Many companies and organizations have set up defenses to keep hackers on the outside, protecting the information of their customers and clients. However, with increasingly sophisticated use of malware, some hackers can sit silently within a company’s information systems for years without being detected.
A new report from the Temple University Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT), at the Fox School of Business, examines advanced persistent threats to information assets by using the medieval analogy of barbarians inside the gate.
In December 2013, retail chain Target announced a security breach resulting in 40 million credit and debit card records being compromised. Other retail chains such as 7-Eleven and Carrefour have also suffered attacks, having 160 million credit and debit card numbers exposed. Hackers have also targeted Nasdaq and bank accounts at Citigroup and PNC.
“My goal with the article was to raise people’s awareness, which is the most powerful tool [for security enhancement],” said Gregory Senko, associate director of the Fox School’s Master of Science in Information Technology Auditing and Cyber-Security program. “I wanted to make people aware that there is a risk and they need the proper tools to know when they are being attacked.”
While working on a book, Security Intelligence – How Big Data and Machine Learning can tackle the increasingly complex world of Cyber Security, Senko realized that the rate of persistent polymorphic attacks is growing and that more vendors are developing tools intended to address these threats.
Symantec, a leading information security company, noted the escalated rate of reported Advanced Persistent Threats (APT). In November 2013, the number of reported APT attacks increased to about 118 from only 57 in November 2012. “We’re likely to see a
big wave of aggressive attacks,” Senko said.
The Stuxnet virus in 2010-11 served as the first well-publicized appearance of a successful, state-sponsored act of modern cyber warfare. This virus inspired hackers to employ analytics, reverse engineering and code cannibalization to design malware that was able to circumvent traditional security arrangements that recognize threats as patterns in digital transmissions. This allowed hackers to penetrate networks that seemed secure, operating stealthily over extended periods of time. These attacks are known as Advanced Persistent Threats.
Senko recommends four transformative steps to achieve even more robust enterprise security.
First, he urges companies to strengthen their fundamental security processes. This means spending money to pay for up-to-date perimeter security and employing well-educated security engineers and well-informed employees.
Second, Senko recommends companies to look at metrics used for performance management, issue identification and problem mitigation, from a more security-oriented perspective. According to the report, “this same data may yield opportunities to identify subtle changes in activity that underlie a persistent attack.”
Third, a culture must be created that promotes information security organizations to act proactively. Procedural and structural approaches to deal with day-to-day prevention need to be set in place, versus waiting to react to emergencies.
Finally, Senko suggests companies should invest in tools such as cloud-based, Big Data-driven offerings that allow for more enhanced network performance management and improved network management.
“Companies will find this preventive approach can be expensive. But they will end up dealing with the problem sooner or later. The question is: Will spending now avoid even greater spending later if they don’t take steps to protect themselves,” Senko said.
The ongoing IBIT Report series is based on rigorous, vendor-neutral academic research that provides actionable knowledge on topics relevant to industry partners. To download Senko’s full report, visit http://ibit.temple.edu/blog/2014/02/20/barbarians-inside-the-gate-dealing-with-advanced-persistent-threats
Temple University’s Fox School of Business and partner school ENPC School of Management in France have received Tier One rankings from the International Graduate Forum’s (IGF) 2013 Winter MBA Rankings.
IGF compiled its rankings based on key performance indicators (KPIs) that are valued and of interest to prospective students. KPIs included: international diversity, class sizes, student work experience, faculty-to-student ratios, and faculty qualifications, both academic and professional.
These rankings were published in IGF’s CEO Magazine. IGF aims to create a 360-degree view of the world’s leading business schools for high-potential managers.
The ENPC School of International Management, founded in 1986, is France’s oldest and one of its most prestigious schools. ENPC has always promoted the study of international business and value-based global leadership.
ENPC received Tier One rankings in the categories of European MBA Rankings and Global Executive MBA Rankings. The Fox School of Business received a Tier One ranking for its Online MBA program.
Paper resumes, a staple at career fairs, recently got an upgrade. In a first for the Philadelphia region, Temple University’s Fox School of Business used Recpass mobile technology to allow undergraduate and MBA students to submit their resumes to recruiters through personalized QR codes and a mobile application.
