Myriad Debuts Employee Resource Groups 

Myriad is excited to announce the creation of ERGs (Employee Resource Groups). A tool utilized by many companies, we are proud to offer the opportunity to participate in these spaces to our employees. 

What is an ERG? 

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups that act as both a social network and a think-tank. They help ensure a workplace environment is inclusive and aligned with the company’s mission and values, strengthen the voices of employees, and harness the power of diverse thinking and affirming employees’ identities to maintain an open and understanding environment. 

What are Myriad’s ERGs? 

Currently, there are two ERGs at Myriad: The Rainbow Alliance, and The Cultural Collective (and coming soon is Women’s Empowerment!). Myriad is an inclusive workplace and encourages support and empowerment to all employees, as well as open discussion surrounding topics surrounding a common ground (gender expression, cultural background, etc.) to make Myriad an even better workplace. ERGs are open to all employees regardless of how they identify—the more the merrier!  

What are some of the things ERGs do? 

The types of activities ERG participants at Myriad mainly fall into three categories: internal discussions, social events (everything from movie screenings to dance lessons!), career advancement (networking, peer-to-peer mentorship) and volunteerism within the NYC community. For instance, the Cultural Collective plans on attending youth-centric panels and creating partnerships with non-profits aimed at underrepresented groups in tech. Next month, the Rainbow Collective will be volunteering with SAGE, the country’s largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of older adult members of the LGBT community via health and wellness, employment assistance, housing, and more by serving meals to the elderly. 

Why are ERGs important? 

ERGs create a platform for connection amongst team members who share common interests and goals, help foster a more caring, aware and respectful community, and are a resource for Myriad leadership when it comes to issues, policies, and employees’ needs. An open forum where people can meet and support one another is essential to creating or maintaining a work environment that fosters employee satisfaction, leadership, and career advancement. 

Myriad values diversity and equality. Plus, we’re always growing! As well as supporting current members of the team, we’re happy to have ERGs serve as informal welcome to new employees by offering the chance to network and mentor. Join us! 

Complex Stakeholder Management 101

Over the past four years, I have helped develop Myriad’s project management practice. As a project manager, I am the main point of contact for our clients during a variety of projects, including office moves, wireless surveys, and infrastructure upgrades (greenfield and brownfield) just to name a few. Through my PMP certification and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training, I have adopted best practices that help me ensure I communicate to our clients effectively throughout the project. 

One of the first tasks I complete in any engagement is to send over a Stakeholder Register to our clients. This document gives everyone a clear snapshot of who the main points of contact are and any other team members that should be included on communications. It asks for names, titles, contact information, and level of authority. In a smaller project, this list might only have 1-2 people, but ensuring a consistent, quality experience for every client on every engagement is priority #1 in Myriad’s professional services team. So what happens when your project involves many departments, managers, and supporting resources?  

This is when complex stakeholder management comes in handy. Once we have our list of stakeholders, we determine the level of support and impact each stakeholder has on the project and classify them into four groups: 

  1. Manage Closely 
  2. Keep Satisfied 
  3. Keep Informed 
  4. Monitor 

 

Stakeholders in the “Manage Closely” group are directly involved in the project and responsible for its internal success and transition to operations. They will receive weekly or daily updates on progress depending on the type of project, and play a large part in decision-making. This includes authority on change requests for scope increase/decrease, as well as project sign-off.  

The “Keep Satisfied” group may not be directly involved in the project, but these individuals are likely managers in an adjacent department. Because they have high power or level of authority in the project, it is important to ensure they are on board with the project outcome. 

The “Keep Informed” stakeholders usually directly report to individuals in the “Manage Closely” and “Keep Satisfied” group. They are affected by the project outcome and need to be informed on anything that may change their current workflow. 

Lastly, there are stakeholders in the “Monitor” group. These individuals do not require excessive communication (i.e. when every activity is completed) – Milestone or Phase updates are more appropriate. 

The last step in complex stakeholder management is determining the frequency of communication based on your group analysis, as well as the type of communication. Weekly cadence calls/meetings are a huge help, as they put the stakeholder in control of attending.  The key to success here is creating a solid communication management plan. Some stakeholders prefer emails, while others appreciate a phone call. My job as project manager is to ensure I’m effectively communicating to everyone involved. 

The frequency and type of communication required of each stakeholder should be documented and updated as needed in a communication matrix. In addition to the matrix, an escalation process should be identified to ensure the appropriate stakeholders are involved in higher priority conversations or communication involving confidential or sensitive information. 

Of course, stakeholder analyses and communication matrices are fluid documents, so it’s important to remain flexible if something changes during the project. The next steps are to update, obtain approval from the main point of contact, and publish it to the entire project team. Once expectations are set with each stakeholder, the communication plan should allow for smooth sailing, successful engagements, and happy clients! 

3 Takeaways for the KRACK WPA2 Vulnerability

WiFi Security and WPA2

Over the last 48 hours security researchers have discovered new weaknesses in the WPA2 Wi-Fi security protocol which could allow hackers to steal sensitive info or even inject malware into networks and network devices, with mobile devices being particularly vulnerable due to the proliferation of native apps which may not implement app-level encryption.  

