June 11, 2020 - Few people better exemplify the old adage of “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” than John Sileo, internationally known cybersecurity expert, who kicked off the Ops Series of Webinars this Tuesday.  John spoke from experience as his identity was stolen and used to electronically embezzle $298,000 from his clients, destroying his business and consuming two years of his life as he fought to stay out of jail. 

Providing seemingly endless descriptions of how cyber criminals access our data, he explained how to maintain a safe amount of privacy.  He enumerated many techniques, a few of which are:

  • When accessing free WI-FI hotspots, be sure that you have installed the VPN on your devices, including smart phones. 
  • Always use password manager software to create, store, organize, remember and protect passwords.  Weak passwords are the primary way hackers break into online financial accounts. 
  • Avoid the “hover technique”.  By hovering over targets on websites, you are downloading ransomware which is how 81% of hackers get into corporate systems.
  • Avoid “island hopping”.  The initial intrusion into Target’s systems was traced back to network credentials that were stolen from a third party vendor.  50% of breaches involve 3rd party vendors so recognize this risk when outsourcing and read the fine print of their agreements and security policies.

His best piece of advice during these uncertain times is to leverage the crisis as the pandemic and working from home practices increased cyber risk and security weaknesses.  Move to cloud scalability rather than continuing to remote in through VPN.  Eliminate excess old outdated security software and implement the new software.  Renegotiate security contracts based on where your business is today.  Most importantly: pass the COVID BS Test:  Be Skeptical. If you missed the live presentation, make sure you access the replay!

Operations Lessons Learned from our Shared COVID Experiences will be our next topic. Join us on Tuesday at 4PM (ET) as subject matter experts discuss how our industry and each institution can emerge stronger, more efficient and more effective in what is likely to become our “new normal”.

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