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology, studied 50 movies that feature hackers to see whether he could use them as a teaching tool, he ended up with a list of favorites that includes 1968’s “Hot Millions."

In an interview with Network World, Gordon said he had issues with most of the movies, especially their tendency to make hacking look much easier than it is.

However, in “Hot Millions,” a criminal steals money by using social engineering techniques to impersonate a computer programmer. Among more recent movies, he said “Superman III” also has a fairly accurate portrayal of a hacker.

In addition to “Hot Millions,” Gordon’s favorites are “War Games,” “Tron,” “Sneakers” and “Independence Day.”

Effective Performance Reviews
Source: Bnet

If you’ve come to think of those annual performance reviews as nothing more than an exercise designed to please the human resources department, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to shape your employees’ performance.

That’s the assessment of Kirsten Korosec of Bnet. She points out three ways managers commonly misuse the reviews and offers strategies for making those meetings more effective.

Her tips include focusing on the future instead of the past, letting employees do more of the talking, and linking rewards to a specific behavior or result.

“If reviews are going to be a valuable management tool — and they can be — you're going to have to put more skin in the game,” she writes.

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