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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox March 15th, 2024

It’s been a pretty exciting week already, and we haven’t even made it to St. Paddy’s Day.  Tuesday night, we took a handful of clients and friends to the Cleveland Monsters hockey game (OT winner, and no mandate for blue gingham checked shirts) and yesterday was Pi Day (first celebrated in 1988).  Math was my best subject through third grade, and then it all went south.  I do, however, remember that Pi is 3.14159, and that many people view March 14th as a great day to bake pies (Google even lists the most searched for pies by state in the month leading up to Pi Day).  If you’re not in the middle of celebrating, you can scroll down for internet cables, typosquatting, Facebook Marketplace scams, and more.  

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Supply Chain Attacks

I seem to get a reasonable number of articles and posts about supply chain attacks, and while you should do your diligence to make sure your providers are making every effort to keep their business (and yours) secure, I’d never seen it from the perspective of auditing costs.  Should one of your customers get hacked, it can effect how auditors view your business and its risk.  

Air Travel

Last week I shared a piece about putting your phones in airplane mode when you travel.  Sharp-eyed reader Gregg responded almost immediately with a video clip regarding that same topic.  And this week, I received a piece regarding the lack of row #13 on many planes.  Maybe the should alphabetize the rows and change the seats to numbers so as not to offend or scare anyone. 

Facebook Marketplace

A year or so back, my wife decided to sell some patio furniture that had been replaced with new, so she took to Facebook Marketplace.  Images and details were uploaded, and almost immediately the scammers were on to her.  She quickly deleted the listing and locked down her Facebook profile, after blocking a few people on her phone. Based on this piece, she’s not the only one to get hit by scammers when trying to self something online.  

Security Updates

Security updates this week include those from Adobe (including editing software such as Lightroom and Premiere Pro), Microsoft (Skype, Dynamics, Authenticator, and Dynamics, to name a few), Fortinet (for that one client we’re still working to get moved over to Sophos for cybersecurity), and Cisco.

Who's To Blame?

A Sacramento law firm is suing its managed IT services provider over a ransomware incident in which access to files was lost and a ransom was paid.  I’m not a lawyer, but there’s a big red flag early on in this piece when it’s mentioned that the firms entered into an “oral agreement”.  In that same paragraph, listed out are the items that the MSP was providing, and nowhere does it mention cybersecurity.  

 

We’ve seen plenty of instances where MSPs dropped the ball and their clients were ransomed and/or lost data.  We’ve also seen plenty of weak contracts in use by our peers. But with no written agreement, I wonder if the law firm will find a leg to stand on.

Internet Cables

I’ve been told that I have a habit of telling stories on more than one occasion (I’m in sales- I need stories to break the ice), so it’s very possible that I’ve shared this map of undersea cables before. But, there was a big internet outage yesterday across numerous African countriesso it makes sense to share it again.  And it always reminds me of the time I was fishing in Canada and latched onto the biggest fish I’d ever hooked.  We fought each other for a good five minutes before I finally got it to the surface…only to realize I’d hooked an underwater telephone line.  So, who knows what may have caused the outage yesterday. 

Vishing

A few months back, I had an article about a Bravo TV host sending a large sum of money to scammers who called him.  Weeks later, it was a New York Times technology writer being scammed for $50K in a similar fashion (voice phishing).  Now comes news that a South Korean physician was scammed out of $3M(!!!) back in 2022, again by scammers using vishing techniques.  

 

Take this as another reminder to not trust anybody calling you and asking for/telling you they need your money.  Or at the very least, trust but verify.

Real Estate

The New York Post is a little late to the game in publishing this listing for the former Hunting Valley home of the Van Sweringen brotherswho developed Shaker Heights (amongst other projects). This one has been on the market for quite some time and has been an ongoing issue in terms of selling it as one property or turning it into condos.  At $3.9M for 30,000 SqFt., though, it seems like a bargain!

That’s all for this week. Travis just supplied everybody at the office with corned beef sandwiches from Jack’s Deli, and it seems like a great time for a nap. Thinking of Jim Millican, sitting in the office straight over my head, I’ll share this piece about the newest bicycle racing helmet.  And for those needing some music to start their St. Patrick’s weekend, here’s a little Flogging Molly for you.

 

Have a great weekend.

Abbey

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