Ariel Sharon dies at 85, eight years after stroke that felled him

Standard

Former prime minister and combat soldier will be remembered for his exploits in Israel’s wars, the decision to leave Gaza, an infamous trip to the Temple Mount at the start of the second intifada – and the massacre at Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon

 

Ariel Sharon, the controversial prime minister often blamed for lighting the touchpaper of the second intifada in 2000, and who led Israel out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, has died at the age of 85. He had spent eight years in a coma following a massive stroke in January 2006.

A dominant yet divisive figure in Israel, both as a military and political leader, Sharon died on Saturday afternoon at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where he had been receiving long-term care.

His son Gilad Sharon announced: “He has gone. He went when he decided to go.”

A lifelong soldier, Sharon had turned to politics immediately after ending his service in the Israel Defense Forces at the age of 45. He had fought in the nation’s conflicts from before the inception of the state in 1948 up to and including the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He retired from the military with the rank of major general, and entered the Knesset. His political career flourished, albeit, like his military life, not without some controversy.

Sharon served as defense minister from 1981 to 1983, and prime minister from 2001 to 2006. It was while he held highest of political posts that he suffered the stroke that would leave him in a coma.

Ariel Sharon at a Knesset meeting in 2005 (Photo: Reuters)
Ariel Sharon at a Knesset meeting in 2005 (Photo: Reuters)

Ariel Sharon was born in Kfar Malal on March 1, 1928 to parents Deborah and Samuel Sheinerman, who arrived in Israel in the Third Aliyah from Russia, after the First World War.

Throughout the years, Sharon’s personal life bore much turmoil and drama. His first wife Margalit was killed in a car accident in 1962. Their son, Gur, was killed in 1967 at the age of 11 after a bullet discharged from a rifle Sharon used as decoration in his home.

One year following Margalit’s death, Sharon married her sister, Lily. The two had two sons, Omri and Gilad. Lily passed away from lung cancer in March 2000, and asked to be buried on a hill overlooking their famous Sycamore Ranch.

Related stories:

In 1942, he joined the Haganah, the pre-state militia that evolved into the IDF, and thus began a long career in the military. During the 1948 War of Independence, at the age of 20, he was a platoon commander in the Alexandroni Brigade and was seriously injured in the battle of Latrun. Upon his recovery, he became a battalion intelligence officer.

In 1951, Sharon was appointed chief intelligence officer for the Central Command, and in 1952 served in the same role in the Northern Command. He then took study leave, working for a bachelor’s degree in history and Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

In 1953, he was an instrumental figure in the creation of Unit 101, whose purpose was to carry out retribution operations in response to infiltration attacks (Palestinian fedayeen) from Jordan and the Gaza Strip. Under his command, Unit 101 carried out several successful retaliation operations; however in October 1953, a retribution action in the village of Qibya in the West Bank resulted in 69 Arab casualties.

Following the “Qibya massacre”, the decision was made in January 1954 to end the unit’s independent operations, and it merged into a paratrooper battalion, under the Sharon’s command. In 1956, he was appointed commander of the Paratroopers Brigade, and fought in the Suez Crisis (Operation Kadesh) the same year.

From 1958 to 1962, Sharon studied law at the Hebrew University, and commanded the Infantry Brigade and the army’s infantry school. With the appointment of Yitzhak Rabin as the IDF chief of staff in 1964, Sharon was named Chief Staff Officer in the Northern Command, and two years later he was appointed head of training within the IDF General Staff, a role that awarded him the rank of major general.

Ariel Sharon, right, with Yitzhak Rabin (Photo: Defense Ministry)
Ariel Sharon, right, with Yitzhak Rabin (Photo: Defense Ministry)

He took part in the Six-Day War as an Armored Division commander, winning high praise. In 1970 he was appointed as head of the Southern

Command. He primarily took command of the War of Attrition, while fiercely criticizing the policies of then-IDF Chief of Staff Haim Bar-Lev and quarrelling with his General Staff colleagues. At the end of the War of Attrition and in 1971 he planned several attacks on terrorist cells in the Gaza Strip. In addition, he evacuated the Bedouins from northern Sinai, an act for which he was reprimanded by the then-chief of staff.

Sharon retired from the IDF in June 1973, and turned his attention to the Liberal party and the Knesset elections. He spent the next several months working with Menachem Begin on establishing the Likud, an amalgam of several existing rightist and liberal political parties. When the Yom Kippur War broke out in October 1973, Sharon returned to active duty as an Armored Division commander, quarreled with his superiors, and crossed the Suez Canal in what would become the war’s turning point.

New battles

Sharon became a Knesset Member in the general elections of December 1973, but resigned a year to return to the IDF. From 1975-1976, he served as defense advisor to Rabin, who was by then prime minister.

