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Digital Identity

Do you have a digital identity?
  • Personal data on your computer
  • Email
  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…
  • Dropbox, Box, OneDrive,
    iCloud Drive, …
  • Online banking, Paypal, etc.
I think so! How safe is your digital identity?

About me

Security is knowledge that has been tested and matured by reality into wisdom.
-Klaus Thurnhofer

For the past three decades, I've been spending most of my time dealing with security. I create and design IT security products and help companies with products and security concepts in order to protect them.

"Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." (Murphy's law). Almost everyday, I see over and over again how the advent of new technologies also brings about new security issues.

Nevertheless - even though I am quite the paranoid in terms of professional ethics - I participate in this social development, sharing my life and thoughts on various social media platforms.

Committed people (whether to nature conservation, animal protection, human rights, politics, religion) use these platforms to reach people so that they can eventually win them over for their cause. Whoever runs an election campaign today only reaches a fraction of his electorate without being present on the web. Whoever wants to point out animal abuse can spread their thoughts by using digital media.

Being part of it is an essential condition to understand the mechanisms behind in order to be able to provide methods and strategies to use it safely.

What need the bridge much broader than the flood?
William Shakespeare

 

It's in my nature to create safe and reliable products. It may come as a surprise but it's not diligence that drives me, but rather the dread of extra work. That's why I look for solutions that make it easier. If a process can't be automated, it should at least run smoothly and be resilient to human error.

It makes no sense

Discipline means following the rules consistently. Safety requires discipline.

This makes no sense when the rules are designed in such a way that following them causes too much trouble. Disregarding the rules appears to be easier and more enjoyable than sticking to them.

For instance, companies require their employees to create a new, complex password every three months. At the same time, the employees are not given any strategies to create and memorize such passwords. As a result of this rule, the passwords are written on post-its and kept under the keyboard.

It makes sense

A seatbelt doesn't restrict the freedom of movement in the same way as a wheelchair.

From another perspective, the seatbelt turns from an inconvenience that restricts and even hurts a bit into a valued support.

That's why I answer the question about the width of the bridge with another question: who should cross the bridge today, what's the expected traffic volume and what should be done if the river floods?

Those who don't pay attention to their safety on a daily basis are well-advised to have a back-up until the next revision of their situation.

Your requirements

Just like a fashion consultant, I take great care of what suits you best. Will I use a certain tool just because it's cool? Definitely, if you want me to!

It's so easy for technology buffs to fall prey to the urge to evangelize the tools they think are cool and push them on their friends and clients as a one-size-fits-all solution.

Only when the balance between the needs of my clients, the necessary and the doable leads to a suitable solution for the client, I feel accomplished.

 

IT made easy

Generally speaking, it's considered good manners not to overwhelm your clients with jargon from your industry. And especially when it comes to security, the success of each measure taken depends on apprehension and understanding.

For many years, I've been repeatedly given the confirmation that people highly appreciate it when I explain to them how technology works in easy, understandable language. "I've finally understood how it works" is a compliment I hear often.

I would love to use this strength of mine to bring security closer to you, in your own language.

 

Follow Through

One of my most striking qualities is being persistent in pursuing a goal until it's achieved.

I keep an eye on your safety goals, break my strategy down into actionable steps and offer you my support along the way until you reach the top of the mountain.

I develop solutions by delivering results that do justice to both form and function. As a talented design engineer with the highest quality standards, I integrate durable systems and coordinate operational processes and materials.

My Kolbe Profile 4-7-3-6 showed me my strengths and problem-solving skills and helped me to live by them in my everyday life.

Would you also like to know what your Kolbe A Index is? Get in touch with Judith White judith.white[at]ju-nique.at.

Digital Bodyguard

In a company, it's the IT department and the Chief Security Officer who are responsible for the security of the digital world.
In real life, people surround themselves with bodyguards to protect their life and well-being. Important documents are kept in a safe or bank vault.

But where do we keep our documents on the world wide web? And who protects our digital identity when we're on social media?
As a digital bodyguard I take care of your personal digital presence, from safe data storage to controlled communication on social media.