As stated on KrackAttacks, the weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and not in individual products or implementations. Therefore, any correct implementation of WPA2 is likely affected. 

The attack works by focusing on the four-way handshake used by WPA2 to confirm that client and access point have the correct network password and to negotiate a new encryption key to be used to encrypt all subsequent traffic. 

To prevent the attack, users must update affected products as soon as security updates become available. 

1. There is no silver bullet for cyber threat prevention; nothing is secured forever. Vulnerabilities will always await discovery and be subject to exploitation. Developers call them “bugs”, but we must all learn to speak the same language, and adopt a holistic layered approach.

2.  SANS Institute describes the term layered security as “a defensive strategy featuring multiple defensive layers that are designed to slow down an attacker”. The military uses similar tactics called “deep defense” or “defense in depth,” where their goal is to slow an attack, causing enemy casualties. In the digital world, this means causing delays for the attackers and detecting them before they can do serious damage. In some cases, a properly implemented layer may act as a strong enough deterrent to cause the attacker to look for an easier target.

3. Although an attacker may gain wireless access into your network, a layered security approach will ensure that the hole discovered can’t be exploited. By adhering to best practices like keeping systems patched and updated, implementing user roles and group policy, having end-to-end network segmentation in place to limit the spread of malware and free reign of bad actors, utilizing multi-factor authentication (MFA), securing data with data at rest and in-flight encryption, and taking advantage of app-level encryption where possible. 

If you’d like to discuss the threat landscape and how things like this WPA2 crack happen, best practices for adopting a holistic security approach, or the unique challenges inherent to your business, please reach out to me directly. We’re here to help. 

Myriad Congratulates Employees Celebrating Anniversaries this Month

October Anniversaries

At Myriad, we believe that whether personal or professional, anniversaries are a special event in a person’s life. This month, we are celebrating the work anniversaries of seven exceptional members of the Myriad team. Huge congratulations are due to:  

AnniversaryTemplate_Mario (002)Celebrating: 12 years 

A lot has changed for Mario since becoming Myriad’s very first engineer (lucky #7 employee) twelve years ago. Now he is leading and growing the Solutions Architect team, driving pre-sales engineering capabilities farther as Solutions Architect Manager. “I enjoy working with everybody on the pre-sales & post-sales side of the house. Everyone is compassionate, caring and understanding. We all try our best to get the job done right.” 

Best Myriad memory: “It’s been a great journey and rewarding experience to be part of the Myriad family since the beginning when it was just 7 of us –  a true startup! I remember wearing many hats, from testing Cisco 1700 routers and WIC-1DSU-T1’s (now vintage) to working in sales, returns, purchasing and shipping departments! I love being a part of a place where I’ve been able to witness both my career path and the company grow firsthand.” 

AnniversaryTemplate_StaceyCelebrating: 7 years 

Over her illustrious career, Stacey Solomon was promoted four times from Purchasing Assistant to her current role as Director of Purchasing, and it’s no secret that her passion for her job led to her success. “My favorite thing is the feeling that I have waking up and coming to work every day.  I really love my job and working here at Myriad.” 

Best Myriad memory: “The first holiday party. I recall us all piling into limos and heading to Wolfgang’s for dinner. It was my first time riding in a stretch limo so I was pretty excited.” 

AnniversaryTemplate_Will (002) Celebrating: 4 years 

William Sze believes the people and the culture are what make Myriad great. He was promoted to Staff Accountant two years ago and knows crunching numbers can be a tedious job, but “the people and culture at Myriad make going to work every morning much easier.”  

Best Myriad memory: “All of our parties!” 

AnniversaryTemplate_Erin (002)Celebrating: 4 years 

After joining the company as an Operations Assistant, it’s wasn’t long until her talent for hiring A-players shown through. Transitioning to her role as Hiring Coordinator 2 years ago, Erin’s favorite parts of her job are “the 1-1 coaching sessions, great coworkers, and ability to create my workflow.”  

Best Myriad memory: “Announcing the LGBTQ+ inclusive Employee Resource Group at a company-wide meeting.” 

AnniversaryTemplate_KarenCelebrating: 3 years 

As one of the warmest, friendliest Myriad team members, it was no surprise that when asked what her favorite thing about working about Myriad, Karen’s answer was simple: “The people.”  

Best Myriad memory: “When one of the members of our team experienced a fire at her apartment, I’ll never forget the way the office rallied together to support one of our own.” 

AnniversaryTemplate_AlbertLiCelebrating: 2 years 

As a Pricing Support Specialist, Albert notes that the encouragement he receives through the coaching sessions is one of the reasons he’s so great at helping our clients. “It’s amazing to know you have the support of those around you when you’re trying to achieve ever larger goals.” 

Best Myriad memory: “The first week when I started here. I remember clearly being welcomed by just about everyone I ran into that day. The environment was just so friendly that it’s stuck with me since then.” 

