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A New Era in Cybersecurity and Cyberattacks is here – Time For Action – EndZero™

Time for Action EndZero™

Time for Action EndZero™

A little over a month ago I had a conversation about the current state of Cybersecurity with Christopher Murphy. Actually, it was more about the complete lack of Cybersecurity and how everyone basically communicates and sends sensitive information in the open.

We both agreed that sooner or later we wouldn’t be dealing with ransomware anymore, but something much, much worse. What could be worse than ransomware? Especially when the threshold for major businesses has reached $1 Million U.S. Dollars in Bitcoin. I’m glad you asked.

Imagine if you will, an attack that hits you with absolutely no hope of recovery. Wipes out ALL your data and essentially turns your servers, desktops, laptops, even tablets, and phones into bricks. There is nothing on it. No Data to recover, the OS is dead, you can’t even boot up. All your devices are now very expensive paperweights.

Well, we may have to wait no longer. It seems Tuesday’s attack was something just like that. Let’s face it – Cyber-Warfare is here folks, and the players aren’t just Nation States – but All of us.

We at Continuity Co. LLC are working on a new Cybersecurity program we are calling EndZero™ taking advanced threat protection to a new level. Using a hybrid of both machine intelligence and human intelligence, as well as other advanced proprietary methodology to both prepare, mitigate, and PREVENT attacks to our clients.

We are so confident in our process – If you get hit with ransomware and we can’t restore you to a pre-attack state. We will pay the ransom. Up to $1,000,000.00 U.S. Dollars. Terms and conditions will apply – basically following our guidance.

What other company is offering this as part of their protection service? Go ahead, ask your provider. We’ll wait for you.

Remember it’s not just your security, it’s national security, and it’s WAR!

We will be posting a link to the EndZero™ Launch page soon. We will be accepting a limited number of Trial Users and Clients.

Risks and Impacts of Rapid Technology Implementation

internet-of-ransomware-things

Over the last few months, I have pondered the risks and impacts of moving too fast to implement new and bleeding edge technologies. While much of these technologies make our lives better, make no mistake, I believe we are moving too fast.

Looking back to just over 27 years ago computers were not in nearly every household, there were no smartphones, there weren’t really even mass users of cellphones – also known as bricks back then, and for good reason. Most people did not carry a camera with them everywhere they went either.

Fast-forward to today. These technologies and more exist, and they are everywhere. We are also seeing the emergence of driverless vehicles (cars, trucks and even aircraft), robotic food servers, smart devices making up the Internet of Things (IoT), and much, much more.

What worries me is not the technology itself. It is the unchecked, ubiquitous, implementation and the level of security that is being implemented with the use of the devices. Or as I should say, the lack thereof.

According to Gartner 6.4 Billion connected “things” will be in use in 2016 and up to 50 Billion is forecast by 2020, though others cite that number will be closer to 30.7 Billion. Though many of those leave off things like smartphones, tablets, and computers. The numbers of connected and interconnected devices is staggering. In addition, anyone can purchase their own micro-controllers, set a device up through WiFi, Ethernet, or even through cellular networks, it is hard to maintain an accurate account of all the devices.

We’ve already seen small scale attacks and malware infections of these devices, and some have been used to launch DDoS attacks as well. Corporate cybersecurity initiatives are failing in a big way, and now there is just more to protect. Just imagine when your Fridge, TV, and Car fail to work until you either pay ransom or is used to launch devastating attacks against your own corporate network using your home network.

But it is not just the IoT’s to worry about. At a time when unemployment is a major issue for most countries around the globe and those who have jobs are demanding more for their employment, the trend is quickly moving to automation.

We see automated delivery trucks already in service. As I mentioned before, the driverless cars and cabs are expanding. Self-checkout at the grocery store, restaurant based kiosks, fast-food automation, drone-based deliveries. And it doesn’t end there. Artificial Intelligence is also making a huge surge.

My prediction is of increased unemployment and adoption of automated systems will grow at a rapid pace. What our future will hold is uncertain. Some will retrain to service these devices, while the future for others will remain uncertain.

I was recently at a marketing seminar and heard much the same there with the same worries. That can’t be good if others are seeing it too.

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You Don’t Have a Continuity or Contingency Plan? What’s Your Excuse?

CaD-ZyBUMAAzIJ-Sometimes I feel like an Underdog more than The ProtectEr™ and Superhero some people tell me I am to them.

I get to hear a lot of excuses why businesses don’t implement full business continuity programs. When I say full programs I am talking about BCM Programs that cover the business in wide areas – such as supply chain events, reputational issues, good data backups, and workforce solutions.

Some of the excuses I have heard go like this:

  • I don’t have to worry because my data is in the cloud.
  • Our cloud provider takes care of everything.
  • We outsource, so we don’t worry about the manufacturing of our products, or our supply chain.
  • We’ll just set up a tent in the parking lot.
  • That kind of thing just doesn’t happen around here.
  • Our IT vendor will get us up and running again in no time.

Do any of these sound like you or your company? Those are real statements I have had come from past and prospective clients alike. The reality is if you have a business, especially one that you are passionate about, that provides you income that you need to live off of (which is most of us) yes, you need to worry about that. Let’s examine each one on a case by case basis.

