Kelley Reinhardt
Author Archives: Kelley Reinhardt

Leadership Traits Growing the Leader From Within

Leadership Traits NextGen Global Executive Search

Leadership Traits  Growing the Leader from Within Yourself

Leadeship Traits Growing the Leader from within

Leadership traits are defined by what we do, not the role we are in. Leadership is action, not a position. Some people in leadership roles are excellent leaders. But too many are bosses, "snoopervisors," technocrats, bureaucrats, managers, commanders, chiefs, and the like. Whether in enterprise mobility, manufacturing, or consumer devices, strong leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal leadership traits across these key areas.

Leadership Traits in Functional Management Roles

To lead is to show the way by going in advance. To lead is to guide or direct a course of action. To lead is to influence the behavior or opinion of others. We all need to be leaders, regardless of our formal title or role. This starts with inner leadership traits in self-leadership and moves outward to influence, guide, support, and lead others.

The process of becoming a leader is the same as the process of becoming a highly effective human being. Leadership development is personal development. Effective leadership traits ultimately shows itself in what we do "out there." But it starts "in here."

It would be easy if we could all become leaders by following a simple set of steps. But the journey of personal growth means finding our own way. There are, however, critical areas of personal development based on timeless principles. The distance we need to grow along each of the leadership traits dimensions will differ for each of us, but defining and continually growing along each of these paths is the way of the leader.

Expanding Key Personal Leadership Traits

Strong leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal leadership traits across many areas, however these areas are key:

  • Choose Not to Lose. Whether we choose to focus on our problems or our possibilities is a key leadership issue. When we are faced with obstacles and failure, those with the leadership traits who can overcome adversity and learn from their experiences, turning them into opportunities, are the ones who will be truly successful.
  • Focus and Context. The core of my being: This is central to our growth along all the other leadership traits dimensions. Our Focus and Context is shaped by three vital questions: Where am I going? (my vision); What do I believe in? (my principles and values) and; Why do I exist? (my purpose or mission).
  • Responsibility for Choices. If it's to be, it's up to me: Good leadership traits means accepting responsibility for our choices in life. Leaders realize that life accumulates, that choice more than chance determines their circumstances. They refuse to succumb to the "Victimitus Virus" ("it's all their fault" and "there's nothing I can do").
  • Authenticity. Getting real: Leadership isn't just what we do, it's something that we are, which then drives what we do.  Great leadership traits are authentic, and based on honesty, integrity, and trust. We must ring true to ourselves by exploring our inner space, gathering feedback on our personal behavior, and ensuring consistency with our stated values and principles.
  • Passion and Commitment. Beyond near-life experiences: Successful people are energized by a love for what they do because it brings them ever closer to who they are. They have the leadership traits that overcome apathy and cynicism, develop a burning commitment to their cause, and with discipline achieve their dreams and desires.
  • Spirit and Meaning. With all my heart and soul: What is the purpose of our work? Of our lives? Material success alone is not enough. Leaders seek within their leadership traits and find something more. In what is too often a mad dash from cradle to grave, we need to take time in work and life to nourish our inner selves.
  • Growing and Developing. From phase of life to way of life: The popular goals of security, stability, and predictability are deadly. The closer we get to these dangerous goals, the more our growth is stunted. Good leadership traits will reflect true and lasting security comes from constant growth and development, based on regular reflection and renewal.
  • Mobilizing and Energizing. Putting emotions in motion: Leaders don't motivate with rewards and punishments. Whether at home or in the workplace, they energize people to motivate themselves. Highly effective leaders who possess ethical leadership traits boost the energy of others with their passion and appreciation. They engage people's hearts as well as their minds.

Effective Leadership Traits Make a Difference

The more the world changes, the more leadership principles stay the same. And effective leadership traits apply to all of us; no matter what role we play in society or organizations.  NextGen Global Executive Search uses a proprietary Performance Based Retained Search to recruit exceptional executives with good leadership traits. Contact us today for a free consultation or demo of our proven executive recruitment process.

NextGen Global Executive Search

Job References Making Calls vs. Automated Software for Employment Checks

Job References - Making Calls vs. Automated Software

job references making calls

All companies expect job references, aka professional and employment references to be conducted prior to making an offer of employment or shortly thereafter. Nine times out of ten these are pre-determined references provided by the candidate. Some may well include former bosses, former or current colleagues, and industry references.

That is the real question. Many of these are in fact “personal relationships” where the person(s) providing the employment references will give a glowing reference (call it pre-defined or pre-arranged) that is neither spontaneous and often times misleading. Since I am obligated to deliver a short list of candidates, I do not wait for a pending offer to conduct employment job references and comprehensive background checks.

Most Companies Use Outdated Process for Job References

In the 21st century, we live in a constantly moving and increasingly social media world.  Employees’ reputations - both professional and personal – can impact a company’s corporate image, affect how they are viewed by customers and vendors, and can project either a positive or negative social image of the company.  With that in mind, the employment verification call that includes employment references aka job references directly from Human Resources or the supervisor of said former employee is useless fodder.    Same goes for accepting verbatim without question those provided by the candidate as they are so often former colleagues who are great friends unwilling to look past a biased lense. 

After identifying a target list of potential candidates through my Rolodex, networking, and referrals, I conduct one to two pre-screening interviews with the objective of understanding the motivations, skills/experience, and accomplishments of those potential candidates. If I am satisfied, they move forward to deeper interviews on my INTERNAL candidate shortlist.

Use Behavioral Analysis Prior to Making Job References Calls

I have the potential shortlisted candidates take an online 10 minute behavioral survey. This customized testing produces a Behavioral Analysis on a candidate’s motivations, values, decision making traits, aptitudes, communications style, and whether they are a Natural Fit with the team AND the role.

Once armed with that analysis, I have sufficient data needed to conduct professional job references calls that are relevant to the role itself. Most search firms simply accept employment references provided solely by the candidates. What I ask from each candidate is for two each of the following current or former (within last 5 years) by name, phone, email, title, and relationship as follows:  superiors/managers they reported to, subordinates that reported to them, internal customers in their respective positions, external customers, peers or colleagues (professional references NOT like any of the above), and personal and/or community

I go one step further in validating the list of these employment job references requested of the candidates. I research, identify, and cold call former internal/external customers, colleagues, and vendors that were NOT supplied. These validate the professional references the candidate provided while at the same time reveal the best unscripted job references possible.

