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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox October 1st, 2021

Thoughts From My Inbox

October 1st, 2021

Seinfeld, Industrious Squirrels, and Hardware Shortages

Well, I have nothing of interest to report, so it’s a good thing that my inbox was its usual full self this week.  Don’t forget that October is cybersecurity awareness month; there are lots of opportunities to learn more about securing your networks and your data, including on Ashton’s various social media platforms. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call us!  

 

And now for the fun stuff…

 

Something About…

 

Too Much Security

Is there ever too much cybersecurity?  We’ve seen it before, and a new study finds that only 47% of IT security tools are used on a daily basis.  The same study estimates that many at the enterprise level have 19 different security tools.  By my count, and in talking with the smart people on the other side of our office, we have four that we use to protect our network and those of our clients.  Too many leads to too much noise, and a lot of money going out the door.

 

Hardware Shortages

So, I have to admit this one didn’t actually find its way to my inbox, but it’s a battle we’ve been fighting for weeks, and it only seems to be getting worse.  There’s a huge shortage of chips, which means that we can’t get PCs, laptops, monitors, switches, and more.  This started when the lockdowns hit in March of 2020, and people were forced to work at home and there was a run on these devices.  It’s continued as manufacturers face all sorts of issues.  If you’re considering upgrading any of your equipment, let us know now.  As of yesterday, all of the standard build devices we supply are completely sold out and backordered. Expected ship dates?  Any time between December and March, 2022.

 

 

Real Estate

I almost skipped this one, thinking, “what’s another $26 million NYC apartment”?  Then I realized that it’s seven stories.  I prefer steps to elevators, and take them whenever I can.  But I don’t think I’d want to climb seven floors, multiple times daily, in my own house.  It’s a good thing this one has an elevator.   And if $26M in NYC is to rich for your blood, there’s always $399K in Beantown.  Just make sure to bring a contractor.  

 

 

 

 

Mobile AirBnBs

 I’ve seen boats and camper available through AirBnB, but never knew that one could rent a van on the streets of NYC (well, you can’t any more, but you could until this week). And since everybody has to record everything they do, it’s no surprise that there’s a review of one of these vans on YouTube.

 

 

Apple Pay

I just added my AMEX to Apple Pay (the first time I’ve used this app), after a couple of recent incidents where I left my wallet at home.  Figuring I never leave my phone at home, I’d add a card. Anyway, news of Apple Pay being hackable appeared in my inbox twice this week, so I figured I should read.  The first (not included here) pooh-poohed the hack, saying that the hacker would need to have a mobile card reader, and then somebody will to process the transactions.  The second states that Apple and Visa are both aware of the issue, and that each points the finger at the other.  If you use Apple Pay, you can read and determine for yourself.  I’m not overly concerned.

 

Mergers and Acquisitions

 We do a fair amount of work in the area of IT due diligence as it relates to the M&A process.  A private equity firm looking to acquire will hire the Ashton team to provide an audit of network, systems, hardware, compliance, security, and even the IT team (whether in-house or outsourced), with the goal being to determine how much more money they might need to spend, once the acquisition is complete.  Turns out the target’s cybersecurity is non-existent and the IT guy is clueless?  Maybe they’ll rethink the acquisition.  We’ve been swamped with these projects over the past few months, and I’m told that business owners who have been considering selling are now panicking to do so, before a threatened hike in the capital gains tax. Our PE friends are frantically trying to get multiple deals done, and our team is having fun digging into networks from New Hampshire to Traverse City, San Jose, and many in between.

 

Border Weddings

 If you can’t get your family across the border, just get married on the border!  Thanks to my Canadian connection Sarah (from our security partner, Sophos) for sending this one my way.  She’s still upset that she can’t get across the border, but I don’t think she has any nuptials in the works.

 

Industrious Squirrels

 Need any black walnuts?  Check out the guy who has pulled 42 gallons of them from his truck, stored there by a red squirrel.

Dolores

 My technology marketing peer in NYC, Esther, sent me a post that she thought might warrant inclusion in today’s edition. But linked on the same page was a post ranking the Top 20 Seinfeld episodes of all-time (sadly, Dolores did not make the cut), and I couldn’t resist clicking through.  (I did take the time to read the piece about Ikea now selling furniture geared to gamers.  So thanks, Esther!)

 

Shuffleboard

 Mark your calendars for the next Ashton Happy Hour; Tuesday October 19th at Forest City Shuffleboard.  The last time I played, I was nine years old and on spring break at my grandparents’ in Daytona. Some of the ‘younger’ people here at the office tell me the game is making a comeback…

So, plan to join us for beer, snacks, and some competitive shuffleboard on the 19th!

 

That’s all from Commerce Park in Beachwood.  Been a quiet week, and the weekend looks to be the same.  Four of us from Ashton, as well as four clients, are shooting sporting clays (somebody referred to it as “golf with guns”) tomorrow at an event benefitting Ronald McDonald House, which will be a lot of fun for a great cause.  I’m hoping to mow the lawn one last time and looking forward to firing up the new chainsaw, too.  In between, the Buckeyes and Browns both have tough games, so my afternoons will be in front of the tv. I hope you have some good weekend plans, too!

 

Best,

Jim

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