9 Media Trends for 2022: Supply Chain, Healthcare, Infrastructure, HR, the Future of Money, and Cybersecurity Will Dominate the Media Landscape

2022 Media Trends

Norman Birnbach, President, Birnbach Communications

The big driver of trends this year will be determined, unfortunately, by the uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic. Ultimately, we will adjust to a “new normal” – whatever that looks like. With that in mind, as we’ve done for 20 years, we’ve identified a mix of trends that we feel will be important in the upcoming year. 

And while reporters are back to covering the impact of Covid on their particular beats, here are nine other trends we expect they will cover this year: 

1) Supply chain issues will be at the forefront of corporate communications. The state of the nation’s supply chain will continue to receive coverage, until it becomes more reliable – probably in 2023. Understocked shelves will remain an issue due to scarcity of truck drivers, raw materials and semiconductors, and due to pent-up demand. The implications: Companies that effectively address supply chain issues can gain competitive advantage. They need to regularly communicate with customers about when they expect supplies to get back to normal, otherwise, consumers may try a new brand and not look back. 

2) Infrastructure investments and smart cities will spur sustainable tech. Beyond much-needed investments in ailing bridges and roads, look for cities to improve their tech infrastructure as they develop plans to revitalize themselves. The implications: Cities will look more at smart and sustainable technologies, like more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, solutions to manage food and package deliveries, intelligent traffic light systems that can adjust to traffic conditions, devices improving energy efficiency, and systems to improve safety, as well as smart sensors to gather data about pollution and other environmental data.

3) More data and bandwidth will help healthcare, but fitness trackers may not. In addition to the ongoing focus of healthcare reporters on COVID-19 this year, bioinformatics, which combines biology and computer science, will attract more media coverage. Powered by AI, bioinformatics is becoming more relevant because it collects and analyzes biological information, which will help transform the study and treatment of diseases and chronic conditions including neurological and psychiatric diseases. At the same time, expect that fitness trackers will get more scrutiny in terms of their accuracy, the data they capture (which may not be the data the user actually needs) and their inability to enable users to share the information with their healthcare providers. The implications: Bioinformatics companies will have more opportunities to inform the public about the timeliness and significance of their technology, while companies selling fitness trackers need to be prepared to address the issues that might arise about their offerings.

4) Cybersecurity will continue to dominate the media as companies search for solutions. The increase in the number of hybrid employees opens new security risks, and companies will need to establish new solutions for users accessing their networks remotely. The implications: Ransomware and other cyber-disruptions won’t go away this year so expect ongoing media coverage in 2022, especially involving government agencies and big companies with access to lots of personal data.

5) Infrastructure and 5G will be important topics in 2022. Updating the country’s infrastructure is seen by some as a way to make the U.S. more competitive and also improve access to necessary services to the have-not Americans who, for example, lack access to high-speed internet. As 3G service is discontinued, it is necessary to help provide 5G access in parts of the country that lack high-speed access. What this means: reporters will be interested in experts who can discuss what needs to be done and how infrastructure investments can impact rural communities, the poor, etc.

6) Future of money is increasingly cashless: More monetary transactions in 2022 will take place using apps like Venmo, PayPal, and Zelle because they’re more convenient because you pay with your phone – even if, like with Venmo, it’s more expensive than cash. We don’t expect this to get a lot of media coverage because reporters are more likely covering other finance topics including crypto, blockchain, NFTs and FinTechs — even though we think most readers won’t fully understand blockchain and NFTs (us included). But we do expect the percentage of cashless transactions to significantly increase except for the elderly and the unbanked poor. What this means: The big problem with going even 90% cashless is if you lose your phone or if there’s a blackout since cashless doesn’t work without electricity. Tangentially connected to the future of money because it is an alternate, but increasingly frequent, way for companies to go public, Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs), essentially shell companies, will get a lot of coverage, too, but much of it will be negative. 

7) Streaming could mean the end of cable and movie theaters. Pundits have been proclaiming the end of cable for a decade but it’s probably not a coincidence that cable use declined to 50% over the last year. Steaming will further erode movie theaters’ business because with a few exceptions, staying home to watch a movie is easier and less expensive. What this means: The media will cover the streaming wars because there’s only so many services that consumers can subscribe to – but we remain confident that there won’t be any consolidation until 2023. We also expect the media to cover the health of movie theaters and other entertainment venues; that said, we think there’s an ongoing market for sports, live performances and that arenas and theaters will continue to attract audiences as long as the risks for going out into a crowd are minimized. 

8) Big Tech, particularly social media, will continue to be relied upon and hated. We expect ongoing media coverage of the problems across various platforms but we don’t expect Congress to provide a meaningful solution because too many in Congress think the answer is to break up some of these companies as if they were traditional monopolies or to replace Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which is designed to protect freedom of expression on the internet. What this means: Not much will change.

9) HR will be seen as a competitive advantage. Being able to successfully manage remote teams, retain and recruit employees is more of a strategic priority than ever, especially given the Great Resignation. We expect the media to cover: fierce competition for talent that’s no longer limited by geography and will require better pay and benefits, including more flexibility for caregiving, mental health support; a positive culture (made more challenging to communicate remotely) more diversity and more corporate social responsibility programs; and less tolerance for toxic workplace conditions. This last point is especially important for front-line jobs – like flight attendants, restaurant workers, etc. – who dealt with rude and hostile customers.  What this means: Employees are rethinking their careers and are searching for meaningful work, and companies will need to find ways to provide that. This is particularly important for small companies, including mom-and-pop retail and restaurants, who will find it harder to stay in business if they can’t find and keep employees. 

As we do every year, we’ll do a recap in December to see how we did with our predictions. We think it is important to look at trends affecting a range of sectors, even if we don’t have active clients in a particular area, because there’s a limited quantity of reporters, editors and newspaper pages, including even on a website, and airtime TV, cable, radio and podcasts. So if business reporters are covering the latest iteration of the streaming wars, for example, they may be less able to cover your story. Additionally, knowing what reporters are likely to cover means you’re in a better position to pitch them a story they can use.


Norman BirnbachAbout the Author: Norman Birnbach is the president of Birnbach Communications, www.birnbach.com, a 20-year-old Boston-based PR and social media agency that helps clients navigate trends and raise awareness through earned media and thought leadership. His blog, PR BackTalk, provides insights and attitude about PR, journalism and traditional and social media.

 




Cybersecurity: The Increasing Need to Protect Our Devices

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Cybersecurity is needed now more than ever. Coronavirus has exposed why we’re at risk. Large-scale growth of work-from-home technologies, customer-facing networks, online cloud services have all been exploited by cyber attackers. COVID-19 has led to increased susceptibility to attacks with a 30% increase in cyber attacks reported each week in March and April 2020 compared to pre-coronavirus.

Covid has taught us three important lessons: a cyberattack can spread faster than a biological virus, the economic impact of a digital shutdown could be immense, and recovering from digital destruction can be very challenging. Soon we could see cyber pandemics, a self-propagating, digital attack that exploits tech loopholes before patches and antivirus software become available, that can spread faster and further than a biological pandemic. Consequences of cyberattacks on devices include poor performance and bricked or inoperable devices. The consequences of cyberattacks on the world would be extremely costly.

As we recover from the pandemic, businesses must re-evaluate their security policies and procedure to reflect the shift to remote work. Breaches will only increase until we change our approach to authentication. Authentication verifies that an individual is who they claim to be and confirms that person should be granted access. When your user authentication isn’t secure, cybercriminals can bypass the system, taking whatever information they want. 

Various authentication methods pose different strengths of security. Passwords and security questions are very weak. Answers to security questions are often readily available online. Out-of-band voice is also weak because voice calls are easily intercepted or redirected. Time-based-one-time passwords are medium security. One-time codes expire after a short period, enhancing security, but are vulnerable to SIM hijacking, malware, and notification flooding attacks. Biometrics are high security; they are hard to fake, but, if the data is compromised, people can’t simply change their fingerprints or face. Legacy multi-factor authentication varies in security strength and depends on the weakest factor used. More factors don’t mean more security. Multi-factor authentication creates headaches for users, and lack of usability is likely to erode compliance with password best-practices, further compromising security.

Asymmetric cryptography leveraged by certificates is already universally trusted. Certificate-based authentication eliminates the need for passwords, reducing the change of user-error, phishing attacks, and hacked password databases. Multiple criteria are used to determine whether an attempt is invalid. The end-user granted easy access without remembering a password or needing a second device for authentication. This means extremely secure authentication that is also easier for everyone to use. Increased cybersecurity is imperative, making secure authentication methods a priority.


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




The Cyber Bad Guys Are Getting Worse: New Cybersecurity eBook Released

 

“I don’t try to predict the future. All I want to do is prevent it.”

—Ray Bradbury

There have been a few moments of remarkable hope over the decades that I never thought I would live to see and literally took my breath away. The fall of the Berlin Wall. The collapse of apartheid and the subsequent election of Nelson Mandela. The election of Barack Obama. The rise of the Internet.

I remember the first night I had America Online and suddenly found myself in a conversation with someone in British Columbia. It was a “Watson, come here” moment.

In just over 20 years, the unbridled promise of the wild west of the new Internet has been replaced by 21st century robber barons in the form of a half dozen companies with spectacular power over commerce, democracy and thought. Add to this the rise of a criminal class so sophisticated in their enterprise that they now have mission statements. And their mission is not good.

One hundred percent of us will be hacked. Ransomware is on the rise. Nation-state interference is exhibit one in the new cold war. Disruption from cyber criminals is its own significant stand-alone threat even before we get to the disruption caused by AI and the rise of technology.