There are a growing number of companies who save time by automating job references checks. Some are pre-defined standard Human Resources types of questions. Others allow you to add your own questions for professional references checking. Thee system sends out emails, the contacts answer the questions online, and you get the results.

The problem here is that the human factor does not exist. You cannot hear and ask additional questions based upon what you actually hear and perceive, as well as lacks ability to build a relationship with these professional employment job references.  The truth is that I gain new relationships, fresh perspectives, and sometimes additional retained searches by conducting professional job reference calls the best way possible.

Avoid the Risk and Pitfalls of Hiring the Wrong Person

NextGen Global Executive Search has six practice areas that interconnect with each other.  These include artificial intelligence and augmented reality, aerospace cabin power systems and military stealth aircraft sensors, cyber security and cyber defense,  industrial automation and industrial power systems, medical devices and electronic health records, mobile networks with digital media and wireless systems.  

NextGen Global Executive Search


Candidate Video Interviews the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Candidate Video Interviews - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

candidate video interviews the good the bad and the ugly

Candidate video interviews in recruiting creates manageable content, and with cloud services the benefit of being able to edit, store, and convert to the appropriate information format for evaluating candidates or future consideration of a new opening.  The three types of candidate video interviews are:

  1. One-Way Video Interview: whereby the recruiter posts questions in the form of yes/no, multiple choice, or requiring a direct reply and the candidate can answer the questions.  Most often, the candidate can review the questions and rehearse/formulate their answers in practice sessions.  These are always recorded.
  2. Two-Way Video Interview: whereby there is a live interaction between the recruiter and the candidate and is often recorded.
  3. Group Video Interview:  whereby the candidate faces an interview panel and the entire interview is recorded.

Candidate Video Interviews can be Useful or Worthless

The one-way type is very basic and for lower level positions where a body or limited skills and experiences may be all that is required, this method certainly enables a pre-screening of dozens of applicants.  In the one-way video interview in recruiting, there is no live interaction between the recruiter/interviewer and the candidate/interviewee.  While many believe the one way video interview offers unique advantage of enabling the candidate to likely provide honest answers without panicking or being under undue stress, this is folly. 

The problem is not dishonesty, rather skewered embellishments.  Secondly while the idea is that by not seeing the candidate first, this preempts some type of discrimination or bias, those subconscious biases will come into play once the recruiter views the recorded video interview.  Finally, a major disadvantage is that the recruiter cannot challenge the candidate’s answers nor visually see eye/mouth/facial and body movements and tonal differentiation in the challenges that recruiters trained in behavioral interviewing techniques could make a proper assessment of.

The two-way candidate video interviews in recruiting has the advantage of the recruiter witnessing changes in body movements/expressions (hands, eyes, mouth, sweating) and tonal changes. The ability to challenge answers and delve deeper into particular areas of the interview is a huge benefit over one-way interviews.  There are two disadvantages:  one is the limited time that recruiters have  to conduct an X number of two-way video interviews each week; the second is more difficult to measure as it is preferable to have more than one interviewer whose style, technical or behavioral assessment skills may be better suited for certain types of questions and interaction.

The group candidate video interviews in recruiting is the most difficult to schedule and if not planned properly can result in a disastrous outcome.  A group video interview is similar to a panel interview in-person.  In my 25 years in executive search, sadly 70% of all panel interviews are poorly structured and result in sometimes unfair evaluations.

Time  and time again I had clients fail to collaborate to give me the foundation and structure of the panel interview and the personalities involved leaving me in the sad situation of not being able to fully prepare the candidate for the panel interview or relying solely upon the client’s group decision about which candidate to hire.  

Properly Plan the Candidate Video Interviews in Recruiting

It took me several years to come up with the right solution.  Before a candidate is presented on the shortlist, we have already conducted psychometric testing and weighted against the team profile the candidate hired will be working with, having surveyed those internal customers at the beginning of the search.  By formulating a composite team profile which measures the cultural values, relational communications skills, and decision-making traits, we are certain the candidates who best fit the team are presented.

The added benefit is because we know the individual client members traits, as recruiters we are in a unique position to advise on the structure and responsibilities of the individual panel members as well as the overall group concerning candidate video interviews.  What we find is that the panel video job interview in recruiting structures are often hastily organized or dominated by one person.  A senior recruiter’s expert advice in group/panel interviews is greatly appreciated by clients.

Solutions for Effective Candidate Video Interviews in Recruiting

The benefits and disadvantages of the candidate video interviews in recruiting that are outlined above do showcase that these are evolving tools which confer a company or business entity with the advantages of cost-efficiency and excellent time management which in turn reduce the losses (and some overhead costs) thereby optimizing the overall value of the company.   

Retained search firm are diligent in not just unmasking and assessing the best candidates, but they present a shortlist of candidates with complete dossiers including analysis of skills/expertise, relevant accomplishments and problem solving methods, documented contacts and relationships, behavioral and team fit analysis completed, social media reputation report and comprehensive background checks. This means that the in-person interviews are more forward-looking rather than wasting time to attain information a contingency recruiter failed to acquire. 

Since the Hiring Manager now knows everything about the selected candidates presented, the lead recruiter develops a short set of hypothetical and situational questions for those candidates.  These are designed to bear witness the candidates’ reasoning and thought processing skills in how they would handle a known situation or a possible issue/trend.  Those finalists’ candidate video interviews and assessments are delivered to the client.  

This also best prepares the Hiring Team to properly structure a group panel video interview for recruiting when scheduling conflicts and time differences preclude a 1st round of face-to-face interviews.   In this digital age, new challenges in utilizing candidate video interviews in recruiting will arise, but this will never eliminate the need and human touch of forward-looking face-to-face interviews.