In 1980, Defense Minister Ezer Weizmann resigned, and Sharon sought to replace him. But Prime Minister Menachem Begin refused his request, and tensions arose between the two. It was only after the elections for the tenth Knesset in 1981 that Sharon was named defense minister. In this role, Sharon initiated Operation Oranim (Pines), which aimed to eliminate terrorist bases in Lebanon, and put an end to the ongoing attacks across the northern border.

The major operation, dubbed Peace for Galilee, began on June 6, 1982. Sharon was involved in all its stages, and critics charged that he had taken several steps without Prime Minister Begin’s knowledge or approval. In September 1982, after the assassination of Lebanese President Bachir Gemayel, the Lebanese Phalange forces massacred thousands of Palestinian residents of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps of Beirut, an act that would haunt Sharon – and Israel – for years to come. The Israeli Kahan commission of inquiry found that Sharon bore personal responsibility for the massacre, and he was forced to resign as defense minister.

Despite this, Sharon continued to serve in the government as minister without portfolio, and was appointed industry and trade minister in the unity government formed after the 1984 elections, despite the opposition of HaMa’arakh (alignment) party members.

Sharon with his wife, Lily,1990 (Photo: Reuters)
Sharon with his wife, Lily,1990 (Photo: Reuters)

In February 1990 he resigned due to the government’s decision to allow elections in the Palestinian territories. After the fall of the government on March 15, Sharon was appointed minister of housing and construction under Yitzhak Shamir. In this position he accelerated large-scale settlement construction in the territories.

Ahead of the 1992 elections, Sharon ran for Likud leadership, yet came in third after Yitzhak Shamir and David Levy. Following Likud’s defeat by Labor in the 1992 elections, Shamir retired from political life. In the internal Likud elections in February 1993, Sharon chose not to run against Benjamin Netanyahu, who went on to lead the party to victory in 1996.

Sharon was initially left out of the new Netanyahu government, but was given the ministry of national infrastructure following an ultimatum presented by David Levy. He was member of the security cabinet, and towards the end of the government served as its foreign minister.

National leader

Following his overwhelming defeat in the 1999 elections, Netanyahu resigned the Likud leadership, and Sharon was elected as his successor in September 1999.

In September 2000, Sharon visited the Temple Mount, a controversial visit that received much media attention, despite warnings regarding the possible consequences of such an act. Following the visit, a wave of violence erupted among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as among Israeli Arab citizens. This wave of violence marked the start of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

In the 2001 elections, Sharon ran against Ehud Barak in a special election for prime minister, and won by a landslide. In January 2003 he led the Likud to a decisive win in the Knesset elections.

Sharon inherited the prime minister’s chair with the second intifada in full swing, and Israel facing numerous terrorist attacks. Under Sharon, the country took major steps against the continuous assaults, including a prolonged military attack against terrorist organizations. Military action peaked in late March 2002, with Defensive Shield, a major operation involving conscripted and reserve soldiers triggered by a massive suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya on the first night of Passover days earlier, in which 30 people were killed.

In December 18, 2003, Sharon began to promote his plan for unilateral Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip. The full details of the plan were presented in April 2004, when Sharon announced he intended to execute a full separation from Gaza, which would include the evacuation of all Israeli communities in the Strip, along with four settlements in northern Samaria.

Within the next few months, Sharon managed, albeit with great difficulty, to maintain the stability of his government and implement his disengagement plan: In August 2005, all Israeli settlements in Gaza were evacuated, along with the four settlements in the northern West Bank.

Ariel Sharon at his beloved Sycamore Ranch in the Negev (Photo: Yossi Rot)
Ariel Sharon at his beloved Sycamore Ranch in the Negev (Photo: Yossi Rot)

The disengagement led to a severe internal crisis within the Likud. In November 2005, after the resignation of the Labor party from Sharon’s government and the agreement on early Knesset elections, Sharon announced his departure from the Likud and – the establishment of a new party, Kadima.

It was during what would prove to be a short-lived term as head of a Kadima government that Sharon suffered from two strokes, the second of which would leave him comatose. The first, in December 2005, was a mild stroke, and he was hospitalized for just two days. But on January 4, 2006, the prime minister suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Ehud Olmert, who served as Sharon’s deputy prime minister, became acting prime minister.

Sharon never regained consciousness. He is survived by his two sons, Omri and Gilad, and several grandchildren.

Israel and the death of pan-Arabism

Standard

Nadaf and Bibi

The so-called Arab Spring unleashed forces that have been dormant for a century. Like their counterparts throughout the region, Israel’s Arabic-speaking minorities are changing in profound ways. But our leaders fail to grasp the implications of what is happening.

Consider the Christian community.

Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth, has become the symbol of this new period. Nadaf is the spiritual leader of an Israeli Christian movement calling for Israeli Christian youth to serve in the IDF. He is responsible for the 300 percent rise in Christian Arab enlistment in the IDF in the past year.

Nadaf does not hide his goal or his motivation. His seeks the full integration of Israel’s 130,000 Christians into Israeli society. He views military service as the key to that integration.

Nadaf is motivated to act by the massive persecution of Christians throughout the Arab world since the onset of the Arab revolutionary wave in December 2010.

As he explained in a recent interview with Channel 1, it is “in light of what we see happening to Christians in Arab countries, how they are slaughtered and persecuted on a daily basis, killed and raped just because they are Christians. Does this happen in the State of Israel? No, it doesn’t.”

Shahdi Halul, a reserve captain in the Paratroopers who works with Nadaf, declared, “Every Christian in the State of Israel should join the army and defend this country so it will exist forever. Because if, God forbid, the government is overthrown here, as it was in other places, we will be the first to suffer.”

These men, and their supporters, are the natural result of the most significant revolutionary development of the so-called Arab Spring: the demise of Arab nationalism.

As Ofir Haivry, vice president of the Herzl Institute, explained in an important article in the Mosaic online magazine, Arab nationalism was born in pan-Arabism – an invention of European powers during World War I that sought to endow the post-Ottoman Middle East with a new identity.
The core of the new identity was the Arabic language. The religious, tribal, ethnic and nationalist aspirations of the peoples of the Arabic- speaking region were to be smothered and replaced by a new pan-Arab identity.

For the Christians of the former Ottoman Empire, pan-Arabism was a welcome means of getting out from under the jackboot of the Islamic Laws of Omar, which reduce non-Muslims living under Muslim rule to the status of powerless dhimmis, who survive at the pleasure of their Islamic rulers.

But now pan-Arabism lies in ruins from North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. The people of the region have gone back to identifying themselves by tribe, religion, ethnicity, and in the case of the Kurds and the Berbers, non-Arab national identity. In this new era, Christians find themselves imperiled, with few if any protectors or allies to be found.

As Haivry notes, Israel’s central strategic challenge has always been contending with pan-Arabism, which was invented at the same time that the nations of the world embraced modern Zionism.
Since its inception, pan-Arab leaders always saw Israel as the scapegoat on which to pin their failure to deliver on pan-Arabism’s promise of global Arab power and influence.

Israel changed its position on pan-Arabism drastically over the years. Once, Israel could see the dangers in pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism.

But since 1993, says Haivri, Israel’s national strategy has been based on appeasing the secular authoritarian pan-Arab leaders by offering land for peace to Syria and the PLO.

Haivry notes that Shimon Peres is the political godfather of Israel’s accommodationist strategy, which is rooted in a mix of perceived powerlessness on the one hand, and utopianism on the other.

The sense of powerlessness owes to the conviction that Israel cannot influence its environment. That the Arabs will never change. Israel’s neighbors will always see themselves primarily as Arabs, and they will always want, more than anything else, Arab states.

At the same time, the accommodationists hold the utopian belief that Israeli appeasement of Palestinian Arab nationalism will break through the wall of pan-Arab rejection, end hatred for the Jewish state, and even lead the Arabs to invite Israel to join the Arab League.

The so-called Arab Spring has put paid to every one of the accommodationists’ beliefs. From Egypt to Tunisia to Iraq to Syria, Israel’s neighbors are fighting each other as Sunnis, Shi’ites and Salafists, or as members of clans and tribes, without a thought for the alleged primacy of their Arab identity. What Israel’s Palestinian-state-obsessed Left has failed to realize is that many of Israel’s neighbors do not share the pan-Arab scapegoating of the Jewish state. So bribing the now largely irrelevant Arabs nationalists with another Arab state may do little more than create the newest victim of the Arab revolutions.
It is because they see what is happening to their co-religionists in the post-pan-Arab Middle East that more and more Israeli Christians realize they will lead safer, more prosperous and more fulfilling lives as Christian citizens in the Middle East’s only democracy than as pan-Arabs battling the Zionist menace.

But old habits die hard. Most of Israel’s elected Arab leaders owe their positions to their embrace of pan-Arabism. This embrace has brought them the support of the PLO and Europe, and since 1993, of the Israeli Left.

And so, since he first appeared on the scene, Father Nadaf’s life has been constantly threatened. Everyone from Arab members of Knesset to the Communist head of the Greek Orthodox Council has incited against him, calling him and his followers traitors to the Palestinian Arab nation.

He also threatens the Israeli Left. For its view of Israel’s strategic powerlessness and consequent need to appease its neighbors to remain relevant, the pan-Arab forces in the Arab world must be perceived as still dominant, even invincible. And so, the Israeli Left refuses to consider the larger strategic implications of the regional upheaval from which Nadaf’s initiative emerged.

