Thoughts From My Inbox

November 5th, 2021

Skiing, TikTok, and Cyber Attacks

Sorry I’m late!  Had a lunch meeting downtown today with a local cyber security and data privacy attorney, as we plan an upcoming webinar on the legal aspects of cyber security and how technology can help.  Stay tuned for details of the event that will take place during the week of Dec. 14th.

 

 Like it or not, ski season is right around the corner (there’s a really cool video included below) and that’s the reason for the image of Wengen, Switzerland.  I had a networking meeting with a business coach earlier this week, and he raved about Wengen as a ski resort.  It does look pretty cool. Scroll down for skiing, Apple polishing, TikTok, and more.

 

Something About…

 

Apple Polishers
We’ve been having difficulty getting various pieces of hardware for well over a year now. It started with webcams and laptops when the lockdowns first hit and people had to work from home. Currently, it’s anything with chips; Switches, laptops, PCs and the like for us, while cars, appliances, and plenty of other consumer goods are also in short supply.But how about Apple?  It seems that their most back-ordered item (out of stock until January 11th) is a $19.99 microfiber polishing cloth.  According to the NYT article (which doesn’t seem to be behind a paywall), these generally sell for $9 for a six pack.  Leave it to good marketing and creating such a strong brand that people will pay just for the logo on the item.

 

Customer Complaints

If you ask me, customer service is a lost art, and many businesses couldn’t seem to care less any more.  That makes this next scam all the more reasonable. Cyber criminals have created fake “customer complaint” emails, leading people to believe that they’re in trouble at work

  

 

Travel and Tourism
Amazingly, I have no real estate listings of note for this week, so I went for travel and tourism instead.  If you’ve ever seen a Wes Anderson movie (“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is first to mind, although there’s a new one out called “The French Dispatch”), you’ll see humor in this Instagram account.  If you’re not familiar with Anderson’s movies (thanks to my son Jimmy for his odd taste in movies), you may not appreciate these images.

 

 

 

Top 10 Ransomware Tactics

Anybody who’s familiar with ransomware knows that the most common methodology used by the bad actors is to encrypt your data, and demand a ransom before giving you the encryption key.  That’s expanded to publishing data, deleting data backups, and more. Our friends at Sophos have created a list of the top 10 ways to put pressure on users in hopes of ‘earning’ a ransom.

 

Ski Season

Anybody else ready for ski season?  Watch this video, or at least the 2 minute Twitter clip and you’ll be waxing those skis up before you know it!

 

At Risk Businesses

In reality, every business is at risk from ransomware, whether you have valuable data or just need access to your network to run your company.  Cyber criminals are becoming more focused on specific targets though (as opposed to the old “spray and pray” methodology of pushing ransomware out the door), and some businesses are definitely a more valuable target.  What makes your business interesting to a cyber criminal?  Here’s a list of items.  

 

TikTok
I’m not on it but a good friend who’s six or seven years older than me is, and he sends me videos all the time. I don’t get it.  I also asked our soon to be 24 year old marketing assistant, Cat, if Ashton should be on it.  She humored me and created a few videos. They actually got a fair number of views, but in the end, she didn’t think it was for us. I came across a post yesterday about an 18 year old college student who has 1.2 million TikTok followers, which lead into her own clothing line, and now the possibility of creating her own YouTube channel. Just because she liked to record herself and her friends dancing.  As a marketer, I find that pretty interesting.  As a 52 year old, I just find it odd.

 

 

Weatherhead 100

We got some pretty exciting news a few weeks back, when it was announced that, for the first time, Ashton made the Weatherhead 100 list of the fastest growing businesses in Greater Cleveland (if you follow Ashton on social media, you may have already seen the news).  The rankings are based on growth in revenues over the past five years, so for 2021, it’s based on annual revenues from 2016-2020.  We won’t know where we rank until the December 9th awards ceremony, but we’re excited to be rubbing elbows with 99 other very successful companies!

 

 

Combating Cyber Attacks

As noted ↑↑, every business is at risk from cyber attacks.  SMBs are often at greater risk due to the fact that they think they aren’t at risk.  And generally speaking, they don’t have the proper security measures in place. An educated workforce is a great starting point.  Here are a few other opportunities.

 

 

Until three weeks ago, I’d never heard the term ‘scorigami’ before, and I included it in Thoughts From My Inbox. Last week, there was another first time NFL score, and it happened again last night when the Colts beat the Jets 45-30.  That’s the first game in NFL history to finish with that score, and the 1,070th different scoring combination.  Since scoring a single point in the NFL is impossible, I don’t foresee the Browns breaking any records this weekend.  Is it too much to ask for a win, though?

 

Don’t forget to set your clocks back on Saturday night, and enjoy the nice weather while we still have it!

 

 

Go Bucks!

Jim