Award-winning Recruitment Search Processect

Leadership Vault, the award-winning recruitment search methodology created by the managing partners of NextGen Global Executive Search, has consistently proven to result in what clients often describe as the best hire they have ever made and that the candidates brought forward met or exceeded their expectations.  Click the image below to discover our unique search process.   

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Battling Cyber Hackers with Public and Private Cooperation

Battling cyber hackers with public and private cooperation

Battling Cyber Hackers with Public and Private Cooperation

Battling cyber hackers with public and private cooperation

Except those who are simply not following the consistent data breaches across silicon tech and online retail, Battling cyber hackers seems a never-ending standard we all have to live with.

Cyber security is growing more important and complex, but the government seems to be lagging behind in proper protection and security steps, leaving some of our most vulnerable secrets at risk.

WikiLeaks as already proven itself adept at hacking into servers and posting information, some of it classified, to the general public without fear of retribution.

The hacking group Anonymous has already proven itself more than adept at hacking into almost any server and website with only a minimal amount of time, and only recently someone managed access into North Korea’s Internet only to discover the citizens have access to a total of 28 sites.

What is interesting to note about the two previous examples is these are private citizens who are using less than advanced techniques to reach into sites and even an entire country.  If this is possible, why then does the government hesitate to do the same in battling cyber hackers?

Political appointees and cronyism is a likely start.  Deep pockets make for strong connections.  In battling cyber hackers, we need stronger, more secure servers and networking is certainly possible, but if the best and most reasonable choice is from a polar political party or outside of a sphere of connections, influence and activism, other choices will be made out of political necessity and prevention of political suicide.

The Problem in Battling Cyber Hackers

China and Russia.  Both countries may feign interest in the U.S., particularly because we import so much from China, but there is too much evidence of malfeasance on the part of China and Russia with our secure servers.  The government knows the two countries are there, but very little is done about it until well after the breach is discovered.  By then, naturally, it is too late to do much except backtrack and learn what happened.

Most will immediately assume there are no solutions, throw hands up and condemn the entire situation to hackers who will in no time cause serious havoc throughout the governmental networks and Internet.  There are solutions, sound and valid, which are not as difficult to find as one may think.

Battling Cyber Hackers

Tap the Public Sector

Let’s not get into the public/private argument, but instead focus on what is important – the security needed in battling cyber hackers.  The private sector often is not as limited to budgetary constraints and limitations like some governmental agencies.  Some agencies certainly do not lack funds or funding each year, but other, small and more insignificant agencies may.  After all, there is a U.S. Halibut Commission as well as many other small groups in the territories and such.  Chances are these groups do not have the same degree of cyber security as the Supreme Court.

Fight Fire with Fire in Battling Cyber Hackers

Many years ago, a young hacker’s punishment was to create a program wherein should another hacker gaarch.com/talent-acquisition-executive-sein entrance into the system, the system would not allow the hacker to exit.  Thus, the hacker was held, in a sense, until found and taken into custody.

We have the similar capabilities, and more importantly, the people to do it.  Rather than be passive with cyber warfare, enact more punitive solutions.  Turn back to the above-mentioned suggestions for a set of plans, programs and solutions to combat and punish those who would enter U.S. cyber space without permission.

This is not by any means a complete list of options that can be used.  Instead, we elicit your suggestions and ideas.  What are some possible sectors we could use for cyber security, and how can we be more aggressive on battling cyber hackers – offensive and defensive?

Cyber security executive search firms

IoT Medical Devices Security Vulnerabilities on Wi-Fi Networks

IoT medical devices security

IoT Medical Devices Security Vulnerabilities  on Wi-Fi Networks

IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities

IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities affects many different types of in-hospital equipment including diagnostic equipment (e.g., MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machines and CT (Computerized axial Tomography) scanners), therapeutic equipment (e.g., infusion pumps and medical lasers) life support equipment (e.g., heart support machines), internet-connected devices for monitoring patients vital signs (e.g., thermometers, glucometers, blood pressure cuffs, wearables), as well as novel, intelligent and disruptive devices which can keep track of medication schedules (e.g., GlowCap outlets and AdhereTech wireless pills).

The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is gradually realizing a radical transformation of healthcare services based on the deployment of numerous medical devices, which already represent a considerable segment of the billions of internet-connected devices that are nowadays available.  

These devices are used in conjunction with mobile terminals (e.g., tablet computers, smart phones) which enable health professionals both to configure them and to visualize their data. Moreover, several IoT applications integrate RFID tags, as a means of uniquely identifying and associating with each other devices, patients, doctors, drugs, prescriptions and other artifacts engaging in the care service provisioning process. While several of the above listed devices can be deployed in the patients’ homes, the majority of them are deployed in the hospital environment.

In principle, IoT technologies enable the processing of data and the orchestration of services from all these devices in order to facilitate health professionals to access accurate and timely information about the patients’ status, but also to configure disease management processes for prognosis, diagnosis and treatment. Beyond disease management, the deployment of IoT medical devices security in the hospital can be also used to boost the efficiency of hospital operations.

As a prominent example, the continuous monitoring of IoT medical devices security can serve as basis for reducing their downtime. Likewise, devices emit notifications that can trigger proactive maintenance and replenishment of supplies. Furthermore, information from medical devices can be exploited in order to optimize resources utilization and patient scheduling. Based on these processes, healthcare will become a setting that will annually contribute over $1 trillion to IoT’s business value by 2030, as projected by a recent report of McKinsey Global Institute.

IoT Medical Devices Security Risks

The expanded use of IoT medical devices in hospitals raises serious privacy and security challenges, given the proclaimed and widespread vulnerabilities of wireless devices. IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities has always been a concern for applications, but in the case of healthcare it is a matter of life and death. Indeed, beyond compromising patient’s data confidentiality, security vulnerabilities can have life-threatening implications, as IoT devices are used to control medication or even to drive surgical interventions and other therapeutic processes.

Since commands to several devices are transmitted wirelessly, hackers can invade the wireless network in order to gain control over devices and transmit unauthorized commands with fatal results. For instance, a malicious attack against an insulin pump can lead to a wrong dose to a diabetes patient. As another example, the hacking of an electrical cardioversion device could instigate an unnecessary shock to a patient.

