The sun is getting lower on the horizon of my time with Zunesis.  After 17 years as the CEO of the company, I will be retiring in a few months.  We had the good fortune of selling Zunesis and merging with a great company headquartered in Boulder, CO – Absolute Performance Inc.  I am confident that the future for the combined company is very bright.

 

The past 17 years have been filled with excitement and challenge, great days and tough days, and every emotion and experience in between.  As I reflect on the past 17+ years, my heart is filled with gratitude for the employees of Zunesis.  I am confident that Zunesis and all of the employees with whom I’ve worked side by side will continue to do ever bigger and better things as the future unfolds.

 

I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the employees of Zunesis current and past.  The success of the company is 100% linked to the quality, professionalism and hard work of many Zunesis employees over the years.  Our mission has always been to make the life of our customers better.  Thankfully, we were able to attract individuals who shared this value.  We also strongly believe in teamwork and sharing in success and adversity along the way.  Our engineers have always been ready and willing to jump on a call to help one of their fellow engineers or one of our customers in a time of need.

 

I have really enjoyed leading the sales team and watching individuals grow and develop.  I have also enjoyed being a small part of developing strategies and plans to bring greater value to our clients. We would get deals done in a way that created a win-win for everyone.  Working together as a unified team to make the life of our customers better cultivated a higher purpose and an enjoyable environment in which to work and deliver spectacular business results.

 

17 years is a long time to be together.  Over these years, we celebrated the birth of children and grandchildren and grieved the loss of parents and other loved ones.  We watched employees battle life threatening disease and personal challenge.  We watched marriages take place and enjoyed great celebrations together at the Broadmoor for annual Christmas parties.  We worked together for many years to make a huge difference in our community through Habitat for Humanity.

 

Over the years, I have felt the support and encouragement of so many Zunesis employees.  I have laughed and enjoyed your sense of humor, wit, and the way you enjoy life.  I have also had employees who cared enough for me to point out my blind spots and hold me accountable.  I sincerely appreciate the patience that Zunesis employees showed to me as God worked to sand off the many rough edges of my leadership.

 

When the sun does set on my career, I will reflect on my time with the people of Zunesis with great satisfaction, tremendous joy, and most importantly, immense gratitude.  Thanks to the all the employees for making my life better and for being a friend, co-worker, and inspiration to me for so many years.  You are the best of the best and you made me much better.  God bless you and never forget how much you mean to me.

Stranger Danger

I’m sure all of us when were younger were taught Stranger Danger. We needed to be cautious of any strangers we met while walking to and from school or in any new places. Today, the strangers that some of us fear the most are of the cyber kind. They can steal our livelihood, identity and more with a few clicks.

Businesses are becoming victims of this Stranger Danger every day. Cyber crime rose by over 600% during the pandemic.  It is estimated by 2025, the cost of cybercrime worldwide for companies will be $10.5 trillion. Unfortunately the pandemic amplified cybercrime due to the uncertainty around remote working and how to protect your business.

Many businesses are not prepared for cyber attacks and do not educate their employees on best practices to help prevent these attacks from happening. The month of October celebrates cybersecurity awareness. Education is the one of the biggest tools going forward to fight the Cyber Stranger.

 

Current State of CyberSecurity

There are some staggering stats surrounding businesses today and the safety of their data. The numbers are only increasing as new threats appear and businesses do not offer the appropriate resources to combat this problem.

A study by Accenture reports that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, and under a sixth are equipped to prevent those attacks.

On average, it takes a company 197 days to discover a cybersecurity breach. Needless to say, the longer it takes to discover a security breach, the more a company’s reputation and assets suffer.

A few more stats:

  • Globally, 30,000 websites are hacked daily.
  • 64% of companies worldwide have experienced at least one form of a cyber attack.
  • There were 20M breached records in March 2021.
  • In 2020, ransomware cases grew by 150%.
  • Email is responsible for around 94% of all malware.
  • Every 39 seconds, there is a new attack somewhere on the web.
  • An average of around 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked daily on the internet.

 

Common Types of  Cyber Attacks

64% of companies worldwide have experienced at least one form of cyber attack in the past year.  What are the most common ones that businesses and their employees see?

  1. Phishing: A type of online scam that involves sending an email or other virtual communication impersonating a source that would usually be seen as reputable, such as a bank or an internet service provider. 91% of all cyber attacks start with a phishing email.
  2. Malware: Malicious software that gets downloaded onto devices without one’s consent. It causes devices to crash or can allow hackers to view computer activity, access files, and steal information. 27% of malware infections originate from infected USBs.
  3. Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack: This occurs when a user intercepts communication between two people, or between one person and a machine. For example, a hacker might guide a user into a fraudulent site that appears to be the user’s bank’s website to collect their data. According to Netcraft, 95% of HTTPS servers are vulnerable to these attacks.

 

CyberSecurity Best Practices

A recent survey found that 61 percent of employees failed a basic quiz on cybersecurity fundamentals. With the average company spending only 5 percent of its IT budget on employee training, it’s clear that education is an opportunity for many organizations in the future.

Here are just a few best practices to follow:

  1. Avoid Pop-ups, unknown emails and links: Malware infections are among the most common cybersecurity threats organizations face. Having up-to-date virus scan and spam detection software is a great safety net, but it’s also critical that all users are trained to understand the dangers of clicking on unusual links, pop-ups or emails.
  2. Use strong password protection and authentication: It’s important to require all users to create strong, difficult-to-guess passwords and credentials for their accounts and change them often. Consider multifactor authentication (MFA), which requires an additional token of identifying code to access systems. 63% of data breaches result from week or stolen passwords.
  3. Enable firewall protection at work and at home: Firewalls are important gatekeepers, restricting traffic in, out or within a private home or business network.
  4. Back up data: Regularly backing up critical data is key to defeating ransomware and to business continuity in general.
  5. Control physical access:  Preventing access or use of desktops, laptops and mobile devices should be a high priority as these can be easily stolen or lost. Make sure such devices are set to lock when unattended and grant only limited administrative privileges for such hardware.
  6. Minimize data transfers: Be mindful of how many devices contain important data and try to make transfers as minimally as possible.
  7. Verify download sources: Before making any downloads, scan the website you’re downloading from to ensure that it’s verified, and only click on legitimate download links.
  8. Keep software updated: Update software whenever updates are available is a great way to protect against cyber attacks.
  9. Encrypt where possible: Encryption tools can be used to protect data from unwanted individuals. When encryption isn’t possible, password protection is a great alternative. Be sure to choose passwords with a mix of letters, numbers, and characters, and to update your passwords regularly.
  10. User activity monitoring and behavior analytics: This can give insights  on when there is suspicious activity around your data. These tools can help you prevent data theft in real-time.
  11. Practice robust and continuous employee awareness programs: Even with the best technology in place, human error is often the weakest link. Constant education programs is the most important best practice when it comes to cyber resilience. Human error is responsible for 90% of all security breaches.

 

What Will You Do Next?

Cyber threats are not going away and will continue to be a major concern for all businesses no matter the size. Contact Zunesis to find out how our solutions can provide extra protection. Reach out to find out about our assessments which may discover holes in your current IT environment.

Want to find out how knowledgeable your employees are on the topic of cyber security? Take this quiz from the Cyber Readiness Institute to find out how cyber ready they are.

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EMAIL: info@zunesis.com

     

    

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