Over the past few months we have written multiple articles and conducted more than a dozen broadcast interviews, largely for the Corporate Counsel Business Journal, on cyber security and privacy issues, resulting in our fifth eBook, this one on Cybersecurity & Privacy. Leading experts provide their take on what companies can do pre-, during and post-breaches. We have interviews with one of the nation’s leading cyber security journalists, Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security; Jeffrey Rosenthal, Privacy Team chair of Blank Rome’s Biometric practice; and Marcello Antonucci, Claims Team Leader of Beazley’s Cyber & Tech, our co-sponsor of this eBook; and contributions from such leading firms as ThreatConnect, 4iQ, Mullen Coughlin, Carlton Fields, ZwillGen and many others.

We are distributing this eBook to more than 300,000 people through our media and insurance partners, including the Corporate Counsel Business Journal, CommPRO, Beazley and the many law and cyber firms who participated in this eBook. We are always updating our eBooks, so if you want to propose a topic, we can work you into the next edition.

Stay safe and enjoy the eBook.

Download the eBook 

Richard Levick

Richard S. Levick, Esq.

Chairman & CEO

LEVICK




Securing the Mosaic: Strategies for Strengthening Enterprise Cybersecurity

Diana Burley, PhD, is the executive director & chair at Institute for Information Infrastructure ProtectionDiana Burley, PhD, Executive Director & Chair at Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection

Enterprise environments are characterized by an increasingly complex mixture of devices, networks, and computing platforms. Some of these devices are owned and controlled by the enterprise. Others are not – think BYOD and the increasing number of IoT devices. The networks often span organizational (agencies, departments, external contractors working onsite, partners, suppliers, and customers), and geographic (everything from multi-national corporations to non-local employee travel with corporate or personal devices) boundaries. Necessarily, a mosaic of policies and procedures secure this complex array of functional requirements and security assumptions.

The trouble with this fragmented approach is that while the requirements and assumptions may hold true for specific devices in specific contexts, it is in the interface between devices, systems, and organizational units; as well as in the flow of data across entities, where vulnerabilities are often exploited. The security issues and basic assumptions driving functional and security decisions across the different system components can be unknown, very different, or just too complicated for any one individual (or even one set of individuals) to understand comprehensively in terms of security and functionality.

That said, below I identify three strategies to manage a massive global cyber attack and maintain calm with key stakeholders. First, identify the full array of stakeholders and develop a specific approach to engage each group. These individuals include senior executives, project managers, administrative and end users, network and system administrators, security operations staff, testers, developers, legal and regulatory affairs officers, … — anyone and everyone who (1) has an interest in the security of enterprise operations; and (2) can ensure that business priorities, workflows and usability concerns are considered. In determining stakeholder groups, ask questions such as: Why is this group important in the process? What is their typical background? What are the likely challenges to their participation and how can you overcome them? These questions will aid in developing a holistic approach to security awareness and in applying targeted intervention strategies. Enterprises should engage in a training that addresses the full spectrum of resistance – behavioral, cognitive, and emotional.

Second, address the knowledge gaps that prohibit the tight coupling of system processes and policies; creating vulnerabilities in the interface that expose the system and its components to exploitation. The separation of people and processes also encourages the growth of a cultural divide among different stakeholder groups that can hinder cooperation in the development and implementation of a holistic cybersecurity strategy. Security gaps persist because groups see the world differently, speak different languages, and have different (often competing) priorities.

Third, incorporate business processes and usability at the beginning and throughout security planning processes. Discrepancies occur for several reasons but regardless of the reason, convenience matters. Users must be able to use the system without cumbersome, unnecessarily complex security requirements that run counter to natural business flows. In a battle between business flows and security – business flows will win. More broadly, in a battle between convenience and security – convenience will win. Taken together, these strategies will strengthen the security posture and enhance enterprise resiliency.

About the Author: Diana Burley, PhD, is the executive director & chair at Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection. A full professor at The George Washington University, Dr Burley is one of the country’s leading cybersecurity experts. 




Cybersecurity: So Much Time, So Little Progress

Dianna Booher, CEO, Booher Research Institute

As I read of the latest cyberattack, the worst in history, involving hospitals, shipping systems, and corporations in more than 150 countries, I see much hand-wringing. But the first thing that comes to my mind is the old mantra: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

That’s not to play “blame the victim” as so often happens with crime. It is to say that customers, employees, and investors have been victimized by their government and corporate leaders burying their collective heads in the sand and pretending the cybersecurity problem will somehow correct itself.

After 9/11/2001, America seemed shocked into the reality of believing there was indeed evil in the world—people who actually wanted to do America harm. Seeing our government leaders united––Republicans and Democrats alike standing together on the Capitol steps singing God Bless America ––sparked hope that they would begin to take the cyber threat seriously and use all means necessary to identify and stop those using the internet to monitor, communicate, or plan to harm our citizenry.

So what happened?

Very little.

Seventeen years later, experts tell us that our electrical grids are still easily accessible for cyber terrorists, allowing power to be shut off to large regions and paralyze the country.

How about progress in healthcare?

In 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services released the final criteria defining “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHRs). To get the 700,000 clinicians and 5000 acute care hospitals to comply, they enticed with $30 billion of incentives and the threat of reduced payments for failure to comply. The biggest concern about these records? Privacy and security. Those EHRs include Medicare data (that is, social security numbers), accessible to anyone in the hospital system.

That brings us to the unprecedented rise in identity theft. There are rules and regulations that force companies to disclose data breaches to their customers (stolen customer credit cards or private account information) “in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay.” They often do not tell customers—at least until months or years after the fact. Here’s their out: They can delay to accommodate “the legitimate needs of law enforcement” during an ongoing investigation.

So what about cybersecurity at the government itself?

In 2013, National Security Agency subcontractor Edward Snowden downloaded the country’s top secret domestic surveillance practices and dangled them in front of the government’s nose—another huge warning of the country’s inadequate protection.

Want to sign up for social security online, as the agency encourages you to do? Until just recently, if you were inclined to create an account on the government site, a message popped up on the screen: “Caution: This site is not secure.”

So what action at the very highest levels of government suggest that cybersecurity is taken more seriously there?

The former director of the FBI, James Comey, has described our 2016 Democratic president candidate Hillary Clinton’s handling of the nation’s top secret classified information on her unsecured server as “extremely careless.” And both the left and the right allege that the Russians have interfered with the 2016 presidential elections.

And while the government and social media companies debate the issues, ISIS still uses their platforms to recruit and train followers. To the chagrin of all parties, Wikileaks continues to release information that perplexes and angers politicians on both sides of the aisle.

It’s about 17 years past time for Congress to stop their petty bickering and concentrate on protecting this country.

About the Author: Dianna Booher, MA, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve productivity through clear communication and with individuals to increase impact by a stronger executive presence. CEO of Booher Research Institute and founder of Booher Consultants, Inc., she’s a prolific author of 46 books, published in 26 languages.




PR Genome Webinar: Cybersecurity 101 and What Your Agency Needs to Know

 

Cybersecurity 101 400Webinar Overview

From cyber extortion, to ransomware to malware – a cyber attack can be devastating, often resulting in the loss of revenue, interrupted business continuity and significant damages to both brand reputation and corporate morale. While many public relations agencies provide crisis communications for clients experiencing a breach – they are not immune to cyber attacks that put their own data at risk. It is critical for public relations agencies to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity – understanding the full threat landscape and preparing all departments and internal stakeholders to react quickly and work together when an incident occurs.

This webinar will overview real-life cybersecurity scenarios and best practices for every angle of cyber attack response including legal, technical and corporate communications.

Panelists include:

Sandra Fathi, President, Affect

Vincent Martinez, Partner, K&L Gates

Thursday, May 4, 2017

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

This webinar is free for members of the PR Council, and $100 for nonmembers.

Register Now




The Cybersecurity Implications of Brexit for Your Company

Venkat Rajaji, Senior Vice President Marketing, Core SecurityBy Venkat Rajaji, Senior Vice President Marketing, Core Security

Some analysts view the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union as the catalyst for economic turmoil – from roiling the U.K. real estate market to the slowdown in various vertical markets.

While many implications associated with Brexit are being discussed, it may take years to see the long-term impact. That said, we already are seeing the initial economic impact and slumping investor confidence resulting from this political decision. Companies noting this global market volatility may be tempted to cut costs as a proactive measure. This may be the appropriate thing to do in some circumstances. However, it is critical to have a heightened sense of awareness around what Brexit means for your company’s information security policies. When evaluating the importance of information security, consider the following questions for your business:

  1. How does this politically motivated decision impact our business, and specifically, the information security of our business?
  2. Could we become more of a target as a result of this decision?
  3. If we are more of a target, where are our exposures?
  4. What should we be focusing on in terms of preventing and responding as quickly as possible to potential breaches?

The idea you may be more vulnerable as a result of a political decision, such as Brexit, is not new, but this does not make it any less real. Anytime there is opposition to a political action, businesses may be vulnerable to an attack, whether from a nation-state or otherwise.

While we don’t necessarily understand the motivations behind adversaries, Brexit could be a motivator for bad actors. For example, in 2014, Sony produced a comedic movie with a political statement about Kim Jong-un, and North Korea backlashed by hacking their network and releasing private emails.

So what are the precautions your company should take given this landscape? Three critical information security policies can lessen impact of potential attacks on your business.

