Tuesday, May 23, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Interview with 'No More Magic Wands' George Finney

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

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.
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.

No More Magic Wands is available at AMAZON

Thanks for this interview, George.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

I feel like I’ve been interesting in writing for as long as I can remember.  After college I started working in technology. I was practical and I knew being a writer might not come with health care or a retirement plan. So I went to work for a couple of big companies, then switched gears to work for a couple of small startups. Then a university. I think I found technology interesting because, just like with writing, you have to discover creative solutions to problems. And along the way I kept having ideas for short stories or novels.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I’m a huge science fiction nerd, so I love watching movies or catching up on my favorite series.  I’ve recently gotten hooked on podcasts and audiobooks, and I’ve really started to branch out to listen to books or short stories that I would have never gotten exposed to otherwise.

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?

Once upon a time, there lived a wood elf known as Honest Evergreen. He was an average elf in every way: he lived in a tree like the other wood elves, he enjoyed eating berries, and he worked on storing pecans in his basement for the winter. But Honest Evergreen had a gift that no other elf had.

One spring morning, Honest Evergreen was absentmindedly whittling a stick to pass the time. The flowers were blooming, the birds were singing and, before Honest knew it, the sun was beginning to ease its way back behind the hillside.
Honest looked down at the stick in his hand and was surprised to see that he had carved a wand. The handle was round and bumpy. Farther up, the wand curved and swirled, ending in a rather lovely star.

He chuckled and tossed it into the leaves as he turned to make his short walk home. Just then, he saw something out of the corner of his eye. The wand was sparkling. Bewildered, Honest moved to get a closer look. As he approached the wand, a nearby frog up leapt on its hind legs and began singing! The song was “It’s Not Unusual,” by Tom Jones. “It happens every day. No matter what you say. You’ll find it happens all the time.” The frog bellowed the lyrics in the deepest voice his little mouth could manage.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

While I’m still open to traditional publishing, I wanted to get my book out there, so self publishing was a really great avenue to let me get a head start and build an audience.  I think this book in particular was going to be a hard sell, so I wanted to be able to show that it could reach a wider audience.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Security is everyone’s job! 

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

No More Magic Wands lays out some of the basic principles that security practitioners follow and how businesses can implement them.  Rather than just tell you those things, what makes No More Magic Wands different is that it shows you how a fictional company might do through short stories or fables.  There aren’t always clear answers when it comes to security in the real world, so I wanted my readers to be able to walk away and ask the right questions when they go back to their office.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

I think it would be Halloween.  The characters in the book are all elves, fairies, witches, and other enchanted forest creatures.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

No More Magic Wands is written as a case study about a magic wand company that gets hacked.  If I did a series, I would want to go beyond the magic wand company to the rest of the enchanted forest and explore other really important cybersecurity issues.

What’s next for you?

My next project will also be on cybersecurity, but instead of a case study about a company, I’m going for something more personal for an individual.  I’m writing several choose your own adventure style stories to help teach people how to spot social engineering or other common types of hacking.

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