Thoughts From My Inbox

April 8th, 2022

Azaleas, Emergency Fraud, and Hockey Tickets

Wow. What a busy week!  And while it doesn’t look to be calming down from a sales perspective, I’ll take it!  If you’ve been reading recently, we’ve had an engineering position open (I think soon to be filled, hopefully) and if a few things fall into place, we’re going to need a couple more spots filled.  If you know somebody with a technical background or technical aptitude, send them my way.    In the meantime, I hope you find some time to watch The Masters, Frozen Four finals (I have to say that I’m glad That Team Up North lost in OT last night), or a good baseball game this weekend!

 

Something About…

 

NYC Schools

Not really posting this because we have a specific interest in the NYC schools or their recent data breach. I am posting it, however, as a reminder that supply chain threats are very real, and can be very bad.  In this case, a breach at a California software company led to the personal data of 850,000 NYC students being exposed.  Take this as a reminder that not only do you need to worry about your own network, you need to worry about the networks of those you work with.   And, keep in mind that a properly secured network is a great marketing tool.  As in “do business with my company, not the company down the street- look at all the extra security precautions we take to secure your data and ours.”

 

The Masters

I can’t say that I watch all that much golf on tv, but I do enjoy The Masters (and I really wish I could get our azaleas to look as good as those at Augusta National).  And as a sports fan, I know that the prior year’s winner gets to pick the menu for the current year’s Champions Dinner.  This article appeared this week, and I was curious to see what was on the menu.  But then I was a bit taken aback by the enthusiasm the writer showed in reviewing the selections.

 

MFA
Multifactor authentication goes a long way in helping to protect your network and your data, but different types of MFA have different levels of success.  There’s a new hack aimed at those whose MFA relies on receiving a phone call and accepting an automation request.  As this article states;   “Call the employee 100 times at 1 am while he is trying to sleep, and he will more than likely accept it. Once the employee accepts the initial call, you can access the MFA enrollment portal and enroll another device.”

 

 

100 Ransomware Variants
Do you care that there are 100+ ransomware variants that the FBI is currently investigating?  Probably not.  But this is a good reminder that your old school ‘anti-virus’ solution isn’t going to stop those 100 different threats.

 

Modern ‘end-point protection’ solutions stop threats by looking for questionable activities taking place on your network.  Conversely, ‘anti-virus’ looks for defined threats.  As these threats change on a regular basis, many don’t provide the good guys enough time to define them (aka ‘zero-day’ attacks).  If you’re still using a solution that only looks for those defined threats, it’s time to upgrade.  Now!

Cleveland Monsters Tickets
Ashton has Cleveland Monsters season tickets, and we’ve not been doing a very good job of getting to games this year.  We’re just too busy.  To that end, we have four games coming up next weekend and into the following week, and I’d like to offer them to you, the dedicated readers.  Please email me directly (you can hit the big green button, below, that says “Submit a Thought” and let me know which game you’d like.  We have four tickets and a parking pass for each game.  As always, first come, first served!

  • April 15th 7P Laval Rocket
  • April 16th 7P Laval Rocket
  • April 19th 7p Utica Comets
  • April 20th 7P Utica Comets
The Dark Web and VPNs

The blurb about this article said that it would explain the Darkweb in plain English.  Maybe they meant plain English for people with a lot more technical expertise than me, as I didn’t get very far.  That said, we occasionally get questions about a couple of items coverered herein; the Darkweb and the use of VPNs to anonymize yourself on the web (for legit and legal reasons).  If you always wanted to learn more about how the Darkweb works, here’s your chance.   

Hockey Goals

There’ve been three pretty amazing goals in the past week- two thanks to some quick thinking teammates, and one from a lacrosse player moonlighting in the NHL.

Employment Fraud

This is an interesting one, especially for students who will soon be in the job market.  Scammers are hitting up students with offers to work from home, and asking for personal information to complete job applications.  There goes all of your personal data, out the door…  And as the article says, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Emergency Data Requests
When law enforcement agencies are looking for information about social media users or specific internet site users, they generally have to file formal requests.  However, when there is the risk of “imminent harm or death” to somebody involved, said law enforcement agency might make an Emergency Data Request, which often allows them access to pertinent info, immediately.

Of course it makes sense that hackers have figured this out and are now impersonating law enforcement agencies to steal personal information.

Buying NFTs

One of my dedicated readers knows how much I love the idea of NFTs, and he’s right there with me.  So he regularly sends me articles that just make us shake our heads about people paying big bucks for digital images (like the one that appears at the top of this article on what a pain it is to get set up to buy these things).  

 

Well, we’ve made it this far and I can’t think of anything else to say.  Have to run so I can get a proposal out the door; another company migrating to Microsoft 365 for Office, email, and data sharing.  Just sold one of those projects yesterday, and have another proposal in progress.  If you’re not using Microsoft 365 yet, let us know.

 

Have a great weekend,

 

Jim