  1. Manage privileged accounts, aka the keys to the kingdom. Privilege misuse was the second-most common cause of security incidents and the fourth-most frequent cause of breaches, according to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). Your business should continuously monitor privileged credentials to make sure they are not exposed.
  1. Manage user credentials and identities. The same Verizon report also found 63 percent of data breaches are associated with the misuse of legitimate user credentials. Businesses in all industries need to manage the growing universe of identities, devices and data employees require to do their jobs. 
  1. Understand your network vulnerabilities. Businesses must efficiently identify and prioritize vulnerabilities for remediation. You need to constantly work in protection mode to prevent attacks from penetrating your network.
  2. Conduct continuous penetration testing. Businesses should implement penetration testing and certification reviews to continuously validate your users and your network. These are vital best practices for comprehensive security policies.

The bottom line during this time of economic and investor uncertainty following the Brexit decision is that businesses must have a heightened sense of awareness around their cybersecurity. Given the controversy surrounding Brexit, investors and executives are wise to consider the cybersecurity implications for their company and understand why information security is not an area for cost cutting measures.

If you are a target, you should be aware you’re a target. Know that you cannot stop an attack on your network, but you can stop hackers from penetrating valuable data in your network. Your company needs to have policies in place to rapidly determine the root cause of a vulnerability and prioritize the correct mitigation action as quickly as possible.

About the Author: Venkat Rajaji is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and is responsible for business development and lead generation at Core Security. Venkat brings with him diverse expertise in marketing, product management, management consulting, finance, and presales. Before joining Core Security, Venkat was Vice President of Sales Operations and Customer Retention at Aptean. He also held product management and marketing roles with Infor and consulting roles with IBM and Accenture. Venkat received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas-Austin, master’s degree in Information Management from University of Maryland-College Park, and a Master of Business Administration from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University.  




Unlock the Power of Search for Brands and Executives

At 8.5 billion Google searches per day, you’re either branded or you’re labeled.

On Demand Video

 

EVENT OVERVIEW

Harness and leverage the power of Google to build your brand and protect executive reputations. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to provide new value to clients by taking advantage of the scope and influence of Google search.

CommPRO.biz and Lightbox Search are bringing together the A-listers of the Communications industry to take a deep-dive into the search-centric approach agencies must take to serve their clients in 2022 and beyond.

 

 

Join us…

FIRESIDE CHAT

Raoul Davis, Founder & CEO, Ascendant Group Branding

Ascendant Group Branding is ranked #3 world-wide out of 11,400 branding agencies on Ad World Masters top agencies list and #1 ranked minority owned PR firm by Clutch and Manifest. The agency offers one of the most integrated models in the world including brand strategy, PR, literary representation, design, social media, video, photography, and strategic relationships.   In his tenure, both he and Ascendant have been recognized multiple times for their work including by the Philadelphia Titans 100 Executives, receiving invitations to small business forums at the U.S. Senate, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and The White House, and winning multiple awards for PR, design, and company culture.    

Davis is a Forbes contributor and author of the book Firestarters: How Innovators, Initiators and Instigators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life. 

He speaks regularly for Joseph Business School and has given talks for leading organizations such as UPENN, Young Entrepreneur Council, as well as various universities and Chambers of Commerce across the country.

His life philosophy, “paving the way for others” is inspired by the example of John The Baptist. He currently serves as the Chair for the Board of Directors for Life in Christ Cathedral of Faith.

Lewis Williams, EVP, Head of Brand Impact, Weber Shandwick

Recognized as one of Adweek’s 2018 Creative 100, and Ad Club of New York’s 2022 Icons, Rock Stars and Innovators Series. Lewis is a passionate, award-winning creative leader and storyteller with extensive experience in total and multicultural marketing. During his career he has created award-winning digital and traditional work for major brands such as Google, McDonald’s, Walmart, Toyota, Comcast, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Walt Disney World, Walmart, Allstate, Miller Lite and Comcast. 

After spending much of his successful career at iconic agencies Leo Burnett (SVP Creative Director) and Burrell Communications (EVP Chief Creative Officer) he is now EVP Head of Brand Impact at legendary PR agency Weber Shandwick. Partnering across client experience, creative and strategy teams he helps drive deeper impact and cultural relevance for the agency and its partners. 

Lewis mentors BIPOC students for the One Club For Creativity, One School, and is very active on the speaker circuit where he shares his perspective and experiences on diversity in the marketing and communications industry. He also has had the honor of serving on the jury of prestigious creative award shows as Cannes Lions, The International Andy Awards, The One Show, Effie’s, The Clios and Communication Arts Advertising Competition.

Lewis is a distinguished alumnus of The Kent State School of Design where he established the Lewis and Dona Williams Scholarship Fund. The funds are dedicated to those students in need of financial assistance.

FIRESIDE CHAT HOST

Laurence Moskowitz, Chief Executive Officer, Lightbox Search

Laurence Moskowitz, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lightbox Search, was named one of the 10 most influential public relations executives of the 20th Century by PR Week magazine. Regarded as an expert in crisis communications, issues management and strategic corporate communications, Larry founded Lumentus, a New York-based agency, in 2009 after recognizing that technology and client service needs were changing how public relations, marketing and advertising firms must operate. In 2018, Larry saw a need his technology could solve and created Lightbox Search.

A communications pioneer, Larry has leveraged emerging technologies throughout his career to provide business and professional communicators with more powerful and effective means of reaching their audiences. Prior to Lumentus, Larry founded Medialink, then the world’s largest provider of video-based media communications services to Fortune 500 companies.

As Chairman and CEO of Medialink, Larry forged strategic alliances with the Associated Press and Nielsen to create the first professional distribution network linking corporations and other organizations with television broadcasters nationwide. Medialink, which he took public, won hundreds of public relations industry awards, and was successfully merged into a successor company in 2009. Larry had previously founded a forerunner to PR Newswire and started his career as a reporter and editor.

Larry was honored with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for communications in 1999.

Larry holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University, where he was Kappa Tau Alpha in communications. He has lectured on public relations and online media at New York University, the BBC in London and Denmark Television in Copenhagen, NewsXchange in Barcelona and numerous professional groups around the world.

ROUNDTABLE  HOST

Jesse Jacobs, Chief Technology Officer, Lightbox Search

Jesse Jacobs serves as Chief Technology Officer of Lightbox Search where he drives product development. Jesse works closely with both the technical team and clients to ensure Lightbox meets evolving objectives.

During his decade with Lumentus, he has led cross-platform content creation as a creative strategist with expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), digital reputation management and brand building.

Jesse is passionate about technology and design and holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts and Entertainment and Strategic Communications from Elon University.

GUESTS

Brian Laird, Senior Vice President, Digital, Lippe Taylor

A 22-year veteran in advertising & marketing, Brian started his experience across traditional advertising mediums before pivoting to the digital world in 2005. He is best known for providing client partners with strategic and performance-driving 360-degree digital media experiences across social, programmatic, influencer, SEM, video, and mobile, while being able to be a valuable resource across traditional media and telling the full brand story for his partners.

Brian held senior leadership roles across digital publishers, programmatic partners, digital brand safety giants, and PR agencies throughout New York and Los Angeles. His ability to transform into any role his client partners require is his biggest asset to any client partner and he guides clients with a steady hand and thoughtful process as a true extension of their team.

Brian has been fortunate to be able to expand his knowledge and social expertise work across multiple verticals over the last two decades including CPG, retail, entertainment, corporate communications and most recently over the last 6 years in aesthetics, pharma and healthcare.

Brian has a BA in communications and marketing from University of Louisiana and is a published speaker for his alumni chapter and local chapters of AAF. He has also worked with the University of Alabama and University of Central Florida as mentor to students across digital and social careers.

Jennifer Levey, Director of Media Relations, Makovsky

Jennifer Levey has been a communications professional for over 25 years. She began her career in journalism working for non-profits, newspapers and magazine companies including Nielsen Media. Jennifer made her way into public relations first,  working  for TARA, Ink., a leading luxury public relations firm in Miami Beach, FL and now as Director of Media Relations at Makovsky.

 

 

 

Kyle Monson, Co-Founder, Codeword (A WE agency)

Kyle has worked in the tech industry for nearly 20 years, first as a journalist, then as a marketer for global tech brands and a wide range of startups. He co-founded Codeword 10 years ago, an agency devoted to fusing journalism and marketing. 

Kyle loves to dive deep into technology and develop marketing programs and stories that will resonate with tech fans. He believes brands and marketing budgets should be used to make the world and the internet more rewarding, rich, and delightful for people. And he’s spent more than a decade pushing for corporate transparency in PR and advertising.

When he’s not hunched over his laptop, Kyle enjoys making up strange D&D storylines with his kids, and watching snobby TV shows with his wife. 

John Patterson, EVP, Group Manager Digital Strategy, Ketchum

I’m here to act as a translator. To translate what your consumers want and need through a deep understanding developed through tailored research. At the intersection of data privacy and data driven decision making sits an inherent need to better understand what is important to our audiences. Now more than ever it’s important to be deeply connected to consumer wants and needs and use those to build authentic brand stories that put your brand in context for the lifestyle of your consumer.

Experience: Social Media Marketing for Fortune 500 and Global 500 companies including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Samsung, E & J Gallo Wine, General Motors and leading consumer goods manufacturers. Client work in automotive, beauty, consumer goods, technology, and food and beverage verticals. College coursework in Marketing and Professional Sales.

Specialties: social media marketing, community management, social media strategy, content strategy, SEO, social search, blogging, copywriting, digital brand building, social campaign generation, print marketing, experiential marketing, purls marketing, online advertising. Facebook, Facebook Insights, Facebook Advertising, Twitter, Twitter Promoted Products, Google+, YouTube, Google Analytics, Omniture, Radian6, Oracle Social, Salesforce Social Studio, Sysomos, Hootsuite, Curalate, Expion, Sprinklr, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Foursquare.