There is a host of different IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities  easily include a non exhaustive list of common attacks includes:

  • Password hacking: It is quite common for medical devices to be protected by weak passwords that can be hacked. This is the case when the built-in passwords provided by the device vendors are maintained.

Hackers can easily discover such passwords in order to gain access to device configuration information. Moreover, in several cases, hackers are also able to control the device and use it to launch more advanced attacks.

Poor Security Patching: Some medical devices are poorly patched, either because some patch has not yet been deployed on the device or because the device runs an “old” operating system (e.g., an older version of Windows or Linux). Poorly patched devices are vulnerable to malware and other attacks, which makes them an easy target for hackers.

Wi-Fi: The weak link in IoT Medical Devices Security Vulnerabilities 

Denial of service attacks: Medical devices are usually lightweight and resource constrained, which makes them susceptible to denial of service attacks. The transmission of simultaneous requests to the device can cause it to stop, disconnect from the network or even become out of order.

 Unencrypted data transmission: It’s quite usual for attackers to monitor the network in order to eavesdrop and steal passwords. The transmission of unencrypted data can therefore ease their efforts to gain access to the device in order either to extract information or even exploit the device for transmitting malicious commands.

IoT medical devices security is serious business, as most of the medical devices are Wi-Fi enabled, which renders Wi-Fi the technology that carries the vast majority of the traffic that is exchanged between medical devices. However, Wi-Fi networks are conspicuously associated with IoT Medical Devices security vulnerabilities , which make them the weak link.  For example, the WEP (Wireless Encryption Password) mechanisms that empower Wi-Fi security are weak, as WEP passwords can be easily stolen.

This can accordingly enable hackers to launch attacks based on the sniffing of unencrypted traffic. In order to alleviate WEP problems, IEEE and the Wi-Fi community have specified and implemented Wi-Fi standards and protocols (e.g., WPA2, WPA2-PSK (TKIP/AES)) with much stronger encryption capabilities. Nevertheless, not all IoT medical devices security vendors provide proper support for these standards, putting the operation of devices and their interoperability with others at risk.

In recent years, special emphasis has been given in producing standards and best practices for securing wireless medical devices, on the basis of the implementation of appropriate authentication and encryption mechanisms for IoT medical devices security.

This has led to the specification of IEEE 802.1X, which is a ratified IEEE standard for network access control. 802.1X is flexible and supports a variety of Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), including EAP with Transport Layer Security (EAP-TLS) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. The latter provides two-way authentication between devices based on the installation and use of X.509 certificates.

IoT medical devices security challenges

Alleviating IoT Medical Devices Security Vulnerabilities 

IoT medical devices security deployment considerations

The vision of IoT enabled hospital care cannot be realized without very strong security. CIOs and IT managers of healthcare services providers cannot therefore afford to treat security investments with caution, in an effort to reduce budgets which could ignoring low-probability risks.

Rather, they should adopt a holistic approach to IoT medical devices security and their operation, spanning technology, processes and security policy aspects.

At the technological forefront, latest Wi-Fi technologies offering strong security and encryption features should be deployed and tested.

This may involve purchasing technologically advanced equipment and testing it in terms of IoT medical devices security features, configuration problems, wireless stability and more. There is also a need for medical engineering processes in order to ensure that IoT-enabled process provide high security levels.

IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities is particularly important in the case of the trending BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) services, which involve the deployment and use of third-party devices as part of healthcare processes.

Moreover, as part of the holistic security approach, hospitals must tweak their security policies in order to keep up with IoT-related technological developments.

The right technology, the proper processes and an IoT-aligned security policy provide a sound basis for hospitals to adhere to security and privacy regulations, to avoid relevant liabilities and ultimate to maximize returns on their IoT investments.

Next Generation of IoT Medical Devices Cyber Security Recruitment

The NextGen Executive Search cyber security team is intimately familiar with the newest IoT medical devices security over WiFi networks. We identify and develop candidates so that in the shortlist we deliver to clients those who not only meet, but exceed your expectations. We target only "A players" who produce 8 to 10 times more than "B players, backed by an industry leading 12 to 36 month replacement guarantee. For more information on recruiting cyber security professionals for in-hospital medical devices using ioT device and data network connections, speak with the cyber security practice lead, click on the image below.

Cyber security executive search firms

Job Boards Impending Death – Recruiting Insights

job boards impending death

Job Boards Impending Death - Recruiting Insights 

job boards impending death

From an executive recruiting standpoint, job boards impeding death is apparent.  Job boards have always been a non-issue. The voluminous lists of pedestrian “McJobs” offered on job boards are targeted towards “active” job seekers – by and large all “C players” that make up 55% of the workforce and could easily be replaced by automation, software, Ai, or robotics.

While they can actively show up and do a job, they add no real value in terms of contributing to or developing IP (intellectual property), fixing or resolving key issues or revenue rainmaking.  In essence what stockholders call overhead. 


To further our assumption, there is empirical evidence that job boards impending death is near suggest they have lost value even for active job seekers, some of the primary reasons being:

  1. Companies using job boards rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) or HRIS systems to house, sort, and store applicants and employee records.  This means that your resume must be optimized for keywords, skills, and experience to get past the 3-5 second look to be noticed. 
  2. Because of the sheer volume of responses most companies receive, many will only look at the top handful of qualified results, so active job seekers are competing with hundreds, or even thousands of other people for the same job.
  3. A job board submission rarely goes directly to the decision maker or Hiring Manager.  You first must get through the Human Resources or corporate recruiter gauntlet - many of these are simply not qualified to screen and assess for key roles.  
  4. Quality positions are just not posted on job boards.  In fact estimates are that as much as 80 % of new jobs are never listed but are instead filled internally or via networking.  Referrals on the other hand, make up 40% of new hires. 

Who or What Caused Job Boards Impending Death?

Suspect number one: Social Media

One of the key trends that is driving job-seeking talent away from job boards (besides the sheer volume of dreck) is the rise of social media networking. With the right research and approach, a job-seeker can generally locate and connect directly with the people and companies they want to pursue on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.  Job boards impending death and probably a big bonus for job seekers everywhere – but in terms of executive recruitment, it’s a non-issue as the passive candidates we seek won’t be lurking about in either locale.

