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Monday, April 21, 2014

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TAG Seeks Live Online Voting for Battle of the Bands
Live voting is encouraged between April 14th and April 18th

ATLANTA (April 14th, 2014) – The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) in partnership with TAG Entertainment Society today announced that they are seeking live online voting from April 14th at 9 am to April 18th at 5 pm for the inaugural TAG Battle of the Bands competition.

TAG Battle of the Bands is a unique musical competition featuring bands made up of Georgia's most talented and creative technologists.  Band members do not have to be professionals; just lovers of music! Applications were submitted from 16 bands spanning different genres.  

Videos will be posted online for live voting, beginning Monday, April 14th 9 am and ending Friday, April 18th 5 pm. The voting link is http://tagtvonline.com/tag-events/2014-battle-of-the-bands and it will be live as of Monday, April 14th at 9 am EST.  The top 5 bands receiving the most online votes will be selected to perform at the live event on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 at Opera Atlanta Event Center in Atlanta (Midtown Area).

A panel of celebrity judges will select the top 3 bands at the live event. Event attendees will have the opportunity to cast their vote for “People’s Choice” winner, to be announced at the conclusion of the live event on May 1st.

Learn more about event details and sponsorship opportunities for TAG Battle of the Bands by contacting Michael Bosarge or Amelia Baer at 404-817-3333.

Follow the conversation on Twitter through #TAGBattle.


TAG SSA Impact Awards Finalists Announced

ATLANTA (April 14, 2014) – Today, TAG Southeastern Software Association (SSA), one of the founding members of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), announced the finalists for the fifth annual TAG SSA Impact Awards.

Each year the Impact Awards recognize companies and their teams who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in bringing new technology solutions to the market. The winners have built outstanding software solutions that make a significant impact for their customers and their businesses.

"This year’s finalists, chosen from nearly 100 nominations, represent an extremely impressive group of companies driving the growth of the software industry here in Georgia,” said Linda Hughes, TAG SSA Chair. "Each year we highlight a segment of the software industry where Georgia is positioned as a leader in the nation. This year, with Health IT as a market leader in Georgia, TAG SSA decided to spotlight Health IT for our Where Georgia Leads category." 

2014 TAG SSA Impact Award finalists:

Technology Solutions Provider

  • AirWatch
  • Clearleap
  • Prime Revenue
  • Printing Systems
  • ZCorum


TechBridge Efficient Manufacturing Challenge

Seeking innovative solutions that will significantly reduce energy, water, and material demands in manufacturing processesApply by April 30, and you could be awarded prototyping, demonstration, or validation services from the world-renowned Fraunhofer R&D network.  Plus, all Semifinalists will be awarded 1 year of complimentary access to MATLAB and Simulink software.  See information and links below for more details.

Take your innovation to the next level!


B2B E-Commerce: Not as Sophisticated as You’d Think

By Dennis Zakas

The world of B2B e-commerce is not as sophisticated as you might think.  When we launched our cloud-based software company, SalesPower, Inc., our objective was to align the interests of commissioned sales reps with those of their businesses at the point of negotiation.  Although we solve a serious problem in the sales enablement world, it turns out that this may be a “high class problem” compared with the lack of basic functionality in the B2B e-commerce world.

In the office products industry, our Group Office Buys affiliate licenses, from a third party, a typical e-commerce platform for its product catalog, order entry, fulfillment and processing and accounting.  Although the platform is accessed through a web site, it has little of the bells and whistles of a typical consumer-oriented e-commerce site.  It is there for the primary purpose of order entry.  Electronic order entry automates processes for ordering office products that historically were manual, such as customers placing orders in person, calling in an order or by sending a fax. Of course the advantage of having the customer place most orders is that it eliminates the need to have a data entry person at the office products dealer key in the orders.  (It also shifts much of the responsibility for ordering errors to the customer.) Moreover, the process was easy for customer reps to learn, because the process of ordering paper online from your independent office products dealer is essentially the same as ordering a book from Amazon.

