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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox May 26th, 2023

Thoughts from my inbox

May 26th, 2023

I can’t believe that, last week when I mentioned the Laffer curve, I failed to include the scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where the econ teacher mentions the curve. Thanks to my brother-in-law Jeff for almost immediately bringing that failure to my attention. Useless trivia for you; the actor playing the teacher is Ben Stein- a presidential speech writer before he got into acting.  And while we’re on the topic of Ferris, here’s a clip from one of my favorite scenes in the movie.  There’s your pop culture reference for the week.  If you want to learn more about lightning bugs, catfishing, and safe travelling, you can scroll down.  Enjoy!

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Failure to Prepare

The SEC is working to finalize new regulations for how publicly held companies must announce cybersecurity incidents, and to disclose who on their boards is tasked with handling them.  While the vast majority of my readers are with privately held companies, you can assume that it’s only a matter of time before more and more of these regulations and requirements are pushed your way, as well.  And, as the article states, there is a “gap of understanding between security teams and those authoring policies and making decisions higher up the chain.”  Management may not understand the risks or don’t want to deal with the risks, but it’s time that they do.  

AI and Financial Services

I usually like to share Rob McCreary’s insights on the financial world, and as I was reading his most recent post about artificial intelligence and financial services, I found it to be appropriate for this edition.  And then I got to the comment about Ferris Bueller and figured I had to include it, like it or not. 

Safe Travels

Unsure how to secure your mobile devices when you’re travelling?  The National Cybersecurity Alliance is hosting a June 6th webinar that will share tips on “ public wi-fi, when to use your device’s location settings, and keeping your identity safe when traveling.”  Registration is free. 

Lightning Bugs

I’ve never given much thought to lightning bugs (which, according to this article, aren’t even classified as bugs), other than the fact that we’ll first see them sometime in June.  And when we were kids, they were fun to catch and put in a jar.  I seem to remember my mother-in-law saying that she used to catch them (as a kid) and pinch the heads, so that the light would stay on.  Anyhow, it turns out that there are 180 different species of lightning bug in the U.S. and Canada, and 2,200 species, globally.  Never would’ve realized that!  It’s a good thing there’s a Delaware State University professor who tracks all these things…


Ever wanted to see what industrial catfishing (the cyber scam type- not the kind where you’re targeting those big whiskered fish) looks like?  This one is pretty interesting, especially if you’re someone who likes to use dating apps and thinks you’re chatting with people who might actually be interested in you.  

Hurricane Season

One of the great things about living in Cleveland is that we’re not at risk for much in the way of natural disasters.  There’s an occasional very small earthquake or tornado, but those are both pretty rare.  We don’t have forest fires, mudslides, tsunamis or floods (other than local rivers at ice out), and we definitely don’t have hurricanes.  But with hurricane season upon us (officially June 1- November 30), the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has put out a reminder regarding malicious cyber activity following natural disasters. While the focus is on hurricanes, this could really hold true to any sort of natural disaster, even including a big hail storm like we had at this time last year.  

Business Email Compromise

Business Email Compromise (BEC) accounted for $2.7B in losses last year, according to the FBI.  As this article reminds, the top targets for BEC are execs, finance managers and HR people, but also new employees who don’t know enough or may be trying to impress leadership with quick response/resolution.  A new tactic used in BEC scams is for criminals to purchase local IP addresses to help avoid the red flag of “Joe President is in Boston- how can he be logging in from Singapore?”  Just one more reminder of the importance of multifactor authentication, thinking before you act, and asking for verbal confirmation if an email seems suspicious.  

Any big plans for the weekend?  Picnics?  Blossom Time in Chagrin Falls?  Golf?  I got together with a few old classmates last night (a few who I’ve known since 5th or 6th grade), which was a good start to the long weekend. We cooked out here at Ashton earlier today, and I’m planning to make some time to watch the college lacrosse final four on Saturday/Monday (Go Duke!) 


And speaking of old classmates, I received an email from Matt Koch this morning.  He was actually a year ahead of me, and in the same class as Jim Millican of Ashton fame.  Every year for 20+ now, Matt has sent this document out to remind people, as he puts it, “that Memorial Day is not just another three day weekend.”  This is a speech presented by one of Matt’s friends soon after 9/11 took place, and it serves as a good reminder.


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