AnniversaryTemplate_ChelsCelebrating: 2 years
Chelsea joined Myriad as an intern and quickly became an Events and Community Coordinator soon after. She attributes her success to cross departmental support and collaboration. (“And the unlimited supply of peanut butter doesn’t hurt either!”) 

Best Myriad memory: “2017 Myriad Summer Party Pop-A-Shot Tournament, although losing in the first round to our VP of Sales who still reminds me to this day that he beat me by TWO POINTS. It was great to see fierce match-ups and an excited audience gather around for this event.” 

Thank you to Mario, Stacey, William, Erin, Karen, Albert and Chelsea for your dedication, drive, and geniality. We look forward to seeing more of your accomplishments in the future!  

Myriad Participates in Race Commemorating Heroic First Responder’s Route

Tunnels to Towers

On September 11th, 2001, firefighter Stephen Gerard Siller (Brooklyn’s Squad 1) had finished his shift and was on his way to meet up with family. The moment he received word over his scanner that a plane had hit the World Trade Center’s North Tower, he turned around and headed back to the firehouse. After calling his wife, he retrieved his gear from Squad 1 and drove his truck to the entrance of the Battery Tunnel, which had already been closed for security purposes.

Strapping sixty pounds of gear to his back, he raced on foot through to tunnel to carry out his duty as a first responder, and gave up his life helping others at the age of 34. In honor of Stephen’s legacy, the Tunnel to Towers race has become a yearly event where firemen and citizens alike—some of whom carrying 60lbs of gear to further honor Stephen’s heroic actions—run the same 5K route through the tunnel and ultimately to the Twin Towers. Held the last Sunday of September, Tunnel to Towers is one of the top 5k runs in America.

As residents of NYC, this foundation is near and dear to Myriad team members’ hearts. This year, the race had roughly 30,000 participants, including 11 members of the Myriad team. Funds raised by the event benefit programs such as Building for America’s Bravest, a program that builds mortgage-free homes for injured service members, NYC First Responder Fund, which supports the families of first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit, a high-tech 53-foot tractor-trailer that educate citizens throughout the country about the events of that tragic day.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation holds close to fifty events in over twenty-five states yearly to benefit these programs. Events include communal meals, run/walks, and 102-flight stair climbs to pay homage to the 343 FDNY firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers, and thousands of civilians who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

Myriad is so proud of our team that participated in the race this past weekend. If you’d like to learn more about the Tunnel to Towers foundation or participate in an upcoming event, please visit Tunnel2Towers.org.

 

Intel Debuts New Scalable Processors

What An IT Salesperson Actually Does

It’s about that time again when everyone is talking cores, threads, and gigahertz.  Intel is starting to roll out their newest line of Xeon processors, which are being referred to as “scalable processors” powered by the new Skylake-SP core.

The existing architecture had limitations around the number of cores and threads that Intel has been trying to solve for several years.  Rather than simply adding iterative improvements to existing processors, this latest processor family from Intel has been re-architected from the ground up to improve performance, efficiency, and security.

Outside of changes to the architecture, Intel has also moved away from the E# naming convention in favor of a metal-based tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Whether this new convention adds clarity or complexity is yet to be seen. I know what you’re thinking: “I have to learn a whole new naming convention all over again?!” But have no fear! Here is a quick breakdown of the new tiers, as well as a cheat sheet for deciphering full model numbers under the new system:

  • Platinum (8100 series)
    • Use Cases: Mission-critical applications such Enterprise resource planning (ERP), In-memory Analytics, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), High-Frequency Trading (HFT), Machine Learning, Virtualization, Containers.
    • CPU Cores: Up to 28
    • Socket Configurations: 8+
    • Memory: Up to 12TB
  • Gold (6100/5100 series)
    • Use Cases: OLTP, Analytics, Machine Learning, Hadoop/SPARK workloads, server-side Java, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), High-Performance Computing (HPC), Virtualization, Containers.
    • CPU Cores: Up to 22
    • Socket Configurations: Up to 4
    • Memory: Up to 6TB
  • Silver (4100 series)
    • Use Cases: SMB workloads, Web front end, network & storage applications for organizations who are anticipating growth.
    • CPU Cores: Up to 12
    • Socket Configurations: Up to 2
    • Memory: Up to 1.5TB
  • Bronze (3100 series)
    • Use Cases: SMB workloads and basic storage servers.
    • CPU Cores: Up to 12
    • Socket Configurations: Up to 2
    • Memory: Up to 1.5TB

Unlike the ring architecture used on previous processors, Intel has developed a new mesh interconnect architecture which allows a shorter path for data to travel by increasing the number of pathways.  Intel states that the new processors are 1.65 times faster than its previous generation.  Another big improvement for performance and efficiency in the new Intel Xeon processors is the increase in the number of supported PCIe 3.0 lanes to a whopping 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes per processor!

Security has been a focus of this release.  Key Protection Technology, which makes it more difficult to retrieve encryption keys by keeping the operations for encrypting and decrypting directly on the processor rather than offloading them to memory, is another great feature of this latest technology. For a complete overview of the new system, Intel has created a comprehensive guide you can find here. We look forward to seeing these advances in tech in action!