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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Nov. 17th, 2023

Feel free to savor this week’s edition, as I don’t know if there will be one next week due to the holiday.  Maybe the inbox will be overflowing, though… you never know. It’s been quiet (albeit busy) the past couple of weeks here at Ashton.  Various team members have been to various conferences in Miami, Orlando, and (this week) Seattle, learning new things and meeting with vendors and peers.  We’ve also had various team members onsite working on client issues, so maybe next week we’ll have everybody back in the office for the short week.  In the meantime, I have the usual ransomware and security updates for you, along with cricket, facial expressions, and Thanksgiving travel.  Enjoy!

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Ransomeware Alerts

The FBI and CISA this week issued two ransomware alerts one on the new Rhysida variant, and the other on the ScatteredSpider group. Key items to note are the need for security updates (patching), the use of multifactor authentication, and the need to have an educated workforce, since social engineering and phishing are two of the primary attack methods.   

Security Updates

A ton of security updates this week, including VMWareFortinetMicrosoft (Edge browser, Dynamics, Windows Server, Excel, Office, Azure, and more), and Adobe (Acrobat, Photoshop, InDesign, and more) are the big ones.  If you’re using any of these, make sure to update.   And if you’re working with an IT partner, make sure they’re doing these for you on a regular basis.  This should be an automated, behind the scenes process, when done correctly.  

Scamming Seniors

I’ve shared a few pieces recently about cyber scams aimed at senior citizens. They typically provide a breakdown of what the scam is and how it works (romance scams, grandparent scams, PC helpdesk scams), but this piece has some good insight on actually having the conversation with your parents or grandparents about not falling prey to the bad guys.

Backing Up Your Phone

What happens when you lose your phone and all that is contained on it?  We talk a lot about the importance of proper data backups, and the greater importance of easily recoverable backups, but that relates (at least as far as Ashton goes) to your business.  Your network, your email, and the data of your employees. As to your phone, you can back it up to the cloud or to a local device, depending on whether you like to pay a monthly fee, or just want to have everything sitting in your home or office.  At least Apple now encrypts users’ cloud data, which should prevent any more embarrassing leaks.

Sports

Some random things this week, including a touchdown catch that has been statistically defined as the most improbable catch in the five years that stat has been tracked.  I’m not really sure how they settled on the fact that there was only a 3.2% likelihood of this ball being caught, but I’m guessing there’ve been other more difficult catches made.

 

The cricket world cup championship is being played on Sunday and I have no clue how that sport is played.  I did end up with an interesting video in my inbox, giving an explanation of the game and its history.  I doubt I’d sit and watch the match, but I do appreciate having a little more knowledge about the sport and its various match types.

 

Finally, there’s a Babe Ruth rookie card  from 1914 on the auction block.  Some believe that it may well become the most expensive card ever purchased, going for more than the $12.6M recently paid for a 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card.

Thanksgiving Travel

Fortunately, I don’t have much travel to do over the holidays.  But, for those of you who do, Google Maps is now able to offer the best time to head for home or head to the mall.  It’s all based on last year’s travel trends, but knowing Google, they’ll continue to use all the data that you provide them (for free) so that they can best tell you how to live your lives.  

Nancy's Nuggets

Leaf season is just about done, but Nancy tells me that some think leaf blowers are bad

 

If you’re looking to Christmas shop for your favorite tech person, there’s the new AI Pin.  Scroll through the first page to see everything you can do (including having your messages projected to the palm of your hand) with this gadget.   Gotta say they lost me when I got to the page that claims “crafted with intention”.  Isn’t everything crafted with intention?  Sounds like the consultant who uses a sentence like “we’ve got a lot to unpack today.  We’re going to be really intentional as we double click on these things and come up with a bespoke solution.”  

 

Have you ever wondered why squirrels can run along power lines without getting zapped? Nancy and I were sitting in my office discussing marketing earlier this week when a squirrel ran by on the power lines.  Not sure which one of us was so easily distracted (probably me, but I can’t remember) but it lead to researching squirrels’ superpowers.  

 

And while we’re on the topic of pets, did you know that cats can make 276 different facial expressions (sounds like the same research on the TD pass that had a 3.2% probability of being completed).  Compare that to humans at 10K plus, or dogs at less than 30.  See her sister’s cat Maynard, above, from Nancy’s visit to Boston last weekend.

It’s the weekend before the biggest football game of the year, so I guess it makes sense to have a warmup game.  But as usually seems to be the case with the Browns, they had to throw a wrench into the works.  Out of curiosity earlier this week, I checked the aftermarket for the going rate on our Browns tickets;  anywhere from $500-$700 per seat.  And within 12 hours, that went down to $200.  Not that we would’ve sold them, but just another day in the life of a Browns fan when the starting QB gets hurt.  Again.  

 

Thanks to our newest subscribers, Mike, Dawn, and Steve, all of whom I met at a networking event downtown last night.  And for their trouble, they now have more info in their respective inboxes!

 

If you don’t hear from me next week, I hope you and your families all have a very happy Thanksgiving.  Ashton will be closed on Thursday and Friday, but we always have an engineer on call in the event that somebody has a need.  

 

Have a great weekend and Go Bucks! 

Abbey

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