The Fox School’s Feb. 19 Spring Connection, which attracted more than 800 business students and 73 recruiters – ranging from Aetna to Zivtech – was the first university recruiting event in Philadelphia to use a secure mobile app from RECSOLU that allows candidates to transmit profile information and resumes to employers, who benefit by more efficient tracking and processing of candidates’ information.
The Fox School’s Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD), which organizes Spring Connection, also receives analytics via the software on which recruiters are visited more or less often and by which majors, leading to increased efficiency in future events.
Each participating employer received an iPad Mini, equipped with Chicago-based RECSOLU’s technology, at no cost. This enabled recruiters to quickly and easily access students’ profile information and resumes, as well as allowing for easier communication and candidate management.
All students who attended the 2014 Spring Connection had the option of obtaining a personalized Recpass QR code on badges resembling credit cards. Students could have their badges printed by RECSOLU representatives on site in Temple’s Mitten Hall, where CSPD holds its annual fall and spring career fairs.
Thomas Lukman, a sophomore accounting major, was seeking summer internships and had visited recruiters from Target, Walmart, Enterprise and others. Lukman said Recpass “was definitely more convenient for me.”
Recruiters “can access everything faster and easier,” he said. “They can reach more students in a short amount of time.”
The Time Warner Medialab, Innerscope Research and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making (CNDM) at the Fox School of Business have announced the results of a comprehensive study of this year’s Super Bowl ads that reinforced the power of emotion and compelling storytelling.
The research teams used a combination of biometric and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) technologies to monitor viewers’ skin conductance, heart rates, respiration, motion and brain activation to get a more thorough understanding of how consumers reacted to different ads. The findings showed that brands that took audiences on an emotional journey – including Cheerios, Chevrolet, Budweiser and Hyundai – delivered the highest moments of engagement.
“It’s exciting to have the research capabilities to literally go inside the brain of the consumer to find out what’s driving engagement,” said Kristen O’Hara, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Time Warner Global Media Group. “These findings deepen our understanding of consumer behavior, and we will continue to push the boundaries of ad research to ensure that we’re delivering the most effective content to our consumers and our business partners.”
This year’s top-performing ads took viewers on journeys featuring relatable characters in stories that slowly developed. General Mills’ Cheerios told an intimate story of a growing family featuring a daughter who bargains with her father for a new puppy; Hyundai’s “Sixth Sense” commercial took viewers through the relationship between a father and son; Budweiser told a heartwarming story of determination through a puppy trying to meet up with a Clydesdale horse; and Toyota’s “Joyride” ad brought viewers along for a fun ride with the Muppets. The fMRI results validated the initial biometric study’s findings of increased engagement among the top 10 performers, which were announced last week.
“Traditional measures capture aspects of cognition, but advertisers need to know more than what people consciously think about ads,” Innerscope Research Co-founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Carl Marci said. “In order to go deeper into areas of the brain, you need tools like fMRI that can help you understand the mechanisms that allow ads to break through the clutter.”
The biometrics study was conducted live during the Super Bowl while Innerscope monitored 80 participants to capture fluctuations in heart rate, skin conductance, and breathing patterns at the company’s Media Lab and facilities in Boston and the Time Warner Medialab in New York.
“The biggest challenge here was to conduct a study of academic rigor within an industry timeframe,” said Khoi Vo, senior research associate at CNDM and lead researcher on the fMRI study.
Ads that performed well on biometrics also elicited increased brain activity, relative to ads that performed poorly, in key areas of interest for marketers. These included brain regions associated with emotional relevance (amygdala), memory formation (hippocampus) and executive function (lateral prefrontal cortex).
Among top-performers, ads like those from Cheerios and Volkswagen elicit emotional responses as well as activating two additional regions of the brain commonly associated with valuation and reward – the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum. These areas are consistent with prior work conducted by Temple CNDM in the area of advertising effectiveness research.