Bob PearsonBob Pearson, Chair, The Next Practices Group

Bob is Chair of The Next Practices Group, a network of founder-driven consulting firms that work together to advance innovation and develop the “next practice” in their respective fields to create an advantage for their clients.  The firms are centered in communications, marketing, public affairs and security.  All firms benefit from expertise in data science/analytics, PESO media, social purpose, intelligence, software and security solutions.  

Bob also serves as CEO of The Bliss Group, a leading communications firm and Chair of Next Solutions Group, a firm focused on cybersecurity and public affairs.  

He has played a key role in building two media firms that are ranked in the top 50 worldwide (GCI Health and Real Chemistry), he led the creation of the Fortune 500’s first global social media function at Dell and he has served as a global leader in communications at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi) and Novartis, as well as Dell. 

He has written four books based on his experience in the public and private sectors.  Two relate to digital media innovation (PreCommerce and Storytizing), one focuses on how to build powerful narratives (Crafting Persuasion) and the fourth reflects on how to combat bad actors (Countering Hate).  Bob is currently writing a new book centered on the world of consulting that will be available in 2023. 

Since teaching is often the best way to learn what’s next and reinforce what works today, Bob designs and teaches new classes as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas McCombs School (new digital media models, persuasive selling) and as a lecturer for the U.S. Government with a focus on combating disinformation and extremism.

He is an investor and advisor for media software and AI companies that are reinventing how we advertise, how we reach our audience and how we unlock content.  In his spare time, he helps lead a new music series in Austin called 70 Rock that features local artists throughout the year.      

Bob resides in Austin, Texas with his wife, Donna.  

Barry Reicherter, Managing Partner – Global Intelligence, Finn Partners

With more than 20 years of experience in the digital marketing field, Barry leads digital research and insights at Finn Partners. In this role, Barry works on an integrated, firm wide basis with each practice group at the firm to deliver results-driven marketing programs to the firm’s clients. Much of Barry’s body of work has been in the digital strategy and branding for clients such as Hyundai, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Steelcase, Rosetta Stone, HP, Nestlé, Pfizer, Chase, Procter and Gamble, Pearson, and Reed-Elsevier.  

Prior to joining Finn Partners, Barry led Porter Novelli’s digital group where he developed industry-leading programs for non-profits, industry groups, government agencies and well-known consumer brands. Under his leadership, the digital group built innovative online programs for Hewlett Packard, Crayola, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Food Guidance System), Georgia-Pacific, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Dietary Guidelines), Busch Entertainment Corporation’s Busch Gardens, SeaWorld and Discovery Cove, Penske, Capital One, and many more. 

Prior to joining Porter Novelli, Barry was operations director for Active.com, the leading registrar for recreational, team and league sports. He also managed cause marketing campaigns such as American Express Travel Related Services’ Charge Against Hunger campaign while at public relations agency M. Silver Associates, Inc. At AOL, Barry led the launch campaign for the company’s first e-commerce shopping cart, AOL QuickCheckout. Barry also led internet business strategy for Best Software (now part of Sage Software) and M.Y.O.B. Accounting software. 

Barry has been featured in industry publications and has appeared as a speaker and moderator at industry conferences and seminars in the U.S. and Europe. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from the University of Denver and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Southampton College. Barry is also an adjunct faculty member at the Kogod School of Business at American University. He can be found on Twitter at @barryreich and on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/barryreicherter/.

REGISTER




A Conversation with Garrett M. Graff, Author, ‘Watergate: A New History’

 

Garrett M. Graff, a distinguished magazine journalist, international bestselling historian, and regular TV commentator and producer, has spent nearly two decades covering politics, technology, and national security and is recognized today as one of the nation’s most prolific and wide-ranging journalists and historians.

Join Michael in his discussion with Garrett Graff about his new book Watergate: A New History, as he explores the full, untold story of Watergate on its 50-year anniversary.

Guest

Garrett M. Graff

Garrett M. Graff, a distinguished magazine journalist, internationally bestselling historian, and regular TV commentator and producer, has spent nearly two decades covering politics, technology, and national security and is recognized today as one of the nation’s most prolific and wide-ranging journalists and historians.

His award-winning work—including a half-dozen books on topics ranging from presidential campaigns, Watergate, 9/11, cybersecurity, and the U.S. government’s Cold War Doomsday plans, as well as dozens of magazine articles, essays, podcasts, and documentaries—uses history to explain the story of today, illuminating where we’ve been as a country and where we’re headed as a world.

A current contributor to WIRED and CNN and director of the cyber initiatives at The Aspen Institute, he has written for publications from Esquire to Rolling Stone to the New York Times, and served as the editor of two of Washington’s most prestigious magazines, Washingtonian (2009-2014) and POLITICO Magazine (2014-2015), which he helped lead to its first National Magazine Award, the industry’s highest honor.

Graff is the author of multiple books, including The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI and the national bestseller, Raven Rock, about the government’s Cold War Doomsday plans, as well as co-author of Dawn of the Code War, tracing the global cybersecurity threat.

His most recent book, Watergate: A New History, was called “dazzling” by Douglas Brinkley in the New York Times Book Review and became an instant New York Times bestseller. Kirkus Reviews called it “the standard-setting … best and fullest account of the Watergate crisis, one unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon,” and wrote that it is “a brisk, riveting, compulsively readable, comprehensive, up-to-date narrative of the entire tangled affair.” In his review for the Washington Post, Len Downie, Jr., wrote, “Do we need still another Watergate book? The answer turns out to be yes — this one…. It is a remarkably rich narrative with compelling characters, who range from criminal and flawed to tragic and heroic. As someone who played a small role in the drama while I was editing many of The Washington Post’s Watergate stories, I found that Graff convincingly populates and re-creates an extraordinary time in the history of the country and this city.”

Host

Michael Zeldin

Michael Zeldin is a well-known and highly-regarded TV and radio analyst/commentator.

He has covered many high-profile matters, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, the Gore v. Bush court challenges, Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation of interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Trump impeachment proceedings.

In 2019, Michael was a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he taught a study group on Independent Investigations of Presidents.

Previously, Michael was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as Deputy Independent/ Independent Counsel, investigating allegations of tampering with presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s passport files, and as Deputy Chief Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, October Surprise Task Force, investigating the handling of the American hostage situation in Iran.

Michael is a prolific writer and has published Op-ed pieces for CNN.com, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Hill, The Washington Times, and The Washington Post.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @michaelzeldin

Subscribe to the Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/that-said-with-michael-zeldin/id1548483720




Navigating Risk

Navigating Risk - Richard Levick

 

“Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.”
– George C. Scott as Gen. ‘Buck’ Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove

I have always been amazed at the confident abandon with which we use words like “due diligence,” as if we can accurately and fully read and understand every risk — past, present and future. The more information we have, the more surprised we seem to become by endless eventualities.

Who would have thought that the very country that unleased its destructive impulses on America and the West with the Gerasimov Doctrine—radically accelerating the demolition of our faith and confidence in government, courts, the media and each other—would also be the same country unifying us throughout Europe and America by invading Ukraine?

Up until very recently, we seemed ready to go to civil war over masks and pronouns, but in just a few short weeks appear to have realized that a nuclear and chemically equipped autocrat engaged in the greatest threat to democracy since World War II deserves our utmost attention.

What level of cyber warfare should we anticipate from an antagonistic Russia? What preparations should we be making in our offices and homes? High profile and High Net Worth Individuals require special prophylaxis, but it also turns out that small and medium sized businesses are considered “low hanging fruit” by Russian cyber warriors. Now is not the time to rest on our cyber laurels.

How do companies navigate their brand and marketing position at a time when a new cold and hot war has started while the struggle at home teeters between an “off with their heads” French revolutionary narcissism (all judgment, no listening) and the late World War II Senator Arthur Vandenberg’s belief that “politics stops at the water’s edge?” What will tomorrow bring?

To help us anticipate, navigate and prepare for the lightning fast and radically altering foreign and domestic risks, we recorded five shows this past week on In House Warrior, the daily podcast I host for the Corporate Counsel Business Journal that is carried globally by multiple media partners such as CommPRO and Air Asia, to help guide us through this period of danger and uncertainty.

As William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even the past.” The future is seldom as we predicted or anticipated, and unintended consequences seem to always catch us by surprise.

A Paper Cyber Tiger? The Russian Cyberwar That Isn’t…Yet

Brandon Valeriano, Ph.D., a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Marine Corps University and formerly a Senior Advisor to the Cyberspace Solarium Commission joined me to discuss his latest articles, including A Russian Cyber War in Ukraine Was a Fantasy and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine didn’t rely on cyberwarfare. Here’s why. He outlined the clues earlier Russian cyber operations can provide, why Russia’s current cyber efforts have had little impact, their ineffectiveness on the battlefield but their effectiveness at disrupting peaceful societies, how hacktivists are engaging and why cyberwarfare is not yet decisive.

Cyber Risks In the Age of Geopolitical Disruption

Dr. Chris Pierson, Founder and CEO of BlackCloak, a pioneer of personal digital protection, spoke on air about the increased risks to CEOs, C-suite executives, High Net Worth Individuals and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals during this geopolitically tense time. He outlined particularly threatened industries, including energy, finance, aerospace and defense, and also highlighted how personal Gmail accounts are now a target, especially for those working with the federal government in some capacity.

There Are No Borders In The Digital Wars

Peter Cavrell, Vice President of Business Development & Marketing and Chuck Mackey, Director of Cybersecurity Consulting at Fortress Security Risk Management, discussed existing cyber threats and how they will only grow with the likely forthcoming Russian cyber warfare. Expect more insider threats, supply chain risks and attacks on the small and middle market firms. They also discussed how to insulate and protect your assets, including 6-Steps to Cyber Safety and an accompanying infographic.