Even worse, the official policy of the Netanyahu government appears based on this irrelevant Leftist view of the region. This is the implication of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s defeatist speech at the Foreign Ministry’s annual conference of ambassadors on Sunday.

Liberman’s speech has been rightly viewed as the supposedly right-wing politician’s formal break with his ideological camp and his embrace of the Left. In his remarks Liberman let it be known, that like the Left, he now bases his positions on a complete denial or avoidance of reality. For this, he was congratulated for his “maturity” by Peres who was sitting on the stage with him.

In his speech, Liberman acknowledged that the Obama administration’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians is horrible for Israel. But, he said, it is better than the European Union’s peace plan.

Never considering the possibility of saying no to both, Liberman said he thinks we should accept the bad American deal. His only condition is that he insists that the PLO accept towns in the Galilee and their 300,000 Israeli Arab residents.
Liberman’s surrender of the Galilee is a key component to his population swap plan. Under his plan, Israel would retain control over the fraction of Judea and Samaria in which large numbers of Israeli Jews live, in exchange for the area of the Galilee that is home to 300,000 Israeli Arabs. This plan has reportedly been presented to US Secretary of State John Kerry as an official Israeli position.
In other words, the Netanyahu government has failed to recognize the implications of the death of pan-Arabism. In maintaining their slavish devotion to the two-state formula, and viewing the Arabs in the Galilee, Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and surrounding states as an impenetrable bloc, they are placing Israel’s future in the hands of actors who have already disappeared or will soon disappear. Instead of building alliances with non-Jewish citizens of Israel, such as Druse and Christians, who are more than happy to defend Israel against Islamists and other regional fanatics, the Netanyahu government insists on placing the state’s future in the hands of pan-Arabs whose grip on power is slipping and who would never willingly coexist with Israel anyway.

Nadaf and his followers respond to the allegation – uttered by MKs like Haneen Zoabi and Basel Ghattas, among others – that they are traitors to the Palestinian Arab nation, with contempt.

“When someone tells me, ‘We’re all Arabs,’ I tell him, ‘No, we’re not all Arabs. You’re an Arab. I’m not,’” Halul told Channel 1.
Samer Jozin, whose daughter Jennifer opted for IDF service instead of medical school, agrees.
“Telling me I’m a Palestinian is a curse. I’m, thank God, an Israeli Christian and proud of it. And I thank God I was born in the Land of Israel,” he said.
The message couldn’t be clearer. We are basing our national strategy on a world that no longer exists.
Today our longtime allies the Kurds have carved out virtually independent states for themselves in Iraq and Syria.
Christians throughout the region are on the run. The Druse of Syria and Lebanon are exposed, without protection, and looking for help.
As for the Muslims, as Haivry notes, they are fragmented along sectarian and political lines, and at war with one another in battlefields throughout the region. While so engaged, they have little time to devote to blaming Israel for their failures.

This state of affairs has implications for Israel’s Arab Muslim minority. None of the regional warring Muslim camps are natural homes for Israel’s Muslim community. A community that has lived in an open, free society for 65 years does not naturally turn to Salafism. Israel is a much easier fit for most Israeli Muslims.
At a minimum, no one is better off if Israel forces them to cast their lot with any of the warring factions in Syria or Lebanon, or the increasingly irrelevant forces in the Palestinian Authority. There may very well be hundreds of Muslim versions of Father Nadaf just waiting for a signal from our government that we want them to lead their community into our society.

The post-pan-Arab Middle East exposes the truth that has been obscured for a century. The Jews and their Jewish state are a natural component of our diverse neighborhood, just like the Kurds, the Christians, the Druse, the various Muslim sects, and the Arabs. The demise of pan-Arabism is our great opportunity, at home and regionally, to build the alliances we need to survive and prosper. But so long as our leaders insist on clinging to the now irrelevant dream of appeasing the defunct pan-Arabists, we will lose these opportunities and convince our allies that we are treacherous, disloyal and temporary.

Israeli Arabs: We Do Not Want to Live in Palestinian State ( Reblogged)

Standard

3 Israel start ups in the 12 hot security start-ups to watch ..Adallom, Skycure, and Lacoon Mobile Security.

Standard

3 Israel start ups in the 12 hot security start-ups to watch ..Adallom, Skycure, and Lacoon Mobile Security.

Going into 2014, a whirlwind of security start-ups are looking to have an impact on the enterprise world. Most of these new ventures are focused on securing data in the cloud and on mobile devices. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Illumio, for example, founded earlier this year, is only hinting about what it will be doing in cloud security. But already it’s the darling of Silicon Valley investors, pulling in over $42 million from backer Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Formation 8 and others.