“It is exciting to see some consistency across studies, as well as convergence across methodologies – in this case biometrics and fMRI,” said Dr. Angelika Dimoka, director of CNDM. “The Center has been at the forefront of advancing research in consumer neuroscience through its emphasis on strong theoretical frameworks, multi-methodological approaches and convergent validity. Though consumer neuroscience has been criticized in the past for lacking in these aspects, this study moves the needle on all fronts and represents a significant advancement in the field.”
Seeing is believing, but smellizing – a new term for prompting consumers to imagine the smell of a product – could be the next step toward more effective advertising.
Researchers came to this conclusion through four studies of products most of us would like to smellize: cookies and cake.
Professor of Marketing Maureen Morrin of Temple University’s Fox School of Business co-authored Smellizing Cookies and Salivating: A Focus on Olfactory Imagery to examine the impact imagining what a food smells like would have on consumer behavior.
“Before we started this project, we looked for print ads that asked consumers to imagine the smell of the product, and we found none,” Morrin said. “We think it’s because advertisers don’t think it’ll actually do anything.”
But researchers found that smellizing — imagining a smell —increased consumers’ desire to consume and purchase advertised food products.
Consumers’ response to advertised food products was measured over several studies that looked at the effect of smellizing on salivation, desire and actual food consumption. The researchers found that imagining what a tasty food smells like increases these types of responses only when the consumer also sees a picture of the advertised product.
Participants who looked at print advertisements were prompted by questions such as: Fancy a freshly baked cookie?; Feel like a chocolate cake?; and Feel like a freshly baked cookie? Look for these in a store near you.
Morrin found that these types of headlines had a positive impact on desire to consume the product, if they were accompanied by a call to also imagine the smell of the food. This positive impact was strongest when the image of the product could be seen at the same time study participants imagined the smell.
According to the study, olfactory imagery processing is different from that of the other senses, especially vision.
“It has been shown, for example, that although individuals can discriminate among thousands of different odors and are reasonably good at detecting odors they have smelled before, they are quite poor at identifying the odors they smell,” the study said. “That is, individuals often have difficulty stating just what it is they happen to be smelling at any particular moment, unless they can see the odor referent.”
This may be why a picture is so important in activating the effects of smellizing.
When asked (versus not being asked) to imagine a scent with a visual, participants’ salivation increased by .36 to .39 grams in two of the studies. In another study, when asked to imagine a scent with a visual, participants consumed 5.3 more grams of the advertised cookies. These effects depended on seeing the advertised food while imaging its smell.
The researchers also found that actually smelling the advertised products was even more effective on the various measures of consumer response than merely imagining the smells. But it’s not always feasible to present consumers with product odors in advertisements.
According to Morrin, advertisers are not adequately tapping into the power of the sense of smell when developing promotional messages to encourage consumers to buy their products.
Morrin’s study, co-authored with Aradhna Krishna of the University of Michigan and Eda Sayin of Koç University in Turkey, appears in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Fox Online MBA ranks Top 10 in U.S. News survey of Best Online Business Programs
Discussed in this issue:
• Fox School ranks No. 12 for International Management in QS Global 200 ranking
• Philadelphia surpasses U.S. average in rate of global connectedness
• Fox students make their movie debut in The Wolf of Wall Street
Todor Raykov’s journey from Bulgaria to Philadelphia, where he is one of two Fulbright Scholars studying at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, began in 2007 with a blog post he sent out into the then incipient Bulgarian blogosphere. The post discussed political apathy among Bulgarian youth and gained widespread attention. The response inspired Raykov to write more articles on what he describes as “the gloomy future before the young generation of Bulgarians” and suggests steps young people can take to improve their prospects.
Raykov’s writing gained the attention of Teodor Dechev, Bulgaria’s former deputy minister of labor and social policy, who invited Raykov to join the Union for Private Economic Enterprise – the first employers’ organization formed after the fall of communism in Bulgaria.
“My stay there changed profoundly not only my professional but also my personal goals,” Raykov said. “The interaction with successful entrepreneurs triggered in me the desire to start my own business and help others do the same.”
Raykov began working with other young entrepreneurs and realized he had much to learn. Wanting to find a “radically different perspective of doing business in order to come up with ideas that could have a significant impact on the Bulgarian economy” and entrepreneurial community, he decided to look for graduate programs in the United States. The Fox School’s growing international reputation, renowned faculty and ideal location attracted Raykov to the school’s Master of Science in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (IME) program.
