#MVPbuzzChat with Liam Cleary

Image result for liam clearyFor Episode 16 of the #MVPbuzzChat interview series, I tracked down fellow Office Servers & Services MVP Liam Cleary (@helloitsliam), an Associate Director with Protiviti, while the two of us were presenting at SharePointFest DC a couple weeks back. For those of you who have not met Liam, he largely rose to prominence for his always-entertaining, if not somewhat scary “Think You Can Hack SharePoint?” session which was especially fun to watch live as he shows some of the common “gaps” in security planning with SharePoint. I’ve interviewed him a few times over the years, including one of my earliest “One Thing” videos back in my Axceler days (2010), as well as my still-running Digital Sack Lunch videos (2012).

More recently, however, I partnered with Liam on a CollabTalk research project on Microsoft Cloud (Office 365 and Azure) cyber-security, where he served as an industry expert to the research team, and then took the data results and recommendations and wrote a whitepaper — which will be made available through the principal sponsors of the research: AvePoint, Rencore, Solliance, and Microsoft. In fact, we’ll be walking through these research findings in a panel discussion on Wednesday, April 11th at 12pm EST / 6pm CET and hosted by Rencore (register here). Also participating in this panel are Dux Raymond Sy from AvePoint (@meetdux), Chris Givens from Solliance (@givenscj), Waldek Mastykarz from Rencore (@waldekm), and I’ll be moderating (@buckleyplanet). And yes, the recording will be made available through Rencore.com

At the time of SPFest, Liam and I were working through the draft of the cyber-security whitepaper and feedback from several reviewers, and so we had Microsoft cloud security on our minds. As we discuss in this video, for most organizations thinking about moving their on-premises assets to the cloud, not surprisingly, security is often the number one factor that keeps them from moving forward. But as Liam points out, many of those fears are unjustified. He shares that some interesting data that was uncovered in the research that indicates people do not have a clear picture of what Microsoft is doing to ensure security around their cloud services — and that once they become educated, most of those fears quickly fall away. One of the points I bring up in the video is how aggressively Microsoft has been in chasing certifications is various industry and regional standards and certifications, trying to shore up their security pedigree. When you really dig into some customer FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and point out that Microsoft have earned the relevant certifications, it becomes clear that many of these fears are more cultural responses (bias toward known technologies, fear of losing control) than reality of any cloud security gaps. That’s where organizations need to be clear — on understanding their actual requirements, knowing what the Microsoft Cloud provides, and where/if there are gaps, how to mitigate.

As I said, I’m excited to be able to share this report and start talking about the research results, so be sure to visit the sponsor sites to download your free copy. And be sure to check out the video of Liam and I discussing this topic below. AND if you’d like to get in touch with Liam directly, you can find him just about everywhere, including his blog, the Microsoft Tech Community, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShareInstagram, Channel 9, Crunchbase, Spotify, Foursquare (i.e. “the” stalker app), MunsterLit.ie, the Killaloe Diocese, the MIT Alumni site, and the obituary  Some of these may not actually be him — but that’s for Liam to sort out in some kind of Highlander scenario…..

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and fractional-CMO for revealit.io, tyGraph, and Extranet User Manager.