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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox September 3rd, 2021

Thoughts From My Inbox

September 3rd, 2021

Earrings, Counting Sheep, and Covid Phishing

We’re heading into a long weekend (meaning a short work week), the Buckeyes got a W last night (after looking pretty shaky on D), the Tribe finished a four game sweep, the heat and humidity are gone and both the airshow and Geauga County Fair are back. What more can we ask for?!?!  I just finished cooking out here at the office today, and have more grilling on the agenda for Sunday, with some golf in between.  What’s on your list for the weekend?  Better get it done now, as it’s the last weekend for awhile without a Browns game.


Something About…


Remote Work

This blog post from Dave Kennedy at TrustedSec was written just as lockdowns hit Ohio in March of 2020.  Many workers were sent home and security for those remote workers was, in many cases, lax at best.  While offices are back up and running, the ideas around a remote (at least some of the time) work force have changed quite a bit in the past 18 months. Security has not, however, and remote workers pose a very big threat to their employers’ networks.  Here are five great suggestions for keeping your remote workers safe and your network secure.


Hockey and Mobsters

This one is lengthy but if you like hockey or The Sopranos, it’s worth the read (and there’s even a Netflix documentary).    A garbage hauler with mafia ties bought his 17 year old son a hockey team.   They named them the Trashers, which seems appropriate for many reasons.




Taking Security Seriously

Think you’re not at risk?  You are.  Hacked and you don’t bother to do anything about it? Now you’re in bigger trouble.  The SEC announced this week that they are fining three brokerage firms anywhere from $200K-$300K for security breaches that have occurred over recent years.  Honestly, $300K seems like a slap on the wrist, especially considering that eight separate entities make up those being fined. These firms were all hacked and then didn’t bother to train their employees, implement multifactor authentication, or announce the breaches. When will people start to take this stuff seriously?





Former Employees

 In a perfect world, our clients would always let us know BEFORE they terminated an employee.  That way, we could take all the proper precautions to prevent the soon to be former employee from causing damage to networks and data. Sometimes that’s just not possible.  And sometimes, those former employees are looking to cause as many problems as they can.



Fake Football Teams

 As I was driving north on I77 this past Sunday, I noticed the lights on and a game taking place at the Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.  Thought it was odd for a Sunday evening, but it wasn’t until the old inbox blew up on Monday morning that I realized it was quite an event.  It seems that Bishop Sycamore high school, an online school supposedly based in Columbus had talked their way into a nationally televised ESPN game against IMG Academy, from Bradenton, FL.  Turns out that the school doesn’t really exist, they’re not on any lists of recognized Ohio schools, they played another game two nights earlier, and they’re really bad at football!


Security in Manufacturing and Industry

 A lot of the industrial and manufacturing companies that we talk to or bring on board as new clients have huge issues with their networks and security.  We see the same issues when we’re doing IT due diligence for private equity firms looking to make acquisitions.  Why?  It could be because many manufacturers are still using machines from the 50’s- why change a good thing?  And why change out the Windows XP device that runs one of those machines (even though Microsoft hasn’t supported or secured it for years), upgrade the wireless network, or worry about security?




Computer chips have gotten smaller and smaller as technology has gotten better.  But now, researchers are working on larger chips.  And while one of the  engineers dates himself by referring to Schlitz beer (didn’t they stop making that in 1976?), I promise that this article just appeared in last week’s issue of The New Yorker (thanks Esther for the submission!)



Dedicated readers will remember a month or two back a post I shared showing the USS Cod submarine being prepared for a journey to Erie, PA (from downtown Cleveland) for repairs.  Well, repairs are finished and the sub recently made it’s way back to Cleveland. I guess I need to send my brother-in-law Jeff some Ashton swag since he’s not made it to this publication twice!


Covid Phishing

As is often the case, hackers are using current events (Covid vaccinations) to collect credentials and gain access to data.  In this case, emails were sent claiming to be from HR departments, asking employees to sign forms regarding their vaccination status.  Another reminder to always question emails you receive, and to remember the tactics (listed herein) that are used in these types of scams.


 Lost earrings. Been there, done that.  Well, not for my own earrings, but every now and then my wife loses one. And we wander around the area where she thinks it fell off, hoping to find it.  Never seen it happen on a Major League Baseball diamond, though!

Craft Beers With Ashton


If you’re on this distribution list, you’re invited to join us for the next Ashton Happy Hour at Masthead Brewery on Wednesday, September 15th. We’ll be there by 5P and are planning to stay until at least 7P ( we didn’t leave the last one until 8P).  Hope to see you there!

If you read this frequently enough, you can probably guess some of my favorite topics (outside of IT and cybersecurity) based on items I include.  Hockey, lacrosse, Buckeyes football, fishing, etc.  I also like to get six hours of sleep every night.  I’ve never been one to count sheep, but I may have to start.

Have a great Labor Day weekend







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