Navigating the Risk of Corporate Political Spending

Bruce Freed, President and Co-Founder of the Center for Political Accountability, spoke on how corporations can navigate the increasingly transparent and highly challenging world of political donations. Already demanding prior to the January 6th insurrection, it is now a minefield, with PAC, 527 and association donations and alliances drawing heavy critical fire from the media, social critics, employees and even shareholders. In this age of divisiveness and heightened public criticism when the old tropes about ‘equal donations’ and ‘not agreeing with everything a politician or group stands for’ increasingly on deaf ears, corporations must interrogate the increased risks and reduced rewards of their political donations. The Center provides multiple resources for companies, including a model code of conduct, Navigating the Risks of Corporate Political Spending.

Erin Essenmacher, a long time board member, award winning film maker, strategist and journalist captured a number of my thoughts on the subject in a recent article in Directors and Boards magazine entitled How to Respond to Social and Political Issues.

The SEC and Securities-Related Regulatory and Enforcement Matters

Kristin Snyder, former Deputy Director of the Division of Examinations at the SEC and current member of the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in the firm’s San Francisco office, joined me for a show. She discussed securities-related regulatory and enforcement matters, particularly for private investment firms and other asset managers; ESG enforcement for investment managers and private funds; a look forward at 2022 SEC trends; and more.

For those of us who wondered what it was like for our grandparents and great grandparents in the leadup to World War II, we can wonder no more. We now have a fractional sense of the risks and tumult, the courage and the entire populations reduced to proxies by an autocrat trying to establish superpower leverage. Already, it has put into perspective what it is really like when someone “makes us feel uncomfortable.”

“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing-grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!”

– Winston Churchill speaking before the House of Commons, June 4, 1940, following the evacuation of British and French armies from Dunkirk.

Enjoy the shows.

Richard Levick




Don’t Be Evil

Don't Be Evil

“If there is a worse place than hell, I am in it”. …

– Abraham Lincoln, after the battle of Fredericksburg, 1862

“In spite of everything
I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

Anne Frank, writing in her diary weeks before her capture, 1944

 

In the spring of 1995, WIRED magazine’s Executive Editor Kevin Kelly met with author and Luddite sympathizer Kirkpatrick Sale to interview him on his forthcoming book, Rebels Against The Future: The Luddites And Their War On The Industrial Revolution: Lessons For The Computer Age.

Describing early 1995 feels virtually unrecognizable now, like the conversations we used to have with our grandparents when they described the transition from horse and buggy to automobiles. We would wonder, “How did they do it?”

In 1995, almost no one had a mobile phone. Amazon was less than a year old, selling only books; there was no talk of profit, and they were burning through capital. Apple was struggling to survive and taking out full page newspaper advertisements to build its tribe.

It was just six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and barely three since the Soviet Union had collapsed. Google was more than three years from being founded, and when it was, no one laughed at its original tag line, “Don’t be evil.” The Soviet Union—the original “Evil Empire”—had collapsed at the end of 1991 and capitalism had been declared the winner. It was a time of extraordinary hope in the West. We were intoxicated by the feeling that all things were possible.

Getting on the internet was well-nigh spiritual in those days and almost always included this dial up sound from AOL. Every online experience seemed virginal.

Our first internet experiences felt like the days of CB radio. It was the Wild West, and in a few keystrokes, you could be communicating with someone in a foreign country. For a generation used to exorbitant long distance telephone rates, this was almost as exciting as that astonishing moment in 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell shouted to his assistant Thomas Watson after the successful invention of the telephone, “Mr. Watson, Come Here, I need you.” The Eagle had indeed landed, but this time, in all of our homes.

The internet was a great promise that seemed to make the world smaller and more accessible all at once. And that is what Kevin Kelly believed when he interviewed Sale, who, conversely, believed society was on the verge of collapse. Kelly hated Sale’s book and lured Sale into a $1000 bet that, “In the year 2020, we’re not even close to the kind of disaster you describe.”

Twenty-five years have come and gone, and on December 31, 2020, Bill Patrick, WIRED Editor, declared Kelly the winner, “But it’s a squeaker and not much cause for celebration.”

If you had asked me in 1995, I would have taken Kelly’s bet to be a certainty. Today? I wouldn’t take that bet at all. How many friends do you know who historically supported gun control but have recently whispered to you about the purchase of a firearm or their plans to? This is not the exhilarating spring of 1995.

Looking Backward to Look Forward

The battle of Fredericksburg was fought in mid-December 1862 and was a horrifically bloody set back among many for the Union Army. There were 12,653 Union casualties to 4,201 for the Confederates. It was the second year of the Civil War, and it was not going well for the North.

As for Lincoln’s leadership, Senator Zachariah Chandler,radical Republican, wrote, “The President is a weak man, too weak for the occasion…”

Lincoln received almost daily letters from grieving mothers, sisters and widows, which weighed on him so heavily that he was once found by his son Robert hunched over his desk, crying.

However great the tragedy of the Battle of Fredericksburg, the bloodiest days were ahead—Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor to name but a few. We would lose roughly 2% of the American population—that is, proportionally, ten times greater than current U.S. losses to Covid-19. The pain of these four years is instantly evident from the photos of Lincoln’s face, aging from young man to old in just four years.

Who would have thought that one of the things keeping us sleepless at night would be the question, “Does democracy survive the Internet Age?” Is it a force for good or is it tearing us apart at the seams? Absurd rumors take on the authority of fact and become rallying cries. Criticism, once limited to a personal conversation or sometimes no conversation at all other than a monologue in our heads, has been given as much of a platform as Gutenberg.

The National Butterfly Center in Texas has had to close, as it is the latest focus of absurd conspiracy theories about child sex trafficking, and book banning is back in vogue. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee; Maus, by Art Spiegelman; The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison; Heather Has Two Mommies, by Lesléa Newman; The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, to name just a few, with hundreds more on watch lists and endangered. It can’t happen here?

What hath the Internet Age wrought? It has brought us more information in a day than our grandparents had in a year while simultaneously shredding our notions of free speech. And this is just the threat from state and local governments and our fellow citizens. What about dangerous nation state actors and cyber criminals?

So here we are, at the emotional crossroads somewhere between Lincoln’s despair after the Battle of Fredericksburg and Anne Frank’s indefatigable hope in the summer of 1944.

Over the past week, I interviewed three experts on security and cybersecurity—dedicated to keeping us safe—for the daily podcast, In House Warrior that I host for the Corporate Counsel Business Journal, along with two thought leaders on Covid-19 and law firm management.

The New Paradigms in Security

Roderick Jones, formerly of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and the Executive Chairman of Concentric—which provides comprehensive security programs for high-growth Silicon Valley companies, High-Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) and others—joined me for a show. He spoke about the shift from international to domestic threats, the frightening rise of “leadership resistance,” escalating online security threats, the importance of sentiment analysis, the increased use of the dark web by extremists and what we can do to protect ourselves.

Cybersecurity is No Longer Just an IT Issue

Peter Halprin, a partner in Pasich LLP’s New York office and a faculty member with the Global Cyber Institute, spoke about the proliferation of cyber and ransomware attacks and how in-house legal departments are taking on a larger role in cybersecurity efforts. He focused on the critical questions general counsels need to ask themselves, including how are we protecting the company; what do we do if we’re hacked and how are we going to pay for this? Most importantly, Peter discussed why in-house counsel need to treat cyber-attacks as inevitabilities.

A Guide to Internet Privacy

Jeremy Berkowitz, Senior Principal on Promontory Financial Group’s privacy and data protection team (part of IBM Consulting), provided a guide to privacy issues. He discussed the current landscape of privacy legislation in the U.S., including California, Virginia and Colorado; potential action by the FTC, CFPB and other agencies on privacy rulemakings; the biggest challenges organizations face in building privacy programs; what an ideal privacy governance structure looks like and the privacy-related issues to watch out for in 2022.

The Evolving World of Covid Vaccine Liability Immunity

It is hard to imagine this period of time without discussing Covid-19, so Judi Curry joined me for a conversation. She is the Senior and Managing Partner of the New York City office and Co-Leader of the Medical and Life Sciences Industry Team at Harris Beach PLLC, as well as a member of Berkley Life Sciences’ Elite Defense Counsel. She discussed which coronavirus vaccine has been approved by the FDA and which ones have been approved under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization; who is immune from liability for vaccines under federal laws and the limitations on immunity from liability; what healthcare providers, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies can do to protect themselves from coronavirus-related lawsuits; and the most recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on vaccine mandates.

The Trusted Advisor – Up Close with Brad Hildebrandt

For our law firm readers and listeners, my old friend, Brad Hildebrandt, the founding father of management consulting for the legal profession, joined me for a conversation on what law firms should be doing and thinking during this challenging period. Brad discussed current pressing law firm challenges such as finding and keeping talent, culture, and the technology race. Brad’s extensive knowledge of the legal profession and his unique understanding of the dynamics of professional services firms have led him to become the leading global authority on the business of the practice of law the world over. He is also an ordained Lutheran minister with a master’s degree in theology, training that seems remarkably relevant today.

Saying Goodbye to a Legal Giant

Over the course of the past week, Professor Yale Kamisar, known as the “Father of the Miranda Rule” and cited in more than 30 U.S. Supreme Court cases including Gideon v. Wainwright—the right to counsel—passed away at age 92. He helped shape modern criminal procedure, including protections for the rights of the accused.