The cloud’s lure is easy to see. More businesses continue to adopt a wide range of cloud services — whether software-as-service, infrastructure-as-a-service or platform-as-a-service. That means the enterprise IT department needs more visibility, monitoring and security controls for what employees are doing and evidence their data is safe. In addition, employees today increasingly use smartphones and tablets they personally own for work in “Bring Your Own Device” mode, leading to other management and security questions. When there are perceived security “gaps,” start-ups see opportunities, as the 12 firms we identify here do.

Security is increasingly delivered not as on premises software or hardware but at least partly if not wholly as a cloud-based service. Gartner is predicting security-as-a-service will grow from about $2.13 billion now to $3.17 billion in 2015.

Gartner: Cloud-based security as a service set to take off

With all of that in mind, here’s our slate of security start-ups worth watching in the near future:

Adallom is based in Menlo Park, Calif., but has its research and development roots in Israel, where its three co-founders, Assaf Rappaport, vice president of R&D Roy Reznik and CTO Ami Luttwak have backgrounds in the Israel cyber-defense forces. Adallom — a word which means “last line of defense” in Hebrew — is taking on the problem in monitoring user actions related to software-as-a-service (SaaS) usage. The firm’s proxy-based technology announced this month is offered to the enterprise either as a security service in the cloud or server-based software for on premises.

The goal is to provide real-time analysis and a clear audit trail and reporting related to SaaS-based application usage by the enterprise. The monitoring can allows options for automating or manually terminating sessions or blocking content download. Though not wholly similar, its closest competitors could be considered to be two other start-ups, SkyHigh Networks and Netskope. The venture has gotten $4.5 million in funding from Sequoia Capital.

AlephCloud hasn’t yet made its software and service called AlephCloud Content Canopy generally available, but its purpose is to provide controlled encryption and decryption of documents transmitted business-to-business via cloud-based file synchronization and sharing services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive and Amazon S3. The company was founded in 2011by CEO Jieming Zhu and CTO Roy D’Souza. Zhu says Content Canopy works by means of the “federated key management” process AlephCloud developed that can use existing enterprise public-key infrastructures used in identity management. For the end user, though, who is permitted to retrieve and decrypt the encrypted document via Dropbox or SkyDrive, it’s all transparent. AlephCloud says its “zero-knowledge” encryption process means the company never holds the private encryption key. AlephCloud will first be supporting PCs, Macs, and Apple iOS devices, and Android next year, and specific file-sharing services. Zhu says the underlying technology can be expanded further to other applications as well. AlephCloud has received $9.5 million in venture-capital funding, including $7.5 million from Handbag LLC and the remainder from angel investors.

BitSight Technologies has a simple proposition. It’s not uncommon for companies to want to try and evaluate the IT security of another business before entering into an e-commerce arrangement where networks may be interconnected in some way. BitSight, co-founded in 2011 by CTO Stephen Boyer and COO Nagarjuna Venna, has a security “rating” service to do this, though there are limits on how far it can go at this point. The BitSight approach, says vice president of marketing Sonali Shah, relies on an analysis of Internet traffic by BitSight sensors on the Internet to detect if the company’s IT assets, such as computers, server or network, have been commandeered by threats such as botnets or denial-of-service attacks. But she acknowledges there’s not yet a way for BitSight to determine what security issues might arise in a company’s use of cloud services. Cambridge, Mass.-based BitSight has received $24 million in venture-capital funding from investors that include Menlo Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Commonwealth Capital and Flybridge Capital partners.

Defense.net is focusing on stopping denial-of-service attacks aimed by attackers at both enterprises and cloud service providers. Founded by its CTO Barrett Lyon, who started another anti-distributed denial-of-service firm called Prolexic in 2003, Defense.net relies on a cloud service without the need for an appliance to mitigate against large-scale DDoS assaults. Many in the industry say DDoS attacks are growing worse in scale and number. For his part, Lyon says he thinks the average DDoS attack is probably 16 times larger and “significantly more sophisticated than it was a year earlier.” Defense.net has received $9.5 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners.

Illumio, founded by its CEO Andrew Rubin earlier this year, is still in stealth mode, maintaining a discrete silence about its intentions. But the little hints sprinkled across its website indicate the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company’s focus is likely to be tackling cloud-based security with an emphasis on virtualization. Illumio has brought in former VMware techies and execs. As for Rubin himself, he was formerly CEO at Cymtec Systems, a security firm providing the means for visibility, protection and control by the enterprise of Web content and mobile devices, plus a means for intrusion-detection analysis. Illumio has received more than $42 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Formation 8 and others.