Suspect number two: the companies themselves

Of the thousands of job boards that are out there – from Monster, Indeed and Career Builder to LinkedIn and all the niche sites dedicated to specific industries – there is not one that successfully connects with passive candidates. These A-players, who make up approximately 14% of the workforce, are rarely, if ever, unemployed, and don’t ever use job boards or post their resume’s online, even if they are searching for opportunities. Of that 14%, only 15% don’t want to move at all, and almost half of them are open to dialogue with a recruiter.

There are a few boards that claim to target passive candidates, but they levy an additional cost on top of your paid recruitment campaign, and still the resulting applicants are (most often) not ideal: they are, in fact, active job seekers and not passive candidates. They now push the idea that new algorithms and predictive data based on utilizing artificial intelligence means they can attract and better match applicants to jobs, yet these are still targeted to those who overwhelmingly use job boards - active job seekers.  So basically, by buying into this thinly veiled cash-grab and stalling job boards impending death, you are wasting valuable time and money when you should be focusing on more traditional recruitment techniques such as networking and cold-calling to get the results you need.

Where are all the A-players?

The top players, known as "A players" who exist at every level from CEO to janitor, the candidates we actively seek out for recruitment, make up only about 14% of the workforce. They are rarely, if ever, unemployed, they are never actively looking for a job, they don’t post their resume online and they don’t ever use job boards – and for good reason.

For the most part, the job boards don’t do a good job of attracting A-listers. Jobs posted on job boards focus solely on responsibilities, skills required and corporate culture selling points. This amounts to mostly boring descriptions of positions that mention nothing about the actual opportunity in terms of learning or career growth. Further proof in the death of the job board is their postings also rarely mention “performance objectives.” They rarely, if ever, describe the “team culture,” preferring to use ambiguous terms like “corporate culture,” or “vision,” creating a huge disconnect between our A-players and any available positions.

Team culture is also important, but you’ll never see anything about that on a job board. Individual work groups are unique and have their own “team culture.” A team culture is defined according to the personalities and behavioral patterns of each individual team member, as well as how they all work together. The only way to determine whether a candidate will fit with a team culture is through personal connection – something you just won’t get with a job board.

When recruiting A-players, you must present them with opportunities that are significant. This could be reflected in title, objectives, location, an attractive company size, growth, and product/service market share, but at least one of these things must be present to assure that you are piquing their interest enough to even have a shot.  As for how and where to find the A-players, if you take away the online and the bulk of social media, traditional recruitment methods always win the day.

Numbers never lie

If you’re looking for proof that job boards impending death is near, look no further than your own ROI. Numbers never lie. For every job board you invested in over the course of a year, how many hires occurred? How much did each hire cost you? And most importantly, what was the level of the positions you placed from a job board candidate? Were there any critical roles filled? What is the retention rate of those hired from a job board?  Most evident is just to take a at Indeed, a job aggregator service and you will find that the same jobs are not only posted by the actual employer / company, but also by numerous contingency search firms.  Its juts recycling the same "C players" - that 55% of the workforce that are bodies and will show up to work to be paid, but contribute nothing to the bottom line.  Once you start crunching the numbers, the evidence will probably give you a clear picture of the unfortunate, unvarnished truth.

Personal connections always yield the best results

Retained executive search companies have always relied on interpersonal and industry relationships to bring about successful results. As anybody in this niche knows, the discovery of most A-players come from actual conversations that bring forth referrals. As much as technology has infiltrated our society, our industry, and the way the world around us turns, it is still the tried-and-true grass-roots efforts that win the day.

The verdict on Job Boards Impending Death

In closing, let’s consider the advantages that a niche, retained executive search consultant brings to the table:  If using a retained executive search professional, the hiring manager doesn’t end up with an inbox full of “flypaper” resume’s. They instead receive a shortlist of 2-4 “finalists” who not only meet the performance objectives of the position, but are truly A-players who will produce 8-10 times more value than B-players.

This proves that the result is well worth the placement fee and time investment, leading us to conclude with confidence that this is a far more valuable, viable and cost-effective solution over the waste in the death off the job board.

job boards impending death loom


NextGen: your partner in recruitment innovation

NextGen is a global executive search company with a focus on AI and robotics, IoT and wireless, medical devices and electronic health records, and power systems for aerospace and industrial markets.  With more than three decades of experience recruiting for leadership and key contributor positions. If you are interested in finding out more about who we are and what we do,

NextGen Global Executive Search

Cyber Security for IoT Medical Devices Monitoring, Diagnosis, and Dispensing

Cyber security for IoT medical devices

Cyber Security for IoT Medical Devices
Monitoring, Diagnosis, and Dispensing

Cyber Security for IoT medical devices monitoring diagnosis dispensing

Now that we are fully engrossed in the cyber age, there are rapid advances across the board for all things connected to the Internet and cyber security for IoT medical devices is no exception.

These devices, often called “The Internet of Things,” or IoT, has certainly made much of life much easier. For the medical profession, it has certainly become a simple, safe and easy way to monitor patients away from a clinical setting.

This is all fine and good, but there is a fundamental question of IoT that needs answering: Are these safe and secure when away from a closed environment?

This article is going to address the issues home devices face and possible ways to prevent cyberattacks and/or hacking.

The number one concern of healthcare professionals looking at and addressing potential problems is the HIPAA. This protection act of 1996 means patients under the care of physicians have a reasonable expectation of privacy and are protected under a patient/medical professional relationship. IoT’s are free from human intervention by and large.

This means the patient carrying the device is completely removed from interacting with it on any level. Most of the devices are used strictly for monitoring, data collection and medical dispensing.

They are passive because the medical professionals are looking for a true a baseline as possible and is only effective when the patient is at ease with or completely unaware of the device. This lack of concern in cyber security for medical devices is the problem. 

