EO Advisor

Crime is a business

...just like any other
Confidential Files

Stealing a database that contains personal information about employees and customers generates revenue for criminal enterprises.

Personal data gets sold as a commodity on the dark web. Your name and address tied to a social security number has one level of value. When that data is tied to credit card information, it has a higher value. Personal information tied to healthcare information sells for a premium even higher than credit card data.

Cybersecurity gets much more intense when we turn to the growing threat of calculated and malicious attacks designed to steal our data—especially when targeted by profit-minded criminal enterprises.

Businesses with small databases containing a low value level of personal information have generally not been targeted by this kind of criminal activity. However, it is also true that small businesses can have this type of data copied and sold by a thief who goes undetected.

Data is your business too:

For decades, information technologies have continuously improved the productivity of every business enterprise. What was once the computer in the back room is now an all knowing and pervasive aspect of business that permeates everything.  

Today, we are all swimming in data the way that a fish swims in water. Data is so ubiquitous, so constant and so vital that we don’t even notice that it is there anymore. When it’s clean, all things are possible.  But when it’s dirty or if it dries up, it’s a catastrophe. 

Your company uses IT in many ways for many things. They are all vital but today, the thing you don’t actually touch every day is the most important thing. Cybersecurity needs to move to the front of the line when you build your annual IT plans and budgets. 

Information technologies have reached the point where productivity is so good and data is so valuable that our top priority must be the protection of all of it.  

Hardware damage, software glitches and accidentally lost data are the fundamental aspects of cybersecurity. Most enterprises are prepared for this challenge. If you drop your phone and it smashes to pieces, you might feel lost, unconnected, or like a fish out of water. 

Malicious Threats & Ransomware: 

The first time that we alerted our clients to the threat of ransomware was in 2016. We recognized it early, but it was hard to get our clients and the world at large to fully appreciate that ransomware could happen to them. It would take another five years before ransomware became so massively scaled that it is a real threat to every business and now a matter of national security, as became fully evident to the entire nation in the recent Colonial Pipeline attack, and the nationwide gas shortages that resulted from it.

Ransomware is the hardest level of cybersecurity to guard against and to recover from. At the same time, ransomware is the cybersecurity threat that created a business model for criminals that makes targeting almost any enterprise worthwhile.

The situation is so intense that cybersecurity for all American businesses is now a matter of national security. But, unlike the pandemic, terrorism or climate change, our government cannot manage this crisis for all of us from the top down. Each individual business must step up.

In the weeks to come EO Advisor will be hyper-focused on cybersecurity for the reasons described here. Please let us know if there’s something specific you would like us to address in this series.

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