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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox June 25th, 2021

Thoughts From My Inbox

June 25th, 2021

Dining Out, Waffles, and Data Breaches

I had to compile this week’s reading list on Wednesday afternoon, as I’m in NYC for the weekend. I’m not concerned giving that info out, however, as our house/dog sitter is a 26 year old former college offensive lineman. Surprisingly, the old inbox was pretty full through three days, which means I’ll have more to choose from for next week’s edition. I hope this week’s edition offers you something worthwhile, and I hope it makes you hungry!



Something About…


Customer Service

We at Ashton are looking to innovate our operations and set ourselves apart from the rest of our industry. We were inspired by hotel chain citizen M and their efforts to move into a ‘blue ocean’. Our goal is to deliver THE BEST service that our clients have ever experienced from a business partner.  To that end, I’d like to solicit your feedback as a business owner or decision maker, whether you’re an existing Ashton client or not.  Drop me a line if you’re willing to share your thoughts over lunch.  My treat, and you choose the restaurant (there’s a pretty good list, below).



Data Breaches

As if the cruise ship industry isn’t having enough trouble due to COVID, now we find out that Carnival has been hit by another data breach.  And while Carnival claims their breach was minimal, it looks like CVS had over a billion records exposed.  Oops.   These are both good reminders to change your passwords if you think you’ve been involved in a breach, and to not use the same password across multiple accounts.



Manufacturing Firms

Manufacturing firms are one of the most commonly targeted by ransomware and malware. They have lots of data and intellectual property, and large ransoms can be demanded when being forced offline can have significant short and long term costs associated. It’s also our experience that many manufacturing firms are slow to the party when it comes to cyber security and just don’t think that they’re a target.  This article reminds us that they are.




Autonomous Vehicles

I don’t trust most people enough to let them drive me, so I’m surely not going the route of an autonomous vehicle.  Why have a horn and a gas pedal if you can’t use them?  That said, researchers have proven that they can blind vehicles to obstacles through use of audio signals.


Cow Poop

I’m not sure why this ended up in my inbox, but who knew there was a black market for hot manure?


Dining Out

If you’re looking for a good list of the best restaurants in Cleveland, this looks to be a good starting point.  Local chef Doug Trattner compiled the list, and it moves from west to east, from Lakewood to Moreland Hills.  Not surprisingly, there are more on the westside and downtown, but I can’t argue with his choices. (If you want to try one of these out on me, read the first item, above.)



There’s been a lot of talk about cyber liability insurance here, lately, and I had a bunch more come through the inbox this week.  I worked at Progressive Insurance for a longtime, so this one about cyber vs. property damage as it relates to ransomware was pretty interesting.  Numerous businesses have claimed “property damage” due to Covid lockdowns and their “inability to use their property”.  The cases mentioned herein were all rejected by various courts. Will that effect businesses that don’t have cyber insurance and file property damage claims when they’re hit by ransomware?  Is there precedent to claim that a temporary inability to access data and systems is a property loss?


Niche Sports

Recently, we’ve covered ultimate frisbee and surfing… now comes a piece regarding a variety of niche sports and some of their most ‘famous’ players. Disc golf, lacrosse, archery, and bowling… but this piece is more about marketing the player and the sport, than about the sports themselves.  A long read but pretty interesting to see how social media has helped create six and seven figure incomes for niche athletes.


Multifactor Authentication

 Microsoft claimed way back in 2019 that multifactor authentication made it 99.9% less likely that you would fall victim to cybercrime. That’s interesting because while the quote attributed to a Microsoft employee says “less likely” the title of the article says that MFA will block99.9% of attacks.  “Less likely” is not the same as “block all attacks”, which is precisely why we can’t trust headlines (clickbait) anymore, and have to question everything.  Regardless, hackers have found a way (however, rare and difficult it is) to bypass MFA. I can’t speak to statistics or quotes, but I will say that across our entire client base, nobody with MFA in place has been compromised.  (Thanks to Rick Freer for that tidbit… he’ll be getting some Ashton swag on his doorstep!)



 This appeared in my inbox not once, but twice, on Monday.  The first time I ignored.  The second time, I figured I should read and share.  The punishment for being dead last in a fantasy football league was to spend 24hours at a Waffle House, with each waffle eaten reducing the punishment by one hour.  I’ve never eaten at Waffle House, but it seems he wasn’t in a hurry to get out of there.  Only six waffles?


Gretzky Behind The Back

 Had to include this one because Wayne Gretzky is my all-time favorite athlete (note to all the social engineers out there- his name doesn’t appear in any of my passwords).  He’s just joined forces with Joe Tsai of Alibaba fame (a former Yale lax player), pro golfer Dustin Johnson (Wayne’s son-in-law) and former NBA player Steve Nash, and now owns a share of the new National Lacrosse League team in Vegas.  And having been quite the lacrosse player as a kid, it’s no surprise that he still looks pretty good going behind the back.

I hope you have a great weekend, and don’t forget that I’m always looking for interesting items coming through my inbox.  If you have one, hit that green “submit” button below and send it my way. If I use it, I’ll send you some Ashton swag.


Have a great weekend, 


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