Linkedin and Twitter are famous tips of the proverbial iceberg - platforms, whose password databases have been leaked. This topic has made the headlines since they're well-known. How well are we aware that the databases published today are the result of hacks from 2012 (e.g. Dropbox) and earlier? This topic is still relevant in this day and age and new famous names are continuously added to this Hall of Shame (see Wikipedia).

Soon 2020 is over, criminality is taking place more and more often online, the Covid-19 movement restrictions have played a significant part in this. Apart from protecting your own accounts, you also have to be on guard more than ever. Fake profiles, fake news - the number of “fakes” has been skyrocketing. And talking about your social media accounts: a good reputation is highly attractive to those who want to spread fake news.

You might as well don't care about it.

• You have no social media profiles.
• You don't use any cloud storage (Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud Drive etc.).
• You use your phone exclusively for making phone calls.
• You don't have any data that could interest anyone.
• You don't have any accounts that someone could misuse.
• Your antivirus software gives you anyway all-round protection.

Are you still with me and you're concerned about the safety of your digital existence?

👉 Use my 3 decades of experience in IT security to

• make your cyberspace safer and more reliable
• use your tools more efficiently
• improve the quality of your life and make use of innovations

Business Angel

In 2018 I started considering the idea of becoming a business angel.

This role is commonly described using the definition of smart money, i.e. financial investment in a start-up with the added expertise and experience that a business angel brings to the table.

I have also found out what my role is: as a business angel, I buy myself work.
I put effort into it in the hope that I will eventually be rewarded through the appreciation in value.

Apart from my expertise in the field of IT security, I also offer my support in all things strategy and structure. After all, as a serial entrepreneur I can draw on a vast repertoire of failures.

From my experience, a start-up is characterized by a heavily shifted balance between technology and sales. A strong sales team can boost sales, but the lack of fulfillment leads to bad reputation, rescissions or similar economic setbacks or blocks in the long run. If one starts out with a strong technical team, they usually lack a vital pipeline. Hope is always to find in the next opportunity. The client is anyway very interested and fully enthusiastic.

Some samples from my investment portfolio

This instrument created to be used as an Open Source Investigation Tool (OSINT) is a highly specialized solution, able to save and visualize networks in graphs and simultaneously provide a broad variety of potential other applications.

KIVU managed to find a tech-based solution, namely to calculate and visualize a network of many highly interconnected nodes. KIVU’s algorithms manage to do that within seconds, enabling the eye to switch on the interconnection between the nodes in order to highlight certain aggregations within the network.

To be available for the customer. That is why service-centered business models are increasingly popular and being available has become a competitive factor even for small businesses.

At the same time, a business must keep an eye on the budget. To keep phone costs to a minimum, they make use of IVR systems. And even today, it beats me what is so service-centered and customer-friendly at this type of system (‘Press 1 for…’).

At the other end of the spectrum, there is the friendly voice from Yodel that asks customers about their issues and lets them tell their story. If it can find an answer to that specific issue in the transcripts, the voice can give them an answer right away, ask further questions or send them to the next support level (Slack, Teams, call center…).

I am indirectly involved in Yodel through the EXF Alpha S.C.S fund of the European Super Angels Club (ESAC).

Testimonials

I have been working with Klaus Thurnhofer on various IT and service assignments for years. Klaus Thurnhofer is a very considerate, customer-oriented specialist, whose work is always solution-oriented and very precise. For these reasons, I can highly recommend Klaus Thurnhofer in his areas of expertise.

Richard Mauerlechner
05/2018

Mr. Thurnhofer speaks an IT-language that I can understand. His tips and suggestions are easy to implement. Compared to other IT consultants, his proposed solutions are exceptional and custom-made for each user. He focuses more on his clients and their needs, as well as on their personal problems (personal habits and challenges in the IT world). He then finds simple and feasible solutions and sets everything up in such a way that the user can take care of it well, easily and safely, with no further assistance.
In spite of his comprehensive expertise and professional competence, you don't feel overwhelmed or exhausted by his advice. You don't feel the need to get a second opinion. Klaus gives the client the feeling of being presented with a sensible solution - nothing exaggerated, unnecessary or sales-oriented or solutions in which one does not want to invest because your gut feeling doesn't approve.
GREAT advice!

Tax advisor, trainer
04/2018