An Interview with Carlos Urbaneja About Security Consulting and Risk Management

Carlos Urbaneja has been an attorney and security consultant for more than two decades. He was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. As an adult, he made a conscious decision to leave his home country in favor of immigrating to the United States, ultimately putting down roots in Miami, Florida. He earned his law degree in the year 2000. 

In the years since, Carlos Urbaneja has been involved in a number of business ventures in various security capacities, and currently works providing consulting services to several U.S. security agencies. He has worked in both the private and public sectors, engaging in projects with large corporations and the United States Government alike, primarily in the realms of risk assessment and threat identification. Throughout his career, Carlos has cultivated a well-honed ability to recognize anything—be it a dubious legal practice, a technological vulnerability, or a potentially dangerous human factor—that might pose a genuine danger to governmental organizations and large corporations.

When not working, Carlos spends the majority of his time with his wife and sons.

Why did you decide to create your own business?

After years of providing corporate ‘bulletproofing,’ I encountered a personal issue that showed me a new path forward. It led me to begin consulting on prospective legal concerns within corporate structures. It’s important to prevent major problems that evolve from poor corporate structure, but it’s also important to head off major concerns, such as the one I endured, from developing. Risk management is a critical component to developing strong corporate security, and governmental understanding of a corporation’s structure empowers both venues to identify and rapidly rectify concerns.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

I enjoy every aspect of my average workday. It goes something like this: I get up early and exercise. After that, it’s off to the office. Upon arriving, I usually set up or take meetings for quite a while. The company has offices in both Latin America and the United States, so there are always a great many details to sort out, including contract negotiations, risk and security reports, and everyday paperwork. My first regular meeting is at 10 am and after that, I prioritize my tasks and participate in conference calls. Throughout the rest of the day, I ensure the production of documents and requisitions as required based on the needs of each client. At the end of the day, after spending quality time with my family, I review what has been accomplished and make updates wherever needed before finally heading to bed around 2 am. I know it sounds like a long day, but I really do love it.

What would you tell others looking to get into your industry?

It’s vital to get all the data possible before making any decision. Luck doesn’t have to factor into anything, as long as you do the requisite research. Any situation you enter into when properly prepared will improve the outcome for all sides. Doubly so if all parties concerned are well prepared. 

What keeps you motivated?

I derive a lot of satisfaction and inspiration from the people I work with, as well as building and implementing new ideas. I think brainstorming with my team is absolutely crucial. The company is filled with talented team members, each fueled with insights and inspiration. After being presented with a few ideas that we all agree would be worth pursuing, we systemize them and explore them thoroughly. This investigative process can take a lot of twists and turns, but it keeps things flowing. 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned managing your business?

The strategy we’ve employed that has most helped us grow the business has been providing undeniably effective results. Consistently making our clients happy and more secure has solidified our reputation in the industry, which in turn has brought us more business. There is no better advertisement for us than our long track record of success.

What trends in your industry excite you? 

I really appreciate the value we’ve found in holding meetings on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms, and they empower us to connect across the world without the cost of airfare and travel. At the same time, I will temper my excitement by saying that I think perhaps the company depends too much on technology. We need to remember that connecting in person and directly with our clients is more than a nice gesture; it’s a trust-builder.

What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome? 

One of my personal failures was also a business failure. I gained a lot of weight for a while. A year ago, I made the decision to correct that. The correlation between this seemingly personal issue and my business is simple: If I ask my team to be disciplined, I need to be as well. That realization led me to lose about 65 pounds, which has made me feel better and allowed me to stay much more focused on work.

What pieces of advice would you give to others? 

My first piece of advice would be not to trust everyone. Even if a proposition sounds incredibly good and it’s pitched by a person you want to trust, make sure you’re making a choice based on research instead of emotion. Many people say that, but they forget that feeling good about something is an emotion. It was that particular emotion that led me into a partnership that should have been avoided. My second piece of advice is research your choices, and even your possible partnerships. By doing so, you may ultimately save yourself a lot of time, money, and headache.

Outside of work, what defines you as a person? 