I never knew Professor Kamisar but recall reading him extensively in law school, since I spent so much time doing scholarship for the late criminal law scholar Nicholas Kittrie—another legal luminary whose work had influenced me long before law school.

Jeffrey Lehman, the vice chancellor of N.Y.U. Shanghai, who studied under Professor Kamisar and later served as dean of the University of Michigan Law School, said of Professor Kamisar, “He used to talk about himself as a young kid playing stickball in the Bronx, being picked on by cops. And that is sort of what led to his interest in law, as a way to regulate the behavior of powerful people.”

Eve Primus, who also studied under Professor Kamisar and now holds a chair in his name at the University of Michigan Law School, said, “There was this period of police brutalization of predominantly Black and brown people, especially in the South. Yale, being the person that he was, understood that there were opportunities to move law forward.”

He was a man of the moment and significantly influenced the 1960s and 1970s Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, that was examining civil liberties with fresh eyes. One person out of many, making an extraordinary difference.

How appropriate that we are celebrating the 137th birthday this week of author Sinclair Lewis, who wrote, among other classis, It Can’t Happen Here, a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy.

It can happen here. With Yale Kamisar as part of our inspiration, let us do everything we can to keep the great disruption at bay.

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

John Lennon, Imagine

Enjoy the shows.

Richard Levick

Listen to The New Paradigms in Security

Listen to Cybersecurity is No Longer Just an IT Issue

Listen to A Guide to Internet Privacy

Listen to The Evolving World of Covid Vaccine Liability Immunity

Listen to The Trusted Advisor




Richard Levick –The Middle Road

Richard Levick - The Middle Road

“I was lyin’ with my mess-mates on the cold and rocky ground
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound
Says I “Now listen up me boys”, each soldier strained to hear
As one young German voice sang out so clear
“He’s singin’ bloddy well you know”, my partner says to me
Soon one by one each German voice joined in in harmony
The cannons rested silent. The gas cloud rolled no more
As Christmas brought us respite from the war
As soon as they were finished a reverent pause was spent
‘God rest ye merry, gentlemen’ struck up some lads from Kent
The next they sang was ‘Stille Nacht”. “Tis ‘Silent Night’” says I
And in two toungues one song filled up that sky”

— John McCutcheon’s song Christmas in the Trenches about the World War I Christmas Soccer Truce on the Western Front

Each year we produce a Year-In-Review eBook with a theme based on the year that was, filling it with our 50-or-so columns and hundreds of podcasts. 2021 seems to be about learning to live with loss — with nearly 5.5 million people worldwide dying of Covid-19. It was also a year for Americans and others in democratic nations to think the unthinkable: Will democracy survive?

As someone who has suffered great loss in this lifetime, the key lesson I have learned is that acceptance and adaptation — not revenge — is the path that works. But history is a long arc measured in eons, not a single lifetime, so perspective and certainty are a challenge. I suspect we know as much about the heavens as an ant does about humanity.

Although I never voted for him, one of the things I always admired about President Ronald Reagan was that he never took his suit jacket off in the Oval Office. He had too much respect for the institution and its symbols. I have never been much of a rule follower myself. Growing up in the shadow of the anti-Vietnam War protests and living in Washington, DC when Woodward and Bernstein were first writing about a break-in at the Watergate, I had a tangled relationship with authority. It turns out that symbols, manners, kindness and soft power — mean something. In fact, they mean more than something. They are the glue of civilizations.

I have always been a change advocate, working for Ralph Nader organizations as a first career decades before environmental and conservation measures were “cool.” But with something gained is always something lost. I remember the family-owned convenience stores in the 1970s asking how they could safely and cleanly store returnable bottles if the government was going to mandate them. Long before the era of superstores, it was a concern that could mean the difference between profit and loss for these local businesses. Today, as much as I like the idea of electric cars, I worry about the 85% of electric cars in Asia powered by dirty coal from China and the new minerals war shaping up over cobalt. It will not end well for the Congolese who will either do the mining under harsh conditions or be forced to move off their ancestral land with little or no consideration. At the risk of repetition, for everything gained, something is lost.

I think this is one of the reasons the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Nelson Mandela sought change “via media” — the Latin phrase meaning “the middle road.” It is an aphorism for life which advocates moderation in all thoughts and actions. As Aristotle wrote, “moderation is the essence of wisdom.”

2021 started with the violent January 6th insurrection — nothing short of a presidential coup — and has ended with Covid-19 fatigue. We are fighting over masks and vaccines for heaven’s sake. The conversation is about individual liberties when it should be about shared responsibilities.

It seems we have all taken our jackets off when really, we should be doing the exact opposite. Fully stopping at stop signs, being kind to our neighbors, opening doors for strangers, listening before speaking or judging. Simply because the internet gives us newfound power of publication and amplification does not mean we should.

The late Harry Reid grew up without indoor plumbing and an alcoholic, violent and suicidal father. He would grow up to serve 12 years as one of the longest tenured Senate Majority Leaders. In America, everything could still be possible. It is a remarkable experiment in self-rule and well worth our dedication.

In late December 1890, 300 peaceful and cooperative Lakota men, women and children were gunned down with three mountain guns — the precursor to the machine gun — at the Massacre at Wounded Knee. 131 years later we still live with the shame of this tragedy committed by hung-over members of the Seventh Calvary seeking revenge for the death of General George Armstrong Custer 14 years earlier. This road to the extremes does not lead us where we want to go.

Via media. We need to find the middle way or be condemned to replace one injustice with another.

Peaceful process may be boring, make few headlines and be slow and plodding, but it is also the magic of long-lived societies.

In the linked eBook you will read essays about the news of the day for the past year and find links to more than one hundred of 2021’s most popular podcasts that we hosted on In House Warrior, the daily podcast I host for the Corporate Counsel Business Journal, sharing views on dozens of issues from all points of view. Hopefully they are helpful and instructive. Some may even be inspiring.

Over the past week, we kicked off 2022 with new podcasts guests who, in fact, are finding via media.

David Bodanis, a New York Times best-selling author, spoke about his new book, The Art of Fairness: The Power of Decency in a World Turned Mean which seems like an essential read for what is likely to be a bumpy ride in 2022.

Danny Heitman, the editor of Phi Kappa Phi’s Forum magazine, an award-winning columnist who frequently writes for The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Washington Post and others, discussed the joys and lessons learned from writing obituaries – an unusual but powerful source of daily inspiration.

On how to build for the future, my old friend, Dr. Habib Al Mulla, a partner at Baker McKenzie and one of the UAE’s most highly respected legal authorities, joined me for a show. He is a key architect of Dubai’s financial free zones, the legal framework establishing the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and how Dubai became a leading center for Foreign Direct Investment.

Looking forward, Kirk Nahra, a partner at Wilmer Hale and Co-Chair of both their Big Data and Cybersecurity and Privacy practices and a leading authority on privacy and cybersecurity matters for more than two decades, spoke about privacy and security laws and trends for 2022. He covered what to expect in state and international regulation; best practices for avoiding privacy and security investigations and how to navigate them when they occur; the unique challenges of privacy issues in health care; and career opportunities.

Looking backward, Chip Jones, author of The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South and winner of the 2021 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction, discussed the tragic true story of Bruce Tucker, a middle-aged African American family man, who had his heart and kidney harvested after an accident, without consent or even notification to his family and before he was clinically dead. To those who wish to curtail or outlaw freedom in teaching, it is yet another lesson on the importance of learning from our history so that we do not repeat it.

Maybe 2022 can be the beginning of our own “Christmas soccer truce,” practiced for more than one day. Imagine.

“Manners are of more importance than laws. Upon them in a great measure, the Law depends. The Law touches us but here and there, and now and then. Matters are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in. They give their while form and color to our lives. According to their quality, they aid morals, they supply them, or they totally destroy them.”

— Edmund Burke

Happy New Year.

Enjoy the shows.

Richard Levick

Download the eBook

Listen to The Art of Fairness

Listen to The Golden Age of Obituary Writing

Listen to The Miracle of Dubai

Listen to Big Data, Privacy and Security

Listen to The Stolen Heart




How Blockchain Can Change the Future of Medicine (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Right now, data breaches are a massive problem for the healthcare industry.  They cost an average of $429 per patient record compromised thanks to legal, technical and regulatory functions.  Healthcare centers also lose their reputation and consumer trust in the wake of a cyberattack. 

Why would hackers target healthcare providers?  They have a series of unique security vulnerabilities that make them an attractive target for hackers.  Old medical devices are made by companies no longer in business.  Old software remains in use despite gaping security holes.  Hospitals operate unaware of which systems run on the devices they use.  Hospitals also have a greater focus on protecting patient privacy than cybersecurity when really, they need to be doing both.  Many organizations lack full time cybersecurity employees, furthering the lack of awareness and resources relating to cybersecurity in the healthcare field.

How can healthcare providers better protect their patients’ data?  One possible answer lies in the blockchain.  For those unfamiliar, a blockchain is a distributed ledger for recording transactions and tracking assets.  In this case, it could be used to track a patient’s medical history on a secure, unalterable platform.  By incorporating blockchain into wearable medical devices, every device is linked to the patient’s health records.  The implementation of blockchain has been pioneered by cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).  It would take some modification to put patient records on the blockchain in a secure fashion, but it could be done.  

By securing medical records on fragmented systems, it is much harder for cyber criminals to hack and steal data.  Blockchain could even improve the provision of telehealth initiatives.  At the moment, the main risk of telehealth stems from the lack of security controls over the collection, use, and sharing of data on third party platforms.  With blockchain powered telehealth, there is a seamless exchange of secured data and increased consumer confidence in the system.  Both patient and provider can view copies of the ledger in this system.