Lacoon Mobile Security has come up with a sandboxing approach to detect zero-day malware targeting Android and Apple iOS devices by means of a small lightweight agent that examines mobile applications through behavior analysis and a process tied to the Lacoon cloud gateway. The start-up was founded by CEO Michael Shaulov, vice president of research and development Ohad Bobrov, and Emanuel Avner, the CFO. The company has its R&D arm in Israel and its headquarters in San Francisco. It’s backed by $8 million in venture-capital funding led by Index Ventures, plus $2.7 million in angel investing, including from Shlomo Kramer, CEO at Imperva.

Malcovery Security, based in Pittsburgh, was basically spun out in 2012 from research on phishing done at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, according to its CEO Greg Coticchia. Targeted phishing attacks can have disastrous outcomes when devices are targeted to infiltrate organizations and steal data. Coticchia says the Malcovery technologies offered to businesses include ways to identify phishing websites and a service that can detect phishing e-mail. The company’s founders include Gary Warner, director of research in cyber forensics at the University of Alabama, and the start-up has received about $3 million in funding from patents and research from the university.

Netskope wants to help businesses monitor how their employees are using cloud-based applications and apply security controls to it, such as giving IT managers the ability to block data transfers or receive alerts. The Netskope service can apply security controls to about 3,000 different cloud-based applications, whether they be SaaS, PaaS or Iaas. The Netskope service is meant to let IT divisions get a grip on cloud usage and avoid the “shadow IT” issue of business people initiating cloud services without informing IT at all. The Los Altos, Calif.-based start-up was founded in 2012 by CEO Sanjay Beri along with chief architect Ravi Ithal, chief scientist Krishna Narayanaswami, and Lebin Chang, head of application engineering teams, all who bring tech industry experience ranging from Juniper to Palo Alto Networks to VMware. Netskope has amassed $21 million in venture funding from Social+Capital Partnership and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

PrivateCore is a crypto-based security play, focusing on making use of the central processing unit (CPU) as the trusted component to encrypt data in use. PrivateCore has come up with what it calls its vCage software that relies on the Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge CPU for secure processing through means of Intel Sandy Bridge-based servers in cloud environments, first off in IaaS. The challenge in processing encrypted data is “the problem with having to decrypt to do processing,” says Oded Horovitz, CEO of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up he co-founded with Steve Weis, CTO, and Carl Waldspurger as adviser. The vCage approach, based on Intel CPU Sandy Bridge, makes use of the Intel Trusted Execution Technologies and Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm to perform the processing in RAM. This can be done with Intel Sandy Bridge because there’s now about 20MB of cache available, he points out, enough to get the job done. The data in question is only unencrypted in the CPU. This encryption approach is being tested now by IaaS providers and some enterprises, and PrivateCore expects to have its first product in general release early next year. The start-up has received $2.4 million in venture capital from Foundation Capital.

SkycureA is all about mobile-device security, with its initial focus on Apple iOS iPhones and iPads. It recently introduced what’s described as an intrusion-detection and prevention package for mobile devices, which Skycure’s co-founder and CTO Yair Amit says relies on the Skycure cloud service for security purposes. He says the goal is to prevent and mitigate any impact from attackers exploiting configuration profiles on mobile devices. Skycure, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, was co-founded by CEO Adi Sharabani and the company has received about $3 million in venture-capital funding from Pitango Venture Capital and angel investors.

Synack was founded by two former National Security Agency (NSA) computer network operations analysts, CEO Jay Kaplan and CTO Mark Kuhr. According to them, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based start-up is bringing together security experts with expertise in finding zero-day bugs in software, particularly in websites and applications of Synack customers. “We pay researchers for vulnerabilities found,” explained Kaplan last August as Synack officially debuted. He says bug bounty rates typically run a minimum of $500 to several thousand for serious vulnerabilities in databases, for example. Synack says it has cultivated relationships with several bug hunters around the world, including at the NSA, who would be available to take on specific assignments. Synack A has received $1.5 million in venture-capital funding from a combination of investors that A include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greylock Partners, Wing Venture Partners, Allegis Capital and Derek Smith, CEO of start-up Shape Security.

Threat Stack, founded by CEO Dustin Webber with Jennifer Andre, wants to give enterprises a way to know if hackers are breaking into Linux-based servers that they may use in their cloud services. To monitor for hacker activity, the start-up’s Cloud Sight agent software for Linux needs to be installed on the Linux server under administrative control in the cloud environment, says Webber. “We look for the behavior of the hacker,” he points out, noting the enterprise will get an alert if a hacker break-in is underway and a measure of forensics about incidents can be obtained if needed. Cloud Sight could also be potentially used by cloud service providers as well but the initial focus is on monitoring for the enterprise, he says. Threat Stack, founded in Cambridge, Mass., in 2012, has obtained $1.2 million in funding from Atlas Venture and .406 Ventures. The start-up is yet another example of why there’s new energy directed toward finding ways to provide visibility, monitoring and security for businesses adopting cloud services.