When I’m not working, I spend most of my time with my wonderful family. Making sure they’re cared for and they know they’re loved defines me as a person.

Artemis I Mission Almost Completes its Goal

NASA’s Artemis 1 mission almost achieves its goal after the Orion spacecraft successfully passed by the Moon and will now head to the Earth.

NASA officially launched the first Artemis mission to the Moon last month after many cancelations months prior. The capsule spent 15 days traversing along the scheduled path from the Earth to the Moon’s orbit, then back to our planet. It burst out of the Moon’s orbit on Thursday.

NASA hopes to capture several areas on the Moon, including lava beds and danger zones. Some areas have already been explored by astronauts back in the Apollo missions.

If all goes as planned, the Orion spacecraft will land on the Pacific Ocean, miles off the coast of San Diego, on December 11. The Artemis rocket was powered by NASA’s newest Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket to propel a capsule outside the Earth’s atmosphere.

Scientists at NASA expressed confidence that the first Artemis mission will provide them with more knowledge essential for the subsequent Artemis missions.

“The biggest test after the launch is the reentry because we want to know that that heat shield works at about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius), almost half as hot as the sun, coming in at 32 times the speed of sound (nearly 40,000 kilometers per hour),” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

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Artemis I mission, a test

NASA did not permit a live person to embark on the first Artemis mission. The agency said it will still study the effects of the environment on the human body.

Aboard the Orion spacecraft is a specialized mannequin that can gather essential information to support life inside the craft. Moreover, NASA ensured the viability of their capsule and the new rocket system to prevent possible casualties for subsequent missions.

“The biggest test after the launch is the reentry because we want to know that that heat shield works at about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius), almost half as hot as the sun, coming in at 32 times the speed of sound (nearly 40,000 kilometers per hour),” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson

“The team performing the recovery operations is at sea right now performing just-in-time training,” added Michael Sarafin, the mission’s manager.

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More possibility

The success of the current Artemis mission will dictate the future of man’s next mission to the Moon. According to NASA, Artemis II will send humans to the Moon, traveling the same path as Artemis I.

However, they will not disembark from the craft. Meanwhile, NASA hinted that the Artemis III aims to send humans to the Moon and land on the surface of our nearest neighbor.

“Well, for once, I might be speechless. I have talked a lot about appreciating the moment that you’re in. And we have worked hard as a team. You guys have worked hard as a team to this moment. This is your moment,” said Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, the launch director of the mission.

“As we embark on the first Artemis test flight, we recall this agency’s storied past. But our eyes are focused not on the immediate future but out there,” Nelson said months ago.

“It’s a future where NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon. And on these increasingly complex missions, astronauts will live and work in deep space. And we’ll develop the science and technology to send the first humans to Mars.”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Admits he Overlooked the Value of Advertising

Reed Hastings, the founder and co-CEO of streaming behemoth Netflix, recognized the significance of advertising in generating money for the firm.

According to Hastings, he wishes the firm provided advertising in its services earlier. However, he stated that he grew too focused on the intense rivalry from other market giants such as Facebook and Google.

For many years, Netflix shunned the concept of commercial bundles. However, the firm went through financial difficulties many months ago. This encouraged management to look for alternative methods to make money.

“I didn’t believe in the ad-supported tactic for us. I was wrong about that. Hulu proved you could do that at scale and offer customers lower prices. So we did switch on that. I wish we had flipped a few years earlier on that, but we’ll catch up,” Hastings said.

“After a challenging first half, we believe we’re on a path to reaccelerate growth. The key is pleasing members. It’s why we’ve always focused on winning the competition for viewing every day. When our series and movies excite our members, they tell their friends, and then more people watch, join and stay with us,” the company said months ago.

As a response, Hastings rolled out a new subscriber plan with an ad-free option for $6.99 per month. Users who wish to prevent ad interruptions while streaming must pay extra. This is a technique the corporation employs following its enormous loss of members over the years.

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Hastings wants to explore advertising

Hastings confessed that Netflix devised an advertising strategy to attract more members. However, he claimed that he overlooked essential elements many businesses currently employ.

