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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox August 12th, 2022

Thoughts From My Inbox

August 12th, 2022

Corned Beef, McSmugglers, and BEC

I’m back after a week away and off the grid in Northern Ontario. Weather was so-so, as was the fishing, but not having been up there since 2019 due to border restrictions, it was great to be back.  That said, I’ve spent much of this week trying to dig out of a rather deep email hole!  I think I’ve finally done it, just in time for the weekend. 


Something About…


Financial Services
55% of financial services firms were hit by ransomware in 2021, which is more than double the rate in 2020. However, that 55% rate was the lowest of all sectors surveyed.  But just because “only” 55% of firms were affected doesn’t mean you’re safe.  Of those firms that actually paid a ransom (the FBI always says not to pay the ransom), only 63% of data was recovered.  It used to be that ransomware actors were very helpful and friendly with great customer service.  Now, you’re lucky to get back what they’ve encrpyted.  Your best solution is to have proper backups that are EASILY RESTORED and a multilayered security solution.  If you’re in the financial services world, check out Sophos’ State of Ransomware in Financial Services report, to find out the risks at hand.



Be careful when you’re attempting to smuggle fast food.  Two sausage McMuffins with egg (the only fast food I have ever really had a craving for) cost a traveler $1,874 after they tried to smuggle the banned items in from Bali to Australia.


DIY Ransomware
Ever wanted to become a ransomware criminal?  New research shows a variety of DIY solutions available on the Dark Web, price3d from $0.99 to $1,000+.
Downstream Compliance
We’re getting a lot more requests from our clients (and others) to help them through cybersecurity compliance requirements pushed down on them by their larger partners. A recent databreach suffered by Aetna is a great example as to why it’s happening. 

While the Aetna data breach “only” affected 326,000 people, it stemmed from a mailing company that Aetna contracted with.  Said mailing company was hacked and the hackers then jumped to Aetna (and possibly 30 other clients of the mailing company).  Expect the compliance requirements and requests to get even more strict and onerous, especially if you owant to do business with larger firms.

Business Email Compromise

Business Email Compromise (BEC) accounted for $2.4B in losses for US businesses in 2021, and more than 70% of organizations have been hit with a BEC attack. Multifactor authentication and an educated workforce are the two best ways to protect your business from BEC.  Check out some more interesting facts and things to look for.

Jewish Delis
According to, as mentioned in Crain’s yesterday, Cleveland has two of the best Jewish delis in the U.S.  I haven’t been to Larder, and while Jack’s is pretty good, I actually prefer Corky and Lenny’s (which didn’t make the list).  Back during our days of hockey travel, we made it to Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor a few times, and while good, I remember it as the most expensive sandwich I’ve ever eaten. And while I once made it to Carnegie Deli in NYC (now closed), I’ve not been to Katz’s.  We’re heading to the city in September and the only reservation already booked is at a Nigerian place… think we might have to give Katz’s a try.  Anybody out there have any favorites?  (and after looking at that marble rye in the photo above, how could I not include a Seinfeld reference?)
Software Updates
Adobe (Acrobat, Illustrator, and more) and Microsoft (Azure, Office, Excel, Outlook, and more) have both released numerous security patches this week.  Make sure that your administrator or outsourced IT provider is updating these patches on a regular basis.We’ve been working through an issue with a new client this week, as they’ve been experiencing terribly slow response time on their laptops.  As it turns out, their previous provider never applied patches to solutions like Windows 10 or Microsoft Office.  Some of the solutions are two+ years out of date, and now that our regularly scheduled patches are being applied, the systems are slow due to the amount of updates being made.  Not only does proper and regular patch management keep your network safe, it keeps your users efficient and effective.
Cyber Insurance
It’s not the least bit surprising to read that cyber liability rates continue to increase, nor is it surprising that 44% of insurance carriers are only “somewhat confident” in their underwriting process.  Having spent nine years at Progressive Insurance, I know the amount of data and loss history that the company had collected.  That’s pretty easy, right?  There were 276M registered vehicles in the U.S. in 2020, and cars have been on the road for 100 years.  Loss history and data for cyber attacks has only been collected for a handful of years. 

In any case, average loss payouts on cyber policies increased to $3.5M last year, and until there’s enough data and underwriting information available, I would imagine that insurance rates will continue to rise.

Figured I’d wrap up this week’s Thoughts with a couple of baseball highlights from this past week.  The prelim rounds of the Little League World Series are currently taking place, and two come from that. I’m sure many of you have seen the hit batter who got up to console the offending pitcher, but have you seen this little guy’s dream job, as listed on his bio?  Lastly, something happened earlier this week that had only happened one other time in all of professional baseball history- a homerun cycle. I guess I’d never heard of it because it just doesn’t happen very often.


Our baseball team is in first place, and our QB-less football team is about to start the season.  Should be a fun weekend!




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