ISSUES AT STAKE

The information transmitted, no matter how insignificant at the time, could be used to gain identity information. The IoT’s are often coded to the patient with a name, number and medical coding information. All that would be needed is access to the information on the device, and personal, private information is available. This includes social security numbers, medical information and possible fiscal information to boot. This compromised information is enough to wreak havoc on a medical practice, hospital or medical equipment distributor – if not all of them in conjunction – all because of a HIPAA violation.

Issues that Cyber security for Medical Devices presents

While computers have software to keep them from attacks, these medical devices do not. There is scant little that can be done if malfeasance is intended. A skilled and determined computer hacking specialist with the understanding of IoT’s can quickly and easily undermine its basics. Doing so would cause serious issue with the medical professional monitoring the patient and for the patient, who could, as a result, receive incorrect treatments and/or medications. Unable to track the information back to a source, this could potentially open a flood of medical malpractice suits, and there would be little the medical professional could provide as a substantial defense.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS

Medical administration in conjunction with information teams and network security specialists should realize there needs to be a move from the “Internet of Things” to “Security of Things” to protect themselves, their practices and patients from hacking. There are a few things that could be considered.

DATA ENCRYPTION
Safe and secure encryption should be on the forefront. As more and more medical practices move from paper to online and cloud patient records, the same can be said for IoT’s. Signed contracts with network encryption professionals about software and the devices themselves should be a first step. Each contract to include audits, verifications and regular testing to ensure the validity and security of the data on the IoT.

​​​​AUTHORIZED DEVICES

A Holter monitor is one of these IoT’s. Its purpose is to collect a 24 hour EKG for cardiac patients in various settings for the best possible heart function in normal settings. The contract should provide for each device to collect only the necessary information and nothing more. Systems that download, read or output the information is additionally a part of the contract.

To address needed cyber security for medical devices, the device should be built in a such a way that any tampering of any sort is quickly noticed and/or built in such a way that the device immediately informs the medical professionals. Patient contracts protecting the device is also a sound idea.

The physical security of the device itself also should not be overlooked. The device should be configured to prevent data storage media from being accessed or removed, and the device itself should not be easily disassembled. In short, building a strong security to protect data during transmission is undercut if the data can be removed from the device itself. 

CREDENTIALS

No one but a medical professional can dispense medical advice, so only those who will be reading the results need access to the data contained thereon. All information should only be retrieved under a secure server under select passwords. Focusing on cyber security for IoT medical devices, only the absolutely necessary individuals outside of those interpreting the data need access to any element of the entire procedure.

PERSONNEL

Proper training for every step only makes sense. All medical professionals are bound under an ethics code with severe penalties for infringement.

Why cyber security for IoT medical devices is concerning

Conclusion of Cyber security for IoT Medical Devices

There have not yet been any serious attacks on medical IoT’s. When will it happen is the question. Ideally, every possible step should be covered; however, there is no guarantee of anything until an attack. What are your thoughts and opinions on the issue of cyber security for IoT medical devices, and what steps in addition to those mentioned would be a necessary part?

Are you a Medical Device Manufacturer or IoT Data and Device Provider?

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Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Mention a paper check to a Millennial, and you are likely to get blank stares. Before we address the benefits and pitfalls of mobile payments, first we must acknowledge that the idea of writing anything on a slip of paper for a payment is as anathema to them as a rotary phone.  ​

ow, the ubiquitous debit card may also be on the way out as mobile payments via older NFC such as Apple Pay and the new Google Pay, which combines Android Pay and Google Wallet (although the P2P transactions mysteriously are missing) and newer magnetic secure transmission (MST) like Samsung Pay service that uses both NFC / MST and works everywhere to transmit payment information

What about these Benefits and Pitfalls in Mobile Payments?

The more common NFC is the same technology found in Apple Pay and Android Pay, where payment information is securely transmitted between an NFC chip (found in the smartphone) and an NFC reader (usually installed near the point of sale machine) becomes more and more commonplace for transactions. But Samsung Pay with both NFC and MST has several advantages over the other two competing technologies.

In a similar trend, shopping for groceries or in drugstores have changed as well. Most places require you to have a “shopper's card” of sorts to receive the sale prices and values on posted items in the store. This also has changed the face of shopping, mostly in the favor of the retailer than the shopper, but in truth both can benefit from this.  
This article will look at each of these mobile payment systems along with the benefits and pitfalls of mobile payments

Imagine leaving the house without your cell phone. It is no doubt you have instinctively just reached to check for it. Forgetting a cell phone today is almost taboo, and for the shopper, this is a true advantage. To pay for almost anything from a movie ticket to gas, wave the phone near the NFC symbol on the transaction terminal; the purchase is made quickly and easily.

An added advantage is a paperless form of transaction. More and more people are paying bills on line and eschewing the postal service for monthly bills. Some choose to directly draft everything from mortgages and car payments to child support and utility payments. Receipts and bank information is posted immediately, while technologically-savvy check their banking on line or via an app.

Those who cards are afraid of theft will find much of the NFC and MST technologies are highly secure and are easily turned on and off as necessary. Those who fear their information may be compromised will find stopping payments or canceling the card as difficult as a swift tap on an app. All that is needed is a LTE, data or wireless connection to make it happen.

Another huge advantage is you can add all the major credit cards as of fall 2016, many bank credit and debit cards, gift cards, and member cards as well. With my Samsung Galaxy S8/9 Edge, I added BJs warehouse, Big Lots, CVS Pharmacy, Best Buy, Lowe’s. Walgreens, and Office Max – just to name a few. I simply put my phone over the credit card terminal and no longer have to pull out or even carry these cards in my wallet. And yes, thank goodness my wallet is now thinner and not causing a curve in my spine.

Around the turn of the millennium, stores, particularly grocery chains, shifted from strict advertising sales to a card-based savings system. Signing up for the card was free and necessary to receive the sales benefits. It was slow to receive acceptance, but once the movement caught on, it was quickly accepted as the norm. More and more industries followed suit, and now most all chain store businesses have a card program.

The card savings system seems to be troublesome to some, as it may lead to more collected information than some may like. The fear of 'Big Brother' has many nervous, although giving personal information is not necessary and there are ways around the majority of the requirements to receive the card and/or benefits.