I don’t have to worry because my data is in the cloud. First, it’s great you have your data in the cloud. That is an excellent first step to protecting your data. But, what if you lose your internet connection or telecommunications goes down? Do you have alternate means of communications? One of the things I always say is this – “You can have the best data backup plan in the world, but if you or your team and clients can’t access it, it doesn’t do you any good.”

Our cloud provider takes care of everything. Here is another one that we hear often. But, after we do a little digging or talk to our clients more and it turns out, data backups are not what the cloud provider is doing.

In both of these cases, we recommend a cost effective hybrid solution that stores data backups at the main site and in the cloud. This way the client is protected from communications disruptions as well as site-specific disruptions.

We outsource, so we don’t worry about the manufacturing of our products, or our supply chain. You may not be the originator of the finished product, but if your company or brand name is on the product, you need to worry about the final delivery, quality, safety, and reputation of the product. Any impact to these areas will be immediately felt by your company and its stakeholders. To think otherwise and you’re just doing yourself a disservice and you will likely be impacted sooner rather than later.

We’ll just set up a tent in the parking lot. Ok. Sounds good. Where are you going to get power? Are your employees willing to work 8 hours in a tent? In the rain? In the Snow? In the heat? How long are you planning on doing this for? Two or three days? A week? A Month or more? Where are you going to get a tent that size? Where will everyone park if it’s in the parking lot? What about bathrooms? Did you really think this through?

Now, I am not saying you can’t use a tent effectively. I am just asking a) did you really give this a lot of thought and b) You do know there are better more cost effective solutions right?

That kind of thing just doesn’t happen around here. It never does, until it happens to you. Floods, fires, earthquakes, crime scenes, break-ins, vandalism, it happens every day to someone. Better to be prepared than not at all. Let me give you some examples that have happened to real businesses.

  1. A Car hit a fire hydrant outside of a building. That building was owned by an antique book dealer. Damage to 1,500 antique books, repairs and restoration costs totaled $300,000.00
  2. Vandals cut fiber optic cables. Complete loss of ALL communications to an entire region including 911 services.
  3. Bad database upgrade. Transaction processing on the database idled for seven days resulting in the loss of two major clients.
  4. Normal systems upgrade resulted in orders being unable to be taken or products shipped for four days.
  5. Vendor/supplier had a fire in a trashcan inside of a clean room. Resulted in a Q2 operating loss of $200 Million.
  6. Power Outage. Trader Lost $70,000.00 by not being able to move out of a trade after the outage occurred.

Bottom line. Anything can happen to anybody at any time. Be Prepared.

Our IT vendor will get us up and running again in no time. I hope that is the case. Recently I worked with someone that said this exact thing. When we questioned the vendor – the response we got which the client was copied on went something like this: “This is not one of our biggest or best clients, and they do not produce a lot of revenue for us. If they are still one of our clients when something happens, we will get to them when we get to them.”

Not exactly the kind of thing you want to hear from your IT vendor is it? But, if you don’t get down to hard tacks and just assume they will take care of you without asking the right questions, this may be just the kind of response you get.

Now, I don’t run your business, and whether or not you implement a good solid business continuity program is up to you, in the end, you’ll wish you had. And either way, you’ll pay in the end.

The True Cost of Downtime and Release of the Cost of Downtime Calculator

Cost of Downtime Calculator

Cost of Downtime Calculator

One of the most common measurements of downtime comes from lost revenue. Many organizations stop looking at the costs of downtime here. Lost revenue can be significant, but it is not the only cost to your organization from downtime or other business disruptions. Some of the other costs that result from downtime are obvious. Such as the cost of the recovery, employee wages, and even consulting fees. While other costs can be hidden or not so obvious such as lost productivity and lost clients. To track these I recently developed the Cost of Downtime Calculator.

In addition to these costs there is also potential fines, legal fees, fees based on SLA’s or contractual agreements that will be paid or penalize the business. Calculating and tracking all of these costs can be cumbersome.

I have studied several methods for calculating losses based on disruptions and downtime.  Unfortunately I have also found many of them to be lacking. Sometimes they leave out lost productivity, sometimes they miss several things.

After studying these for a while I developed my own Cost of Downtime Calculator that did not leave out any of these things. I’ve also included an area in the formula to include other unforeseen costs that is the final piece of the puzzle. In addition I have added an enterprise version of this formula that allows for minimum and maximum losses based on variables. This version is also more highly detailed than the basic version.

After playing around with the formula and testing it for accuracy I developed an App called the Cost of Downtime Calculator (the enterprise version will be released later this month).  It is currently available on iTunes for iPhone, iPad, and the iPod Touch. Android versions will be available soon as well.

The best part is the basic Cost of Downtime Calculator App is available for FREE.

Introduction to The ProtectEr™

 

Welcome to my new site The ProtectEr™ which is based on helping entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses succeed by mitigating their risks, and the things that impact their business in a negative way.

Stay tuned for the next post and in the meantime get started by reading my about page to learn more about why I am doing this.

I’ll be adding some pages soon, such as a contact me page, and consulting page.

Let’s get started shall we…

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