For example, Warner Bros, HBO Max, Paramount, Disney, and Hulu have previously introduced cheaper ad-supported subscriptions to their members.

According to individual reports, the strategies provided corporations with more significant opportunities to generate more money. Increased revenues aided businesses in meeting rising employee and economic expectations.

“Our challenge and opportunity are to accelerate our revenue and membership growth by improving our product, content, and marketing as we’ve done for the last 25 years and better monetize our big audience. We’re in a position of strength given our $30 billion-plus in revenue, $6 billion in operating profit last year, growing free cash flow and a strong balance sheet,” said Netflix in April.

“The big thing that I missed is I was on the Facebook board, so I bought in for a decade to the belief that systems relying on data were going to be able to do higher CPMs than anyone else,” Hastings said.

“So Google and Facebook were going to mop up the world — and they have in non-TV advertising,” he added.

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Exploring more revenue-generating projects

Netflix has also begun to expand its gaming division. The business announced the establishment of a game studio in Finland earlier this year.

This would increase the company’s investments in the gaming business. Amir Rahimi, Vice President of Game Studios, will oversee the studio’s operations. He expressed his faith in the initiative.

“This is another step in our vision to build a world-class games studio that will bring a variety of delightful and deeply engaging original games — with no ads and no in-app purchases — to our hundreds of millions of members around the world,” said Rahimi.

“It’s still early days. Creating a game can take years, so I’m proud to see how we’re steadily building the foundation of our games studios in our first year, and I look forward to sharing what we produce in the coming years,” he added.


White House says it Disagrees with China in Enforcement of Lockdowns

The White House lambasted China’s government for imposing severe Covid lockdowns, which sparked countrywide demonstrations.

The White House statement backed up the demonstrations by Chinese people. It said that the government must protect citizens’ rights to peaceful protest. According to the US government, the Chinese government’s current plan is unsuccessful and unrealistic. Furthermore, it paved the path for rare protests in essential sections of the country.

“We’ve long said everyone has the right to protest peacefully, here in the United States and worldwide. This includes in the PRC,” said Biden’s National Security Council.

“We’ve said that zero COVID is not a policy we are pursuing here in the United States. And as we’ve said, it’s going to be very difficult for the People’s Republic of China to contain this virus through their zero COVID strategy,” it added.

The pandemic has been going on for three years. Wuhan had already implemented lockdowns during that time. As a result, implementing rigorous Covid lockdowns will burden companies and individuals. And this is happening when other nations’ lockdown measures have already been relaxed. According to the US government, the Chinese government must prioritize improving immunization rates and making treatment and testing more accessible.

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The White House thinks otherwise

The country’s strict Covid regulations contributed to a decreased rate of fatalities when compared to other nations like the United States. It did, however, compromise the Chinese economy. The stringent Covid lockdowns exacerbated the country’s economic problems. Individuals’ social life was also disturbed. According to a World Health Organization estimate, approximately 1 million individuals died from Covid in the United States. China, on the other hand, only recorded 30,000 deaths.

“If you look at the prevalence of vaccinations among the elderly, that it was almost counterproductive, the people you needed to protect were not getting protected, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert in the US.

“It seems that in China, it was just a very, very strict extraordinary lockdown where you lock people in the house but without any seeming endgame to it,” Fauci added.

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Demonstrations in the nation

When China announced another state of emergency, the people protested. Protests were held around the country in response to the decision. For example, people in Beijing, Urumqi, and Shanghai came to the streets to protest the ‘impractical’ attitude chosen by their national government. Meanwhile, the economy is suffering as investors are wary of the regular clashes between protesters and police. Protesters have now demanded that Xi quit.

“We need to be braver! Am I breaking the law by holding flowers? We Chinese need to be braver! So many of us were arrested yesterday. Are they without a job or a family? We should not be afraid,” a protester said.

“Every conscientious Chinese should be here. Of course, they don’t have to voice their opinions, but I hope they can stand with us,” said a man.

“We don’t want lockdowns, and we want freedom! Freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of arts, freedom of movement, and personal freedoms. Give me back my freedom,” crowds said in Guangzhou, a city in southern China.