Jeff Jones, Beta Attack Team Leader, TLC Scenario I am Jeff Jones. I was the leader of the Beta Attack Team for the Technology Association of Georgia 2014 Cybersecurity Simulation. Though I was a bad guy in the Simulation I am a good guy in my real life job. I adhere to the idea that the best attackers are very often the best defenders. I first heard of the Simulation when Jim Cavanagh presented at the Atlanta InfraGard Conference last year. TAG’s Cybersecurity Simulation is the only public simulation in the world and allows for unique opportunities for participants and spectators to learn how to respond to real attacks. As an attacker, I had to understand how to organize and fund my attack. This mindset changed how I responded during the attack and I understand now how the real ‘bad guys’ must think. When I was in the ‘fish bowl’, the center of activity for attackers and defenders, during the attack, I could hear the defenders planning their next course of action. I realized how important it was to contain the attacker and eliminate his presence on the network. When I went back to my seat on stage, another participant told me that they had a “very similar” attack happen to their company. I work as a Senior. Security Architect for a medium sized reseller in Atlanta. There are attacks that I cannot discuss. Few companies make full disclosures of how they were compromised if they make a disclosure at all. The military performs exercises and they are effective at training solders for combat. Similarly, the Cybersecurity Simulation is an exercise where companies learn how to respond to attacks, communicate and prioritize. Attacks are more common than people believe because of the lack of press coverage. I can now tell my clients a story about a company that was breached in a way that does not violate any Non-Disclosure Agreement or privileged communications while educating them on best practices. The story of the attacks on the fictional The Logistics Company need to be told so we might help prevent the next Target, NASDAQ, JP Morgan, Global Payments, Experian, Smucker’s, Sally Beauty or even your company. I plan to be a part of the action, again as a bad guy, in 2015. What will I learn from our attacks on the fictional Water, Gas and Electric utility company? I don’t know for sure but I know that there is no other way to learn it that the real thing. And I hope to avoid that. The Real World Jeffrey Jones is a Senior Security Architect for Abacus Solutions. Based in Atlanta Jeff spends his days researching cybersecurity vulnerabilities and breaches and then helps build the software and hardware defenses that keep his clients from becoming victims or reduce the extent of the damage when they do fall prey to the inevitable cyberattacks. Editor’s note TAG and Cyber Exercises would like to thank Patrick Hiller, President and CEO of Abacus Solutions and long-time supporter of TAG for making Jeff Jones available to the TAG Cybersecurity Simulation. The positive impact of Patrick’s generosity with such a valuable resource cannot be measured.


Robert P. Wright, Gamma Attack Team Leader, TLC Scenario

My name is Bob Wright and I led the Attack Team Gamma effort during February 2014’s TAG Cybersecurity Simulation.  Our cyber-attack vector portrayed a disgruntled network administrator who sold The Logistic Company’s server access to a trans-national hacker group.. Every aspect of what we played out is real world and I’ve personally addressed these real world scenarios on numerous occasions. Coincidentally, just before scenario execution, I lost my Gamma Team deputy to the Las Vegas Sands cybersecurity compromise and had to make a battlefield promotion of another team member. Such is the gray area one often encounters between simulation and real life.

My key take-aways from the Cyber Security Simulation:

  • Impressive distributed collaboration. Most of the simulation role players never met before execution yet we were able to develop and execute seven cyber-attack threat vectors and staff a very effective notional corporate leadership team.
  • Simultaneous and effective, multi-cyber threat execution before a live audience.  Jim Cavanagh’s episodic voice-over throughout the simulation execution coupled with the regular updates of three embedded reporters and constant Tweets of seven Tweeters allowed the audience to discretely follow the progress of each and every cyber-attack.
  • Real world portrayal.  I never expected to retire from a lifetime of fighting and defending the network, and then experience an unclassified private sector event which so closely portrayed my classified world. This is something I continue to ponder.
  • Atlanta as a national asset and high-tech hub - Silicon Valley beware.  Silicon Valley garners great attention today but America’s nimble and agile high-tech center of gravity is Atlanta… and Atlanta will continue to refine its competitive stride.

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