7 Characteristics of Really Great Marketing Content

Standard
iTunes includes visualizers. Shown here is a v...

iTunes includes visualizers. Shown here is a visualizer first delivered with iTunes 8, including black orbs and moving specks of light. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deutsch: Entwickler: ICT Solutions AG Aktuelle...

Deutsch: Entwickler: ICT Solutions AG Aktuelle Version: 5.1.3 (September 2010) Betriebssystem: unabhängig Kategorie: Web Content Management System Lizenz: Software as a Service (SaaS) Deutschsprachig: ja http://www.ict.ag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Executive Summary
Content drives business, and at any given moment
buyers are searching for information that will inform them,
educate them, or help them solve a problem. Whether
it’s a data sheet, white paper, demo script, or web page,
marketing content needs to speak to the needs of your
prospects and customers while being geared to targeted
points in your sales process.
It can be a delicate balance, but getting the right message
to the right person at the right time offers tremendous
upside: it establishes credibility and authority, creates
brand affinity, and – maybe most importantly – reduces
sales resistance.
So how do you craft great marketing content that
gets results?
While there’s no cookie-cutter methodology for every
business, there are specific characteristics that most, if not
all, successful marketing content shares.
This guide gives you the top seven characteristics – and
also gives you the seven best practices for developing
content that resonates with your target audience, no
matter where they are in the buying cycle.
1. The targeted audience: Know who
you’re talking to
Imagine pitching specialty cat food to a dog person.
Promoting the benefits of a buffalo steak to a vegan.
Pushing a SaaS solution to a person who isn’t familiar with
cloud hosting.
Great marketing content…
1. Speaks to a targeted audience
2. Fits a specific place in the buying cycle
3. Tells your story with customer-centric
examples
4. Uses meaningful images
5. Can be used in interesting, varied media
6. Employs a clear call-to-action
7. Can be parsed into additional pieces for
optimum use and visibility
It’s amazing how much [content] is published
without ever answering the questions, “Who is this
for?” and “What do I want her to do?”
— Doug Kessler
Co-founder and creative director of Velocity
Instead, pick a target reader – a specific persona – and
direct your content to that person. By focusing on a single
individual, you give yourself the freedom to pursue a
meaningful conversation, which helps you create content
(a single piece or a series) that addresses the person’s
unique issues, challenges and aspirations.
2. Know where content fits in the
buying cycle
Whether they’re prospects or returning customers,
buyers go through several process steps when making
a purchasing decision. By understanding these steps
and aligning your content with them, you can satisfy
their concerns, answer questions, ease objections, and
increase their confidence at each stage, all of which
prompts them to take the next step.
Common buying cycle steps include Discovery, Interest,
Consideration, Purchase and Reconversion. But
regardless of how many steps you identify or what you call
them, the takeaway is to have a well-planned buying cycle
for each persona, which will help you craft content that
appeals to each type of customer at each stage of their
process.
3. Tell your story with customer-centric
examples
Storytelling works, particularly when it’s relevant to your
prospect’s needs and concerns. So instead of describing
your product’s features, tell the story of its benefits,
showcasing real-world examples of how it can be – or
is being – used to solve specific problems or achieve
specific goals.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
• Customer success stories
• Case studies or use case scenarios
• Solution briefs
• Best practice summaries or reviews from existing
customers
• Matrices showing outcomes or ROI comparisons
By positioning your messaging to focus on what your
customers want and need, you’ll not only increase your
reach and readership, you’ll also make your offering feel
safer and more appealing to buyers.
4. Use meaningful images
Images make everything better – at least, everything
online. Case in point: according to recent research by
MDG Advertising, articles containing relevant images
have an average of 94 percent more total views than
articles without them. And when searching, 60 percent
of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a
business that has an image show up in local search
results.
The benefits of graphics are well documented. From
intriguing photography to informative illustrations,
countless studies have confirmed what we all know:
the human eye likes pictures. But just because you can
capture attention doesn’t mean you can keep it. In fact,
the sheer volume of visual stimuli has made us somewhat
inured to a lot of it.
One or two stock photos are
fine, but how many more
beautiful women standing in
server rooms can we take?
— Paul McKeon,
President of The Content Factory
So the key is to ensure your images are meaningful to
your target audience, and that they communicate original
and relevant information.
For example: use real people, real quotes, customer logos,
infographics, charts, and photos of actual customers
using your product. Don’t use irrelevant stock images.
Images can make your marketing content pop, improve
searchability, and increase interest and engagement. But
use them wisely to ensure they relate to your prospect’s
needs and your content’s message. Otherwise they may
have the opposite effect.
7. Create once, amplify everywhere