The other benefits and pitfalls of mobile payments deals with these cards often offer special deals and loyalty points for customers who shop regularly. Benefits such as cash savings, points shaved from gasoline costs and free items are only a part of the many choices available. The data the chains receive from the shoppers actually benefits the shopper as chains are more likely to have certain items on sale more frequently, including meats and high cost dairy, i.e. milk.   Millennials and Generations X and Y are certainly comfortable with NFC and modern technologies, but as the Baby Boomer Generation grows older and more and more removed from modern technological advances, convincing these generations to trust NFC is difficult. The fear of card readers or identity thieves taking personal information by simply walking near someone is virtually impossible. Convincing them, however, of this fact may prove to be a serious uphill fight.

The card program too has its flaws. Many are reluctant to sign up but often feel forced. This can create resentment of the business, even in the face of good benefits and values. More still do not like the idea of filling a wallet with additional cards, particularly for cards used rarely.

More on the Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Note, however, the disadvantages of both are minor and can easily be overcome through simple education. For businesses to move to paperless, checks and account balance information, and card loyalty programs, each must aggressively market to those groups who are most reluctant to make these changes. Commercials and videos explaining the benefits while simultaneously downplaying the potential downfalls is vital to success. Fear of identity theft may be slightly more difficult to win people over but promises of insurance and security are often enough to assuage fears. Your thoughts on this issue are appreciated – what is your opinion on the benefits and pitfalls of mobile payments?

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments NFC and MST

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Proactive Ransomware Mitigation Strategy for EMR

Proactive Ransomware Mitigation Strategy for Electronic Health Records

Proactive Ransomware Mitigation Strategy for EMR - Electronic Medical Records 

Proactive Ransomware Mitigation Strategy for EMR

Ransomware is distributed as a social engineering ploy via email, malicious links and malvertizing, among other techniques. A proactive ransomware mitigation strategy for EMR is needed as once a user falls prey to these human exploits, ransomware is downloaded to the victim’s computer to begin the malicious process.  

The virus attempts to connect with encryption-key servers, takes hold of public encryption keys and uses various encryption algorithms to encrypt mission-critical data on the network.

This data typically includes file formats of PDF, JPG, and Microsoft Office extensions. Basic OS recovery and reboot systems are disabled. The compromised data is moved, renamed, encrypted, and renamed again to ensure the required data cannot be queried using actual file names when ransomware is executed, which is when ransom is demanded via Bitcoin or other digital money transfer services. At execution, the start-up screen and several basic features are also locked until this payment is processed.

Why a Proactive Ransomware Mitigation Strategy for EMR Matters

Despite the prevalent security awareness, phishing schemes and drive-by-downloads remain one of the most effective techniques to deliver ransomware payloads onto target computers. To combat ransomware, a proactive ransomware mitigation strategy is to set up systematic corporate security training programs to prevent ransomware payload delivery onto your EHR systems in the first place.

Employ expert social pen-testers to phish your own staff. Emulate real-world exploits but do no ream harm to your organization or employees. Establish gamification-based rewarding programs to encourage dedicated adoption of security best practices. And yes, prior executive approval will be required to prevent awkward situations.

Secondly, it’s best to perform social penetration testing procedures on a separate, isolated network infrastructure such that sensitive data remains inaccessible and uncompromised. This strategy will essentially build the most effective line of defense against ransomware: the human firewall.

Advanced phishing attacks are known to bypass standard spam filtering standards set up by email clients. Another part of a proactive ransomware mitigation strategy for EMR is to establish strong spam filtering techniques such as blacklisting and whitelisting email and IP addresses, and real-time blackhole lists that are maintained by third-party security providers. Use content-based filters to ward off malicious content that’s most relevant to your organization.

Email validation systems such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC), and Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) can prevent phishing emails from reaching your workforce. Establish strong administrative and access controls to prevent unauthorized and unintended downloads of executable files via email or the Web – even legitimate website could be compromised to deliver ransomware as downloadable content.

Strict controls that allow the absolute least user privileges to appropriate users will reduce the proportion of workforce who can inadvertently facilitate ransomware delivery to the corporate IT network. This approach will prevent anomalous and unauthorized downloads, installations, data transfer, editing and encryption from taking place.

Furthermore, streamline the updating, patching and validation processes for every tool used in the EHR systems. Most of the ransomware attacks exploit known vulnerabilities that remain unpatched. Standardizing mass rollout of updates across all systems is a time-consuming and cumbersome process if the operating systems and software are installed on local hard drives.

Organizations that maintain such systems take months and sometimes years before evaluating, authorizing and installing updates individually on each computer. On the other hand, organizations that maintain virtualized and cloud-based environments for the delivery of desktop OS and electronic heath records solutions can automate and streamline the process of software updates.

Proactive Ransomware Mitigation Strategy for EMR matter

Although these measures drastically reduce the chances of successful malware delivery to your systems, your organization should be prepared to tackle the threat of ransomware infection and prevent execution of malicious programs. For instance, another proactive ransomware mitigation strategy is to limit user privileges and controls to install software against targeted file extensions.

If an installation is critical, the process should be flagged and transferred to a sandbox environment for detailed security assessment. Unauthorized changes to medical devices, files and data sharing should be blocked to prevent potential ransomware processes from executing.

Proactive Ransomware Mitigation Strategy for EMR Advanced Security

Deploy advanced security solutions that would detect anomalous processes, raise the alarm and cut-off compromised systems from the network to prevent the malware from spreading. Maintain an efficient backup recovery system that performs data backup in real-time and can be used to retrieve mission-critical data in a matter of minutes, as required. Consider using differential backup techniques that preserve the only the new changes performed to data that’s already backed up.

The minds behind ransomware attacks intend to hold this data to hostage so that victims are left with no option but to process the payments. If you can access this data using alternate means within acceptable schedule, the ransomware attack is rendered useless and you can eventually get security and IT experts to clean up the infected systems.

