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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox January 29th, 2021

Thoughts From My Inbox
January 29th, 2021

 

Wow. Lots of good stuff in the inbox this week!  The usual phishing and password issues, but a variety of other things from the worlds of technology and sports. So, without further ado…

 

Something About…

 

Swatting

This one has been in my inbox for awhile, but since I don’t recall ever bringing up the topic of ‘swatting’, I though this might be beneficial.  Swatting is the idea of placing a prank coal to the local S.W.A.T. team to gain revenge on somebody. It often involves online video gamers, but now the FBI is seeing internet connected smart devices being used for following swatting calls. One more reason to make sure your IoT devices (cameras, doorbells, refrigerators, tvs) are properly secured.

 

 

Phishing

I realize that I share a lot of information about phishing, but that’s because it’s the most common threat to cybersecurity at the present moment. So, if my weekly Thoughts helps one reader to avoid getting scammed, then my efforts have been successful.  Security Magazine recently released the top five phishing scams of 2020, and how to avoid being taken advantage of.  Also provided are tips for how businesses can help their employees defend their networks.

 

 

Ghosts (Sort Of)

Came across a great piece by the folks at Sophos (the security solutions we provide to our clients and that we use internally) that highlights why you need to immediately remove former employees’ accounts and access from your network, the moment they leave your employ. For one thing, it’s just good practice to keep you network neat and tidy.  More importantly, it prevents malicious folks from getting back into your network to cause problems.  We actually prefer that our clients let us know BEFORE they show somebody the door- that way, we can take all the proper measures to prevent malicious activity.

 

 

Apple Updates

Unlike Microsoft, which has regularly scheduled security patch updates (“Patch Tuesday”, the 4th Tuesday of every month), Apple pushes out patches quickly and without being scheduled.  Evidently, Apple feels that by not offering advance notice, hackers are less likely to take advantage of those issues being patched.  According to this piece from Sophos, these just released Apple patches for iOS and iPadOS must be urgent, based on the length (short) of the announcement.

 

 

Business Continuity

Our friend Anton Ruighaver at Techlinq (New Jersey) posted (and sent to me) a good piece about business continuity planning.  What if your company suddenly got word that your entire workforce had to begin working remotely (can’t imagine that happening, but let’s pretend)?  Do you have a plan in place and have you considered the technology needs that a requirement like that demand?  What if it were something more realistic, like a blizzard that prevents your team from getting to the office, or one that caves in your roof due to the weight of the snow?  These things require strategy, insight, and planning, well before they happen.

 

 

Students

As you might remember from last week, the younger generation is a little more lax about proper IT security.  This week, we have a few tips for students (and non-students) based on more evidence that they don’t really concern themselves with proper security.  Tip #3 herein reminds users to lock their computers when they step away.  Here at Ashton, our marketing and sales associate Cat can speak to that one.  She was rather confused when she came back to her desk only to find the mouse buttons switched from left to right, and the language having been changed to Albanian…

 

 

Winter Sports

It’s one of the most famous World Cup ski runs on the circuit, and is known as the “Hahnenkamm” or “Streif”.  It takes place in Kitzbuhel, Austria and was run last week for the 81st time.  I missed the tv coverage this year, but remember even as a little kid watching the racers come over the Mausefalle (mousetrap) jump, early on in the two minute, three kilometer run for the bottom. I figured the article I read wouldn’t do it justice, and found a cool YouTube video, instead.

 

 

More Winter Sports

Were you aware of the fact that there are two curling clubs in Cleveland? They’ve both been around longer than me, but that doesn’t mean that curling is overly popular.  Looks like a lot of fun and it’s become a big hit on Winter Olympic coverage every four years.  Plus, the Norwegian team usually has some outstanding pants!  Anyhow, it seems that the Mayfield Curling Club has recently opened a new facility on Miles Rd., in Warrensville Heights.  The piece states that they are looking for new members and are open to beginners… here’s your chance to become a curler!

 

 

Sailing

The Vendee Globe is a single handed (solo) sailboat race around the world.  It wrapped up yesterday after 11 weeks.  As you can imagine, it seems like a pretty intense challenge, and while I’d never heard of it before, it provides some pretty interesting reading material.

 

 

 

That’s all for this week.  Looks like a perfect winter weekend, and I hope you’ll take advantage of it.  I’m headed out for some skiing tomorrow (no Hahnenkamm for me) and hopefully some pond hockey on Sunday.  Any big plans for you? I hope you enjoy it, regardless.

Best,
Jim

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