AdmitMBA360 Blog formerly Journey to my MBA

Journey to my MBA

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

What's bugging me about the HBS hacking situation and What's New Thursday Part II

This HBS thing is getting a lot more publicity. mentioned it on their news site this morning. I expect USA Today or WSJ to publish something about this with some analyst perspective spin.

I really don't care actually. The bigger question that comes to my mind is "What else is possibly open to hacking?" That would have been my next biggest question after, "what do we need to fix the current problem?".

Every admissions staff across the globe needs to be asking themself the same question. "Is the software we are using actually that secure?" When I was a consultant at one particular company, I was part of a project team that allowed a company to do all their work through the internet. The company was a huge well-known operation. If I mentioned their name, you'd know them. Anyway, the premise of the company was to automate automobile system ordering online. When we were ready to go live, one last question remained to be answered.... "With our financial data being fully available, how open are we to attack through the internet and through the online system? So we hired a security hacking company to see if they could get in. They did get in!

They got in by detecting non-sense network data packets of an ICA network protocol. Using this open network port, the security company sent a broadcast message to all accounts in the e-mail system asking for their account login name and password to verify account information before the go-live date. The one person in the company who responded was the CFO who thought that he should lead by example and asked others to follow his lead. Using this information, the security company placed a few files into the most secure locations on the servers with a text file stating, "You've been hacked."

Anyway, I just thought I'd share this story with you because it shows how easy it is to breach network security.

========== What's New - MBA Related ==========
Harvard and Stanford - Harvard and Stanford Led Universities in Raising $24.4 Billion [March 3 (Bloomberg)] -- Harvard and Stanford universities led U.S. colleges and universities in raising $24.4 billion in fiscal 2004, 3.4 percent more than the previous year, according to a study by Rand Corp. The increase reflects an effort by schools to broaden contributions beyond alumni to individuals who didn't attend, Santa Monica, California-based Rand found in a survey of 971 schools. The academic institutions received $11.9 billion from individuals in the year ended June 30, or 48.8 percent of all gifts, Rand said yesterday. The biggest gain of six categories tracked by Rand came from non-alumni, who gave 21.5 percent more than the $4.28 billion donated in fiscal 2003.
----------> Full Article

Michigan-Ross - University of Michigan's Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies to Sponsor Emerging Industry Symposium on 'The Business Reality of Micro and Nano Technologies'. This 5th annual event will offer attendees opportunities to network with national industry experts and Michigan-based small tech companies and researchers -- from March 31 to April 1, 2005.
----------> Full PR Announcement

Vanderbilt - Owen School's acting dean gets job permanently. The new dean of Vanderbilt University's graduate business school will be a familiar face to students, faculty and staff. Vanderbilt will announce today that, Jim Bradford, a seasoned corporate executive who has been acting dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management since June, will fill that post on a permanent basis. The university conducted an international candidate search.
----------> Full PR Announcement

========== What's New - Blogging Related ==========
Harvard Business Review Calls Blogs A Breakthrough Idea For 2005
I've posted the full content of this article because it is so insightful and deadly accurate about the nature of advertisement/marketing and blogging. I've noticed that Alex Brown could have easily written this article as his drive and posturing towards Bloggers is in full alignment with this article. Graham, at Clear Admit and Linda at have also done an amazing job in being part of the community as well.

Here's the article
Steve Rubel of writes, "The February issue of Harvard Business Review, available only for sale online, lists the breakthrough ideas for 2005."

One of them, number 10, is business blogging. This is a huge endorsement for business blogging. Just listen to what Mohabir Sawhney, Tribune Professor of Technology and Director, Center for Research in Technology and Innovation, Kellogg School of Management, writes in the article. Here are some excerpts...
"The 'blogosphere' - a grassroots ecosystem comprising of millions of weblogs - is decentralized and ungoverned. But like traditional media (and unlike most personal web sites), it is gaining the power to influence what people think, do, and buy. The blogosphere has begun to develop its own rating schemes, ratings leaders, business models, and brand-name celebrities. As the blogosphere takes its place among entertainment and information channels, companies must devise strategies for marketing in and around it."

~~ Snip ~~

"Marketers will naturally want their messages promoted on influential blogs and protected from critical ones. But they will find it difficult to navigate this complex blend of advertising, content, dialogue, and public relations."

~~ Snip ~~

"Corporate marketers must deal with bloggers differently from the way they deal with traditional media. First, they must realize that the blogosphere is not just a place in which to advertise; it is a medium in which to participate. Marketers can join the conversation on influential blogs related to their products or companies - or even better, they can become bloggers in their own right by hosting blogs for customers. Most radically, they can host independent bloggers on their Web sites, essentially trading exposure for reach and credibility.

Second, companies must try to cultivate bloggers rather than control them. Instead of making ham-handed efforts to influence bloggers, marketers should attempt to win them over by sharing information openly with those who write about their companies and by responding to the issues that are raised, even - especially - if they are negative.

Third, the blogosphere is fluid and ever changing. Ad buys will become more dynamic, as new technologies and modified contract terms let marketers shift rapidly from blog to blog in pursuit of customers' fickle attention."

When I read this my heart pounded. It is consistent with our entire philosophy at CooperKatz of find, listen, engage and empower. When the Harvard Business Review starts praising blogging strategies, you know it's time to start planning. What's your plan? Are you on board the Cluetrain?
----------> Source Article


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