Many established and startup companies alike are looking for ways to improve the healthcare industry using blockchain.  If one’s health record were turned into an NFT,  patients would gain more control over their data while providers can have more certainty that the data is genuine.  The more popular blockchain functions become in the mainstream, the more entrepreneurs will look for ways to incorporate it into daily processes.  Companies like Chronicled and Curisium lead the way.

 

Blockchain & The Future Of Medicine


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




Stop Ransomware Before it Starts (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

In 2020, ransomware attacks grew at least 7-fold.  By 2025, at least 75% of IT organizations will face at least 1 ransomware attack.  When considering the lost revenue caused by halted business operations and the costs companies incur to recover from a ransom attack, the true cost of ransomware is up to $20 billion a year.  

Insurance is a lifeline for many businesses recovering from ransomware, but there exist gaps in coverage, especially for small to medium enterprises (SMEs).  SMEs represent 98% of cyber insurance claims, with their average claim reaching $1.2 million in 2019.   Despite these enormous claims, the average bill for rectifying a ransomware attack is actually $1.85 million.  And that value is only rising with the frequency of ransomware attacks going around.  Data loss and insurance premium costs are also ticking up.  Insurance companies are even denying applications for cyber coverage more often in a bid to reduce risk on their portfolio.

Not all threats are created equal.  Ransomware attacks are tailored to each victim.  Small businesses face more generic attacks and lower ransom demands,  but they’re also less likely to possess the security to fend off even weak attackers.  Meanwhile, large enterprises who can afford cybersecurity suffer more sophisticated assaults from criminals seeking a higher payout.  Still, a major concern for businesses of all sizes is reinfection.  Companies who fall prey to a ransomware attack suffer an 80% chance of being targeted a second time, often by the same group of attackers.

As if the situation wasn’t dire enough, new regulations that increase costs for businesses that fail to prevent attacks are entering their enforcement period.  In the EU, the GPDR imposes fines on businesses that fail to protect consumer data.  In the state of California, consumers can sue businesses for a breach of their data without needing to prove the breach caused harm.  While paying ransoms in general is not illegal, the US Treasury began prosecuting those who facilitate ransomware payments made to sanctioned individuals and jurisdictions last year.

The problem is huge.  How can businesses protect themselves and their customers?  Some important best practices include staying up to date with software, educating employees on the dangers of phishing emails, and backing up data on external devices.  Security software that detects suspicious activity is a first line of defense.  As ransomware attacks grow in sophistication, it’s not a matter of if but when.

 

Stopping Ransomware Before It Starts


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

 

 




The Need for Both Humans and Tech in the Fight Against Ransomware (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

While COVID-19 rages on, a second pandemic is ravaging businesses everywhere.  Since the start of coronavirus, ransomware attacks have risen over 400%.  The costs associated with the attacks will top $20 billion in 2021, or $2 million per business affected.  Even with measures being taken against coronavirus, ransomware will not be defeated as easily.  Current predictions show 75% of organizations facing attacks over the next 5 years.

What has caused ransomware to expand so dramatically?  To start, there are more opportunities out there for attacks to be successful.  In the age of remote work, businesses are using more software and networked devices than ever.  Moreover, it’s lucrative.  Criminals can get multi-million dollar payouts in anonymous Bitcoin with little concern of being brought to justice.  Perhaps most importantly, ransomware has gotten easier to use.  One no longer needs to be a talented hacker to commit cybercrime.  “Gangs” now provide ransomware-as-a service in exchange for 20% or 30% of the ransom.  

Despite the growing threat, businesses are not investing enough in preventing cyber attacks on their systems.  The majority of businesses have an IT security budget of less than $10,000.  That’s less than 1/9th of the salary for an average cybersecurity engineer.  If businesses don’t want to pay millions later, they should consider investing thousands now.  The problem is particularly acute for small and medium businesses.  6 in 10 of them lack even a policy for what to do if they are hit with a cyber attack. 

Can tech bridge the divide?  Not entirely.  Cybersecurity software can do some of the work in preventing ransomware, but it introduces new challenges.  Artificial intelligence solutions aren’t foolproof.  Many are riddled with false positives and excessive alerts.  The average employee has neither the time nor the training to sort false positives from the real threats, and they ignore the AI’s warnings on all matters at their own peril.

Humans and tech need to work together to prevent ransomware.  No matter what software comes out, human expertise is an important part of cybersecurity.  Trained analysts can spot malicious code and warning signs better than average employees. They can understand context, relevance, and attack motivation better than software at this time.  This makes it possible for them to tease out the real concerns from a sea of false positives.  In an ever-expanding world of cyberattacks, businesses need the best in class technology AND cybersecurity expertise.

 

Humans and tech are needed to stop ransomware


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




The Importance of Small Business Security: What You Need To Know

CommPRO Editorial Staff

As an entrepreneur, you’ve likely spent hours, or even years, building your small business, and you know how important it is to protect your business. However, after all the time and effort you’ve put into running a small business, choosing the right protection and security measures for your company can be challenging. This guide will help you understand everything you need to know to protect your small business both online and offline so that you can focus on running your company. 

Company Culture

When people talk about a company’s culture, they typically mention how the staff interacts with one another and what it’s like to work for a particular business. However, your company culture is essential to your enterprise’s security strategy as the ideas, social behaviors, and customs throughout your business will influence its security. The security culture within your company is built on a foundation from your ability to protect data, information, privacy, and employees. A strategic, long-term approach to consistent security is imperative to ensure that your business is secure both online and offline.

Employees often have confusion about what they should and shouldn’t be doing to protect business information, as security experts have repeatedly communicated contradictory techniques over the years. Security is an ongoing process that should be driven from the organization’s top in conjunction with your IT departments to ensure consistent feedback to employees. Implementing consistent communication to help staff understand how their daily behaviors can impact security is the key to developing the right company culture.

Physical Security for Your Small Business

Many small business owners focus solely on their digital security when they first begin documenting their security procedures. However, the security of your physical location is equally important if you want to ensure that you don’t incur any unforeseen expenditure such as theft or accidents resulting in employee or customer injuries. 

The first step to securing your business is investing in the right insurance. That will provide you with the necessary protection to cover most of the unexpected problems you may face as a company. Unfortunately, it can be confusing when you first look at insurance for your small business, as there are many types to choose from. Still, the best insurance will allow you to customize what coverage you require as every business is different. For expert advice, head over to The Hartford website, where you can get more information about their small business insurance

Once you have the appropriate insurance in place for your business, it’s time to think about other measures you can use to protect your physical location. Security systems are essential, and from door alarms to cameras, there are many options to choose from for your business.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is not typically the first thought on every business owner’s mind when developing their company infrastructure. Unfortunately, smaller organizations are often prime targets for these types of attacks, as smaller businesses usually don’t have the same level of technology security as larger businesses. The aftermath of a cyberattack is potentially expensive and often stressful, and time-consuming for any small business, which is why it’s imperative to have the best measures in place alongside your company culture to ensure you don’t suffer the losses from a cyberattack. Audit your current practices by working with your IT department or an external company to identify weaknesses and develop an effective strategy going forward.




Bancambios Builds DeFi Platform on the Solana Blockchain

CommPRO Editorial Staff

The Bancambios DeFi project is here. The token, (ticker: BX), will be minted on top of the Solana blockchain, the initial invitation to participate would be released to the Solana and the DeFi community at first.

The technology company that registered to the Solana Hackathon in May 2021, is enthusiastically participating at IGNITION “A Global Solana Hackathon”, where Solana enthusiasts gather to build and support the development of DApps using Rust- a highly accessible programming language quickly growing in popularity that has a strong reputation as an efficient, secure, and extremely interoperable language. Enrolling to the Hackathon is helping the project onboarding team members and leading Investors who support impact-driven DeFi initiatives.

For Bancambios, choosing to develop the project over Solana, proved to be a move that propelled the project to greater heights, helping to facilitate their goal of bringing DeFi to millions of people. “We’re excited about how well the project has ultimately come together, and we think we’ve drafted the perfect product to encourage mass adoption- an open-source suite of tools that extracts micro-fees from each transaction, and redirects them into an impact wallet that actively supports environmental initiatives with proven track records. The project’s initial focus is the overwhelming amount of plastic waste polluting our oceans.

“Bancambios is the first project hosted on Solana to implement a reflective balance mechanism. Bancambios DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), is where the community of BX holders collectively proposes and decides on where to direct the impact built by the DeFi community. Other choices will be geared towards programs from the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The project plans to document “Proof of Impact” by minting a ‘before and after NFT’. This will serve as an environmental impact statement that exists in perpetuity. Bancambios’ DeFi mission is to provide open-source tools so that other projects can create their own similar initiatives.”

Cybersecurity

The development of the back-end is under development by three full-stack developers with 10 years of experience building FinTech products.
“Ensuring a grade-A platform- it is to this end that the Bancambios team has committed to cybersecurity audits performed by four different companies. This allows the project to offer a high-security platform, and solidify their reputation as trustworthy partners- an essential component to onboarding new individuals and institutions into the cryptocurrency space.” added the CEO of Bancambios.

Why Solana?

Solana is the fastest open-source and censorship-resistant blockchain infrastructure, currently supporting the development of decentralized applications, and it is gaining traction due to its high performance, usability, speed, and audited security. Leveraging superior computational capabilities, Solana allows a higher transaction throughput, proportionally scaling with network bandwidth. The combination of these features, and Solana’s ‘proof of history’ consensus mechanism throughput and expandability, are unprecedented in the blockchain market today. It consequently supports, and can exponentially scale todays speed of 50,000 transactions per second.

