Archive for May 16th, 2017

GEORGE FINNEY, ESQ., has worked in Cybersecurity for over 15 years and is the author of No More Magic Wands: Transformative Cybersecurity Change for Everyone. He is currently the Chief Information Security Officer for Southern Methodist University where he has also taught on the subject of Corporate Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. Mr. Finney is an attorney and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional as well as a Certified Information Security Systems Professional and has spoken on Cybersecurity topics across the country.



About the Book:

Once upon a time there was a company that made magic wands, but when they were hacked all the magic in the world couldn’t prevent their data from being stolen. If that company had a chance for a clean start, what would they have done differently? The unlikely hero isn’t a security guy. She’s a business elf who makes it her mission to change the way her company does business from the top down.

Most books on Cybersecurity are written for highly technical professionals, focus on specific compliance regulations, or are intended for reference. No More Magic Wands is different…it takes complex security concepts and puts them into practice in easy to read, relateable stories.

No More Magic Wands is available at AMAZON

Would you call yourself a born writer?

I was drawn to books from the moment I was born.  Some of my very earliest memories are of learning to read and being so excited when I would read books to my parents.  I think that must be how I got the storytelling bug.

What was your inspiration for No More Magic Wands?

One day at work I overheard someone jokingly say they wished they could make one of their security problems go away by waving their magic wand.  Later on, I saw someone who had one of those Harry Potter replica wands in their office and I wondered what it would be like to tell a story about a magic wand company that was hacked.  How would someone who actually had a magic wand go about solving their security problems?

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I’m interested in exploring the rules we create when we tell a story.  The characters that we create all have to follow some constraints.  The mini-societies the characters live inside of all have their own norms and the narrative itself requires you follow consistent conventions throughout.  I think when you know the rules, writing the story just follows naturally from there.  I love seeing what happens when you break the rules.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It took almost two years.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I have a full time job, so on most days my writing consists of just taking notes as things occur to me.  Then on the weekend, I’ll spend several hours compiling all of those notes and exploring some of the ideas that I had in more detail.  I like this method because it gives me plenty of time to thinking about those things between the time I took the note and the time I started writing.  Once I was about a third of the way through and had a lot of notes compiled, I took two weeks of vacation to sit down and write every day and got through most of the rest.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Since each fable focuses on a different concept in cybersecurity, it was a big challenge to make the whole narrative consistent.  I wanted to say a lot of things, but I didn’t want it to feel disjointed.  I think the answer, for me, was to have a theme that ran through the whole book.  I didn’t want to have the same characters in every fable.  I wanted you to get the feeling, through the course of the book, that the number of people involved with solving these cybersecurity problems was growing exponentially.  By the end, I wanted it to be believable that cybersecurity was actually something that we can get better at because so often, we in cybersecurity will say that people will always be the weakest link, and I don’t think that has to be the case.

What do you love most about being an author?

The process of writing really helps with my self-confidence.  My favorite thing is discovering those new ideas that just seem to come from nowhere.  There are times when I can’t believe it was me that put that on paper.  It’s a kind of affirmation, for me.  It feels like I am smart enough or clever enough or I’m working hard enough to do really good work.  It’s something that the rest of the world always seems to question or challenge.  Writing answers that question.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I self-published through Amazon, and it was a very smooth and quick profess for me.  I feel like this was a great option for me, and it doesn’t necessarily close any doors.  I think the door to traditional publishing is still open.

Where can we find you on the web?

My blog’s address is www.strongestelement.com or you can follow my No More Magic Wands facebook page.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: