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Ashley Madison self-assessments highlight security fears and failures

Steve Ragan | Aug. 21, 2015
Internal assessments highlight core concerns for company executives

Disconnects on strategic alignments at times,  opportunities are sometimes assumed to be absorbed without impact to commitments. Commitments sometimes made without discussion to the groups executing on the asks. Understanding of what is being displaced.

Noel Biderman, CEO, ALM: People. To execute on our vision, we're going to need to continue growth and talent acquisition/retention.

Keeping up with the jones.(sic) We've been really good as a company at building brand and marketing, I don't know that we've been the best at some of our technology (billing/mobile/etc). I think we need to balance this a bit, don't necessarily need to be the best but certainly keep up with the space.

We should put any and all efforts forward to defend against any security issues that can put our brand and 15 years of hard work at risk.

Amit Jethani, Director of Product Management, ALM: Smooth business process between product and technology management. As long as infidelity is taboo, we have a unique product. If it becomes acceptable/understood then our product will cease to be unique, then we'll be left with just a brand. Brand protection is very important.

Payment processors are small, and they have customer data. Fear of data leak outside our walls. No review process on security policy of our partners.

Legal action taken against us, for our team it's not a big concern. There is a risk that the products we design and techniques we use might be patented. Sometimes we may be aware of these patents, but we do not have any process in place to have situational awareness around patent issues. We try to avoid pure cloning, but it's not robust. We try to be loosely cognizant.

In what one, two or three areas would failure to perform well hurt you the most?

Amit Jethani, Director of Product Management, ALM: Smooth business process. Confidentiality and availability of sensitive data.

Trevor Sykes, CTO, ALM: Interpreting strategic objectives. If followed verbatim, we probably might have many more failures. The technology intuition that often gets rolled into the execution of business asks has been critical. These initiatives are often invisible to the business, yet have enabled our success. (eg: UTF-8, DDoS mitigation).

No official mandate on these tech initiatives, so there's friction. Implicitly expected but when competing initiatives come into play (or additional ad-hoc load). I am a single point of failure here, keep the path level and looking strategically at long term growth. Agility and good execution (seeing beyond the ask).

In what area would you hate to see something go wrong?

Trevor Sykes, CTO, ALM: Security. I would hate to see our systems hacked and/or the leak of personal information.

 

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