Finally, a sound proactive ransomware mitigation strategy for EMR is to coordinate with your security solutions providers and federal agencies to report possible ransomware attacks – they may already have relevant information and could be able to crack down on the perpetrators with the additional reporting, thereby preventing future attacks from the same sources.

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Facing New Cyber Warfare Tactics – Implement CCI Methods

Facing new cyber warfare tactics

Facing New Cyber Warfare Tactics - Implement CCI Methods for IoT / Infrastructure

Facing new cyber warfare tactic

Cyberspace is an official battlefield for almost a decade in many states. According to a series of data breach investigations report (2013-2016) of Verizon facing new cyber warfare tactics, despite cyber criminals remain a major actor category in causing data breaches, the significant participation of nation-states and state-affiliated groups in cyber-operations is not to be underestimated.

The operators in the latter category do not simply target short-term monetary gain, but in-depth and persistent penetration to attain strategic objectives, notably the advanced persistent threat (APT). Our businesses, government, and military are facing new cyberwarfare tactics used in economic espionage, geopolitical campaigns and remote sabotage attempts. High profile events in recent years ranging from the Chinese APT1 eavesdropping over 140 international companies, Russian APT28 implementing asymmetric warfare against Georgia and Ukraine between 2008 and 2014, to the DNC email hacking in the recent US presidential election and Olympic Games (Stuxnet) sabotage incident in 2010, contribute to the rapid development of cyber intelligence landscape.

Methods in Facing New Cyber Warfare Tactics

Thus, in this troubled water, not only the digital assets and intellectual properties of private companies are under constant surveillance of ​cybercriminals but also public critical infrastructures and new Internet of Things connected data and devices are at stake. Highly skillful and resourceful actors enthusiastically collect intelligence through sophisticated hacking tools, computer worms and network mapping technologies.

This intelligence collection empowers malicious actors to succeed in striking companies and governments. One key underlying factor for successful risk mitigation is not only to catch up with the ‘hardware’ technological advancement, but also the software in facing new cyber warfare tactics to analyze the pattern, identity and objectives of the intruder so as to effectively counterstrike intelligence collection of the adversary.

Facing new cyber warfare tactics by implementing CCI methodsThus, adopting military doctrines such as decoy, deception and deterrence to detect and mitigate cyber risks becomes a valuable cyber counterintelligence (CCI) strategy for both private companies and states. In the tactics, techniques, procedures (TTP) guidelines implemented by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Chiefs of Staff, at least four major intelligence collection methods can be identified in cyberspace. Intelligence can be collected through human (HUMINT), open-source (OSINT), signal (SIGINT) and geography (GEOINT).

Based on these notions, the security researcher, Robert Lee, suggests two approaches to apply these concepts in CCI policy making: defensive CCI and offensive CCI.

The former recommends regular red team assessment to evaluate both internal network vulnerabilities and external threat landscape. The latter is about setting up honeypots and sock puppets to interact with the adversary so as to achieve deception and delay effects. Both approaches require a comprehensive understanding of the internal networks, operations and procedures about one’s own organization. Ideally, one optimal CCI employment involves a mix of active and passive intelligence gathering to understand the potential adversaries.

Assessments in Facing New Cyber Warfare Tactics

In other words, it implies the hybrid application of conducting internal and external assessment as well as interacting with the intruders. Hence, the organization can be better prepared in facing new cyber warfare tactics by drafting its response plan and internal policies with more concrete scenarios, evidence, and more significantly, grasp of the tactics of the adversary.

In addition, internal analyst and general employee training is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of CCI strategy. On the one hand, improving the security awareness of general employees is an important, yet underestimated, means to prevent initial network compromise. For example, the victims of APT1 mostly started by falling prey to spear phishing which eventually caused successive large-scale data breaches. Educating employees to be cautious of unverified and false web information addresses the most vulnerable human factor in cybersecurity trust chain.

In other words, it implies the hybrid application of conducting internal and external assessment as well as interacting with the intruders. Hence, the organization can be better prepared in facing new cyber warfare tactics by drafting its response plan and internal policies with more concrete scenarios, evidence, and more significantly, grasp of the tactics of the adversary.

Facing new cyber warfare tactics CCI methods

In addition, internal analyst and general employee training is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of CCI strategy. On the one hand, improving the security awareness of general employees is an important, yet underestimated, means to prevent initial network compromise. For example, the victims of APT1 mostly started by falling prey to spear phishing which eventually caused successive large-scale data breaches. Educating employees to be cautious of unverified and false web information addresses the most vulnerable human factor in cybersecurity trust chain.

On the other hand, the training of in-house analysts has to be rigid and unconventional. They must be able to identify, evaluate and distinguish accurate intrusion data to defend the organization. Putting themselves into the adversary’s shoes is a crucial perspective to anticipate the interests, objectives and strategies of the intruder. It also prevents them from being misled to well-crafted falsified data.

To optimize the performance of the duties of in-house analysts, a number of emerging cybersecurity vendors in deception technology like TrapX, Attivo and Cymmetria develop products and solutions adapted to this specific need. Through setting up decoys and buffering zones such as honeypot servers, sandbox and other buffering mechanisms, the defending organization can maximize the counterintelligence efforts to study the attacker.

In conclusion, adopting CCI perspectives in facing new cyber warfare tactics is an imminent issue for companies and governments to cope with constantly evolving and sophisticated cyberattacks. After all, the information security solutions of major vendors in the market target a more general public having relatively less security challenges than institutions dealing with multi-billion digital assets, IoT networks, and critical infrastructure. Installing ubiquitous anti-virus/ spyware detection software is the earliest phase in defending one’s institution.

In case of constant aggressive network breaches that their existing cybersecurity solutions and internal policies are ineffective, even defenseless, against the adversary, it is time to consider integrating CCI tactics and perspectives into the institution’s cyber defense strategy.

If the states are involved in attacking private entities, for what reasons companies should not introduce CCI to their management?

Whether you are a manufacturer, hardware or software vendor, or defense contractor, you MUst have the best talent available who has a TSI and /or active security clearance to work in cyber defense and cyber counterintelligence.  NextGen has served companies with identifying and recruiting cyber analysts, red / blue / purple team engineers, and more.  

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