So far, Raykov is thriving as an IME student. He was named a finalist in the recent Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI)’s Innovative Idea Competition, and he plans to participate in IEI’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl® in 2014.
Raykov continues to receive recognition for his thought-provoking writing. Recently his essay on the difficulties young Bulgarian entrepreneurs face in a post-communist environment won first place in the entrepreneurship and innovation category of the Center for International Private Enterprise’s (CIPE) International Youth Essay Competition.
“I believe that my work in the IME program equips me with the necessary knowledge and expertise to solve some of the problems that I address in my essay,” he said. “Namely, how to create successful businesses, expand them globally and help stabilize the Bulgarian economy.”
After earning his IME master’s degree, Raykov hopes to continue studying in North America and to pursue a PhD in business management. Eventually he hopes to establish an entrepreneurship institute in Bulgaria.
The cement and concrete industry – an industry that has not substantially changed its production methods in 80 years – may not be the first place one would expect to find innovation, but innovating seems to come naturally to Juan David Penagos, director of new business for Colombian-based Argos, the fifth-largest cement producer in Latin America and the fourth-largest concrete producer in the United States.
Penagos, who is pursuing a Master of Science in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (IME) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, hopes to foster innovation in both the cement company and in his home country, Colombia.
One of two Fulbright Scholars in Fox’s IME program, Penagos has already worked in the banking industry, where he and two partners created the first financial network for low-income individuals in Colombia, and in the technology industry, where he introduced the first outdoor LED screens to Colombia’s five largest cities.
In each case, Penagos was driven by a sense of social responsibility. With the LED screens, for instance, the company Penagos worked for provided screen time to local governments and hosted social events. Penagos’ understanding of the potential of business to turn a profit and also benefit the greater good drove Argos to offer Penagos a job.
Seven years later, that combined desire to enhance business practices and make the world a better place has led Penagos to the Fox School’s IME program. He sees innovation as a way to create new business solutions and jobs, improve quality of life and reduce society’s dependence on local governments.
“For me that’s the most important thing about innovation,” Penagos said. “The potential to not be expecting solutions from the government, to be the ones who create opportunities, to be the ones who create solutions for our daily lives.”
Argos already has innovation systems in place, but Penagos wanted “to be more involved in a deeper way in this concept, which I think is very new for us and I think for humanity as well,” he said. Since he already has an MBA, Penagos was attracted to the Fox School because it offers one of few dedicated innovation master’s degree programs in the United States.
“The courses that they offer, they are actually focused on what is happening in the world right now in innovation,” Penagos said.
“The better innovations in companies always occur in the lowest part of the chain,” he said. “The people who are facing the customers, the people who are facing the logistical problems, all of these people who are facing daily problems, they actually are the ones who have the better innovations.”
“What we have to do is create a path – to listen, to believe in what they’re saying and to give them the tools and the money to create the innovations.”
Assistant Professor Steven N. Pyser, jointly appointed to the Legal Studies and Human Resource Management departments of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has contributed his insights on the impact of trust on business success in a new book, Trust Inc.: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset.
Trust Inc.’s editor, Barbara Brooks Kimmel — co-founder and executive director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World — selected 30 experts to make the case for trust in the new book.
This handbook on organizational trust is divided into six sections: Why trust matters; How trust works in practice; What it takes to be a trustworthy leader; How trustworthy teams impact business; How to restore trust; and A new paradigm for organizational trust. Pyser authored the latter.
Pyser’s essay, titled, Capitalism and High Trust: Leveraging Social Worlds as Intangible Assets, was inspired by his pracademics approach — combining the works and viewpoints of academics and practitioners — as well as the applied practice and research he’s conducted in the past 15 years.
In his essay, Pyser argues that having an understanding of performance standards and a working definition of workplace trust are winning strategies required to achieve excellence in today’s global business economy.
He offers a new paradigm and structure for global capitalism and competitiveness. It requires a culture of high trust by leveraging conversations and business communications through “social worlds” and “communication perspectives” used as intangible assets.