After taking the (often considerable) time to thoughtfully
develop and design a great piece of content, it would be
easy to publish it and check it off the to-do list. Done and
done.
But don’t do that.
Instead, make the last 100 yards of your publishing effort
about expansion – extending your content’s reach in order
to maximize its visibility and increase your brand’s authority.
This concept goes by many terms including scaling,
optimizing, repurposing, re-using, and Rule of 5. But
essentially it’s a form of “write once, use everywhere,”
where the goal is to capitalize on your primary contentcreation
effort by making it available in as many
touchpoints as possible.
Here are the key practices, with examples, to help kick-start
your brainstorming.
Build content that can be used in several
different ways:
• Have a meaty white paper? Extract two main ideas
from it and create two briefs, a handful of blog posts,
and an infographic.
• Planning a webinar? Make it available on-demand
from your website, iTunes, or YouTube. Post the
presentation deck on SlideShare. Create a Q&A from
the session.
• Conducting interviews for future content? Consider
turning the interviews into thought-leader Q&As,
capturing them as videos (each with its own landing
page), or creating a webinar.
Cross-promote content to increase traffic and
extend brand reach:
• Include social and share links in your content
whenever and wherever appropriate.
• Distribute your content across as many appropriate
social media platforms as possible. Social media
management tools can make this a relatively quick
process.
5. Think beyond the PDF
Medium matters. Just as important as the content itself,
the format it’s delivered in plays a significant role in how
well – or not – it speaks to your prospects.
Although PDFs still have a sizable fan base in the B2B
space, today’s digital options have essentially blown the
doors off the old paradigm, opening a brave new world of
opportunities in delivering information.
For example, instead of defaulting to the standard PDF,
could you create a slide-share? Animation? Infographic?
Video? If a PDF is still the best choice, could it be
interactive?
As possibilities and reader preferences continue to evolve,
be sure to consider your personas, messages, business
type, and sales funnel when determining which format (or
formats) are the best for showcasing your content.
6. Use a call-to-action
The goal of marketing content is to spur action. Whether
it’s a download, a phone call, a form completion, or
a purchase, your content is ultimately meant to move
prospects down the sales funnel and convert them into
buyers.
To accomplish this, you need to tell readers what action
you want them to take. And the more explicit, the better.
So rather than simply adding “contact us” at the end of
every piece of content, create calls to action that match
where your prospects are in the buying cycle – their
questions and concerns. Be specific about what your
prospects can do next, guiding them along and helping
them take the next logical step.
Did you know … you can easily optimize your
images for search engines? For a comprehensive
guide to today’s SEO, download our white paper:
SEO 101: The Basics (and Beyond).
• Link to previously published content. For example,
if you mention a complementary piece of content in
a blog post, link to it. By cross-linking your content,
readers have more opportunity to spend time with
your brand and get introduced to other content
(read: expertise, offers, products, and services). The
cascading effects of this practice can be significant.
Ensure content can be found by the
search engines:
• Incorporate keywords and metadata appropriately
and correctly – including what the audience sees
and what the search engines see.
• Write compelling headlines to draw in potential
readers. Be sure to leveraging keywords.
• Unsure how to optimize for search? Our white
paper, SEO 101: The Basics (and Beyond), can
help. (See what we just did there? If not, re-read the
“cross-promote content” section directly above.)
By keeping a strategic eye on these content optimization
practices, you can expand your visibility, amplify your
messages, and increase your authority where it counts:
with prospects, current customers, and search engines.
It’s about working smarter, not harder.
Crafting the Conversation
No matter what business or industry you’re in, creating
effective, useful content is critical. Is it easy? No. Not if
quality is your goal, which is should be – it must be – if
you want to stay relevant and grow in a world overflowing
with unprecedented competition for the most valuable of
resources: time.
But it’s also completely doable.
By focusing on the needs, pain points, and preferences
of your target audience, you can create content that
encourages new conversations, provides the right level of
information at the right time, and ultimately gets results.
About Act-On Software
Act-On Software’s integrated marketing automation suite
is the foundation of successful marketing programs, from
simple and direct, to sophisticated and globally executed
campaigns.
Act-On is a cloud-based marketing platform that enables
marketers to tie inbound, outbound and nurturing
programs together in a single dashboard. Scalable and
intuitive, Act-On supports sales as well as marketing and is
fast to implement, easy to use, and powerful.

Model Legal Documents

Standard
Early Hamilton Ontario legal documents pertain...

Early Hamilton Ontario legal documents pertaining to Hand Fireworks Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Early Hamilton Ontario legal documents pertain...

Early Hamilton Ontario legal documents pertaining to Hand Fireworks Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Model Legal Documents