Mass adoption

The CEO of Bancambios has stated that building their platform on the Solana blockchain will help achieve the normalization of the use of Web3, a key priority on the road to facilitating the globalization of DeFi. “We aim to build a DeFi ecosystem that is conscious of people and the environment- we don’t want crypto behaving like traditional players in legacy financial markets. Blockchain, and specifically highly accessible networks like Solana, offer us a chance to create something new. Today we can code DeFi protocols that have real tangible positive influence on the problems we face, like pollution and threats to biodiversity- all through the use of programmable decentralize finance. Our vision is that every DEX on every chain would implement this type of impact-driven tool… imagine the difference this can make. It empowers monetary sovereignty, creation of jobs, and protection of biodiversity at the same time.”

In a world that strives towards greater responsibility and stewardship, these initiatives are being globally well received. In addition, Bitcoin adoption in Latin America has put the Bancambios project in a privileged position, with people seeking to learn more about cryptocurrency and decentralized finance. We aim to reach the 1 billion people who are either native Italian, French, Spanish or Portuguese who immediately understand the suggested meaning behind the name Bancambios. The project looks to appeal to those in markets that have been historically underserved, and even exploited. With Bancambios being a portmanteau of ‘Bank’ and ‘Cambios’ (which translates from Spanish to ‘change, permutation, or evolution’), the team believes the name makes their intentions clear, “we aim to change finance, and by extension the world around us.”

Source: Blockchain Wire




Using Blockchain Technology to Solve Dollar Liquidity Shortage

CommPRO Editorial Staff

XREX, a crypto-fiat fintech company driving financial inclusion via blockchain, closed its $17 million Pre-A round, which was oversubscribed by 200%. XREX will use the funding to expand its fiat currency portfolio, acquire additional licenses, and forge partnerships with more financial institutions and digital wallets.

Led by CDIB Capital Group (TWSE: 2883), the consortium of global investors includes publicly-listed companies, major banks, venture capital firms, and top fintech investors from the US, Canada, Germany, Estonia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The strong participation by publicly-listed companies underscores XREX’s commitment to compliance with regulatory bodies.

Other investors in this Pre-A round also include SBI Investment (subsidiary of SBI Holdings, TYO: 8473), Global Founders Capital, ThreeD Capital (CSE: IDK), E.Sun Venture Capital (TWSE: 2884), Systex Corporation (TWSE: 6214), Metaplanet Holdings, AppWorks, Black Marble, New Economy Ventures, and Seraph Group. XREX closed its $7 million seed round in 2019. The investors in that round included AppWorks (lead), Skype’s late-cofounder Toivo Annus, Metaplanet Holdings, Black Marble, CDIB, WI Harper, BitoEx, and the Taiwan government’s National Development Fund.

“CDIB was an early investor in XREX,” said Ryan Kuo, Head of CDIB Capital Innovation Fund. “After witnessing the company’s fast revenue growth and their commitment to compliance, we were determined to double our investment and lead this strategic round.”

“Our mission is to foster global financial inclusion by leveraging blockchain,” said XREX CEO and cofounder Wayne Huang, an internationally-recognized cybersecurity expert. “Many of our team members are from or have lived in the markets where we serve. We keenly understand the struggles faced by many cross-border merchants who lack safe access to US dollar liquidity.”

By working with local regulators and financial institutions, XREX has pioneered tools such as BitCheck and MyXchange to help merchants and SMEs in emerging markets reduce forex loss, gain access to US dollars and seamlessly cross over from informal to formal economy.

Capitalizing on a successful series of new features including their mandatory User Public Profile as well as their Risk Level Detector features, XREX will roll out a user Reputation Index next year to bolster safety, transparency and accountability while encouraging social networking.

In the last eight months, XREX successfully detected and prevented fraud rings from Russia and Nigeria from using the platform, attesting to XREX as one of the safest crypto-fiat currency platforms in the world.

“Helping entrepreneurs to succeed is a priority for us,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director & Chairman of SBI Investment. “We believe XREX solutions open the door for underserved merchants to participate in global commerce on an even playing field.”

Jerry Horng, President of Black Marble Capital Management who serves on XREX’s board, said, “We were an early investor of XREX and we’re excited to continue our support in this round. XREX is uniquely positioned to connect Taiwan’s mature banking industry with the booming cross-border commerce currently seen in emerging markets.”

Source: Blockchain Wire




Web Security 101: How to Save Yourself Time and Money

Web Security

Regina Thomas

You are probably using the internet to boost the performance of your business or perform various company operations. However, even if the internet is an essential resource for your company, you have to be cautious when it.

The challenge comes up in tracking the many challenges associated with its use. So, we look at how to save yourself time and money through the right web security measures:

1. Allocate a Specific Budget for I.T Resources

Web security is vital if your business stores large amounts of data online. Do this because security threats come in different ways and forms. The ability to be prepared for these threats is crucial.

The last thing you want is to set aside Web Security obligations as a lower-level business priority. Ensure you assign a specific budget for your web security regimen. The budget should be clear and identify each vital aspect of web security management costs.

Allocating a reasonable budget ensures your business is in an excellent position to changing web security demands. So, you can respond to challenges at the right time and efficiently, thereby saving your organization precious time or money.

2. Consider the Services of an I.T Company

Remember the services of an IT training company. The benefit of an IT company is that they provide proven and quality services for web security. While it seems like an additional operational cost, your staff will have the freedom to focus on their everyday obligations.

A reliable IT company will provide researched-based insight to help ensure your business operations are safe online. A good example would be to invest in the most reliable IT services in Essex or any other local IT company. These professionals can provide you expert support from remote locations. Doing this will also give you a competitive edge over other similar businesses.

Before investing in such a service, conduct your research and ensure each staff member is aware of the system changes.

3. Invest in a Web Security Training Program

You also have to realize the importance of training programs for your company. A good training program helps improve the insight and operational prowess your staff members can provide. To avoid adding extra costs to your business operations, assign the training only to staff members who will use the web services.

Staff members who perform well through these programs should receive some form of incentives such as promotions. These are important in championing the concepts or goals behind web security systems.

4. Optimize Company Operations

Ensure you find a way to ensure all operations relating to web services are well optimized. The staff members responsible for using such resources should be competent and accountable. Being accountable is particularly important as many web security threats often occur due to negligent staff members.

Some everyday operations to optimize web security include financial transactions, data access, and company system access. These are just a few examples, and optimizing them the right way should guarantee positive results.

5. Learn From Competitors

One of the best ways to optimize any aspect of your business would be to learn from your competitors. Do some research on other similar companies in your field, and analyze their preferred web security techniques.

The chances for you are high that you will learn a few helpful techniques and methods to boost your company’s productivity. You can seek assistance from the IT company to help you aggregate the web security data.

Then, choose or focus on the best practices that you notice from the research. It can be cybersecurity, professional IT services, and software management services.

6. Remember the Basics

Before launching any web security system, you have to consider the essential services and factors first. Without these basic systems, your company is easily prone to attacks and compromises in data management. A few suggestions include:

  • Install an anti-virus system. These are important for detecting malware and illegal programs such as keyloggers.
  • Work on network security. Go for a network security system that is powerful and well updated.
  • Assign each user with specific logins. Do this to help make system tracking convenient and optimized.
  • Use two-factor authentication systems. It ensures you receive information updates for user and login activities.

Saving yourself time and money is essential, as it gives you the ability to focus on other equally crucial business operations. The good thing is that it’s easy once you consider the correct web security measures.

                                                    

 

                         

 




Protecting Your Data for the Work From Home Future (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

In 2020, 62% of Americans worked from home.  While remote work has increased productivity, lowered office costs, and alleviated community stress for many, the rapid shift brought new cybersecurity concerns.  The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a new wave of security concerns almost overnight, and cyber attacks have skyrocketed.  In early 2020, the FBI reported a 300% increase in cybercrime.  Attacks targeting remote workers grew 5x in the first 6 weeks of lockdown, and 20% of organizations experienced a data breach linked to remote workers.  Phishing increased by 600%, ransomware by 148%, and malware activity by 128%. 

The top security concerns about remote work are as follows: 45% of devices may be more exposed at home, individuals may have difficulty managing new devices using remote work resources, and IT support is not as effective for remote work.  Cybercriminals will continue to target remote employees using social engineering attacks, vulnerable devices and IoT, and unsecured home Wi-Fi networks.  Additionally, data breaches may take longer to detect due to increased remote work. 

Organizations were forced to transition to remote work with little preparation and no in-person support.  Now they must find a way to reduce risk without compromising productivity.  Multi-factor authentication (MFA), combining a password with other authentication methods, is almost the answer.  Additional authentication measures might slow a hacker down, but they won’t keep your data secure.  Passwords that can easily be guessed or harvested from a previous breach, security questions that can be answered based on social media or public records, and one-time codes sent by SMS that can easily be intercepted by hackers are all factors that make MFA easy to breach. 

Additionally, MFA increased employee frustration.  One-time codes slow down logins and require a secondary device on hand.  Passwords and security questions are easily forgotten and need to be reset.  The frustration associated with multi-factor authentication is likely to lower employees’ compliance with other security procedures.  While many companies may default to outdated solutions, such as MFA, we know that the only true security solution lies in passwordless authentication. 

Move beyond passwords through passwordless security.  This eliminates the need for passwords completely, replacing them with secure cryptography and biometrics.  Risk-based authorization checks risk signals from every user and device to enforce stronger access control.  Password-less security also creates a secure and frictionless login without a second device or out-of-band message that could be intercepted by a hacker.  Invest in password-less authentication and access control for the work from home future. 

 

Securing Remote Work


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.