Channel Exec's eBook Helps Keep Data Safe From Hackers

Steve King
Steve King

Steve King has accomplished a lot during his more than three decades in the computer industry.

The tech veteran founded three software and services startups, raised $32 million in venture capital, and, most recently, spearheaded the launch of the MADROC integrated security platform as chief security and operating officer for Netswitch in South San Francisco.
Now, King can add one more notch to his belt: author of a published book, "Breach," an eBook released in late August. The book is mainly concerned with moving corporate security efforts beyond prevention and into responding to a successful breach. A quick and effective response can be the difference between a business losing everything or living to fight another day, King said.

King details for business executives the current state of the information security sector as well as how businesses can better protect themselves from security threats.

"There's a lot of eye rolls (from executives) and waving of hands in terms of 'It's so complicated. It's so arcane. It's so difficult to understand,'" King said.

He hopes "Breach" will bridge the gap between executives' lack of understanding of the security landscape and the inability of many IT experts to explain these issues in plain English. King became more aware of this knowledge gap over the past 18 months as he picked the brains of business leaders and executives while developing MADROC.
"Nobody thinks about 'what happens after we get attacked?'" King said.

The book also attacks the fallacy that corporations can receive adequate security protection through software alone, and hits on some of the threats emerging from the gradual growth of the internet of things.

Hackers often breach the network of retail or hospitality establishments through an unsecure WiFi connection associated with an automated device, King said. Connected devices are often purchased from or installed by a secondary vendor, he said, and therefore can lack the security protections contained within the primary network.

"If the hacker wants it, it's all his," King said. "We just have to get better at this." 
King minored in journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, and in recent years, he's written more than 300 blog posts about the state of the information security sector.
Because "Breach" covers many issues raised in King's blog posts, he said it only took him about a month to put the book together. The book can be downloaded for free from the Netswitch website onto a tablet, King said, and can be read in the time it takes to fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
"I felt some sort of obligation (to write this book)," he said. "We're in this space. We know it well."