Gateway to The West

It was another week on the road, this time heading slightly south to St Louis, Missouri. It was great to get away from the snow, although the air seemed just as cold as in Minneapolis. To say that it would be nice to feel a warm breeze at this point would be an understatement!

One of my first duties in town was to conduct our weekly PowerTech Webinar. The Webinar was titled Protect IBM i (AS400) Data From FTP, ODBC, and Remote Command, and it’s always one of the most popular Webinars that we do. It still surprises me that we have so many people attend this topic, and ask such great questions such as why IBM i is often exposed from a lack of access control, or auditing of network-initiated transactions. I suppose the statistic that 65% of IBM i servers that we audit still have no exit programs registered might explain some of the interest—even after two decades of awareness of this problem.

I was thrilled to also be presenting the first session of our new regional security workshops to a full room of attendees. For several hours, we whittled our way through numerous important aspects of IBM i security—from system values to adopted authority and from special authorities to network access. Based on the positive comments made on the evaluation forms, the class was a resounding success! It always makes it fun when an idea comes to fruition, and especially when it is so well received. Thanks to the IBM i team at MSI Systems Integrators for hosting the event at their downtown facilities, and for providing lunch for all of the attendees.

After the class, I traveled the 90 miles or so to Jefferson City and engaged with the mid-Missouri users group, presenting a session titled Top 10 Security Vulnerabilities. I would like to offer my appreciation to Huber and Associates for inviting me to present at their location, and also for the interest and interaction I received from the group. This presentation actually ran long because of some of the great discussion that we were having. Before I left, we emptied another box of cool PowerTech t-shirts, and raffled another gift-card.

I am now going to be back in the office for a couple of weeks to catch up on some of my other daily responsibilities, including helping host our upcoming online training classes for Network Security. After that, I will head out again for the next workshop and user group stops, this time in Nashville, Tennessee, and Buffalo, New York. I am especially excited about going to Buffalo, as it is being hosted at a PowerTech customer location. Plans are also being worked on for Reno and Portland events in early March, so if you work in those areas, we invite you to join us.

Before I close this week’s entry, I want to take a moment to say that my thoughts are with the family of IBM’s Craig Johnson, who died this past week in a car accident in Northern Iowa. Blizzard and whiteout conditions on Interstate 35 led to a massive 40-vehicle pile-up. This is the exact same route that I take weekly between Des Moines and Minneapolis, and I just happened to have stayed in Minneapolis that weekend due to my back-to-back travel plans. It certainly brings home how life can change in an instant, and how important it is to live each day as if it is your last.

Stay Warm!

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