February Tech Upload
New IT News
Seagulls and Hackers
What do seagulls and hackers have in common? More than you might think! Seagulls are resourceful, inquisitive animals, and a few varieties of them have even been known to use simple tools. They are adaptable feeders, meaning that they are not only predators, snatching other animals out of the air, water or land, but they are also not picky about what they eat. Seagulls will take advantage of any food source available, as many vacationers are aware of.
Similarly, hackers will take advantage of any opportunity to gain access to your systems. Whether they are copying your data and selling it on the dark web, holding it for ransom, or unleashing a denial of service (DNS) attack on your systems, there are a few things you can be certain of, it’s going to cost time and money to recover and your brand is likely going to take a hit. One more thing you can be certain of…it’s not a question of “if” you will be hacked, but rather “when”.
It doesn’t matter what size organization you are, sooner or later you will be hacked. The City of Oshkosh learned this the hard way when they were recently hit with a ransomware attack. Oftentimes, an organization succumbs to a cyber attack because an employee clicks on something they shouldn’t have. So how do we protect ourselves? At the end of the day it boils down to having skilled and knowledgeable employees on your team, and adequate budgeting to keep systems and training up to date.
As regional companies implement more and more technology, whether it’s IoT devices, robots, or simply more laptops, it’s vital for company leaders to understand the risks and to adapt strategies and budgets. Following a 2018 New North study indicating that 60% of the Northeast Wisconsin business community believes they are at risk of disruption by 2020, and only 26% are doing something about it, the New North Business Intelligence Committee (BIC) has been discussing how to move the region forward and make businesses more aware of the threats of disruption and how to counter them. Business leaders have identified primary risks to be a lack of talent and a lack of innovation capability both of which increase the risk of disruption. BIC is exploring whether to put together an executive leadership education program for business leaders focused on raising awareness of these disruption risks and how to navigate through them. The NEW IT Alliance has engaged with BIC, higher education, and third party education providers to determine what programs already exist, how awareness can be raised, and what new programs might need to be developed.
Disruptors also come in the form of government regulation, such as the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) released last month by the DOD. These new regulations require all DOD contractors to become CMMC Certified by passing a CMMC Audit to verify they have met the appropriate level of cybersecurity for their business. Eventually, this will be a requirement for any organization who wants to hold contracts with the Department of Defense or work as subcontractors on DoD related projects. With several large defense contractors and their supply chain, in our region, this requirement has the potential to be a serious disruption. The NEW IT Alliance is working with local colleges and for-profit training providers to understand what options exist in the region, and where we might need to create some new training.
Moving forward there is also a need to ensure a cyber and digitally capable workforce for years to come. That’s why the NEW IT Alliance is working with TechSpark and local agencies to launch IT ecosystem pilots in the region. More information will be available after the launch later this month.
Upcoming educational activities
Join the NEW IT Alliance from 4:30 – 6:00 on February 12 at FVTC for our next TechTalk. Steven Sorenson, from vonBriesen & Roper s.c. will be joining us to talk about Cyber Security and to network with students and community members. Register on our Events page.
Our next NEW CS Advisory Board will be on February 26. Time and location will be changing. Stay tuned for more details!
And don’t forget to register your kids for summer camp! FVTC already has their tech camps loaded, and registration is open. As we learn about available digital summer camps in our region, we will load them onto our event page with links to their registration pages.