“Being recognized for domain expertise by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World is a wonderful honor,” Pyser said. “I’m privileged to be in the esteemed company of the international expert contributors in the book.”
In discussing his essay and how to build capacities for business trust connections, he acknowledged the integral role of being Temple Made (LAW ’84) and serving on the Fox faculty at a world-class research university play in developing his theories, personal and professional successes.
Pyser said he appreciates the academic freedom and ability to innovate as a Fox professor through the continuing support of the Dean’s Office and his department chairs – in Legal Studies, Dr. Samuel D. Hodge, Jr. and in Human Resource Management, Dr. Deanna Geddes. “Their encouragement and varied course assignments have motivated my teaching, research and emerging applied practice approaches to business trust,” he said.
“Fox students continue to impress me how they make things happen – especially, their commitment to academic excellence, grit, resilience and real-world readiness,” Pyer said.
Pyser is the president and founder at The Pyser Group, which specializes in ethics, leadership development, corporate governance and sustainability strategies. He is a Caux Round Table Fellow and contributes to the current work of the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Millennium Development Goals and post-2015 Development Agenda.
As the saying goes, “A group that works together, stays together.” Therefore, a group or community based on trust can reap benefits from one another. Trusting communities tend to foster self-employed people or entrepreneurs whose successes are one in the same with the community. Self-employment ranges from about 5.7 percent in areas with very low social trust to about 8.4 percent in areas with very high social trust.
Community Social Capital and Entrepreneurship, published in the American Sociological Review, examines the public good of what is called social capital — the relationship and networks of a group of people who live in and work in a particular community — to see how the benefits of social trust and organizational membership help not only the individual but also the community at large.
Seok-Woo Kwon, assistant professor in the Department of Strategic Management at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, started the research for this project 10 years ago with Colleen Heflin from the University of Missouri and Martin Ruef of Duke University.
“People have been researching a lot about the ‘If I have a lot of social capital, then I benefit from it,’” Kwon said. “For example, I get a better job, I get a quick job referral, or I have a higher chance of starting my own business. But I thought, what if I don’t have a high social capital but I’m surrounded by people who do. Their benefits are going to spill over to me.”
Kwon and his research partners tested their arguments about the communal benefits of social capital using data from the 2000 Census, Robert Putnam’s Social Capital Benchmark Survey and the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey.
Their study suggests that the role social trust plays in entrepreneurship is crucial at the community level of analysis in two of the following ways: it encourages social groups to engage in the free flow of information and it helps small entrepreneurs to overcome a lack of recognizability.
Participating in voluntary associations produces social capital that benefits both the entrepreneur and the community. Because potential partners and customers for independent business owners are connected rather than isolated, they are encouraged to socialize and share ideas outside of their circles. Furthermore, these shared memberships between voluntary associations and organizations allow for the flow of word-of-mouth information.
There is a downside to this type of connectedness, however. Communities that are polarized by ethnic, political, religious or class differences tend to create homogenous organizations. Network expansion does not extend past the organization itself.
As the researchers were determining whether everyone receives an equal kind of spillover from neighbors, they found that that whites benefited from community social capital to a greater extent than minorities in the same community.
The same lack of spillover could also be seen among immigrants. This is for two reasons: immigrants have less individual-level social capital at the start than non-immigrants, and individual-level social capital is less generously compensated if a community social capital exists. This means that community-level social capital fails to spillover as much positive impacts and influences to marginal groups in the community, because some of these groups tend to be newer.
“The immediate, direct translation of this is that you’ve got to build a community with high social capital,” Kwon said. “That means building a community with a lot of trust, where people get to meet and socialize with each other. If you build that community, then everyone, not just a select few, benefits and can get information to start their own businesses.”
CEOs tend to overstay their welcome, hurting firm performance, new study finds
Discussed in this issue:
• Di Benedetto ranks sixth among innovation management scholars
• Investments in operations can improve pharmaceutical business
• Alumna authors book with scientific advice from Fox faculty member
Discussed in this issue:
• Dr. Portwood improves health conditions in Cameroon
• Fox hosts 27th Mid-Atlantic Organizational Behavior Teaching Conference
• Students organize charity events through leadership HR course