Simply having or transmitting data is a risk. It’s often a necessary risk—companies have to store and share data constantly in order to do business—but it’s important to remember that if something is deleted or isn’t shared, it’s much less likely to fall into the wrong hands. This is something we talk about with our cybersecurity clients throughout Connecticut on a regular basis. Part of our process is to take stock of who they are sharing data with and why. If there’s not a reason to be sharing a particular type of data with a particular party, then not sharing it cuts down on risk of it being breached at some point. If data isn’t in use anymore, deleting it eliminates something a hacker could get a hold of.
Connecticut-based Starling Physicians, which operates 32 locations in the greater Hartford area, announced a data breach this month linked to a cyber attack dating back to February. When we first learned of this breach, we were discussing it around the office and quickly learned that three Kelser employees are parents of kids who are patients at a Starling practice. NBC Connecticut stopped by our office both to hear from these parents and for insights on cybersecurity from me.
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I recently had the chance to help Reader’s Digest update an article titled “11 Things IT Professionals Don’t Want You To Know”. It’s no secret that IT is a little misunderstood. Part of our mission at Kelser is to connect IT strategy to the overall business strategy of our clients. When integrated into the company as a whole, IT can be a major business enabler, helping achieve goals across the business. It starts with viewing IT as more than fixing things when they break.
It’s been a difficult summer for Connecticut public schools when it comes to cybersecurity. In addition to the three Connecticut school districts hit by cyber attacks in late July, it recently came to light that the Wolcott public school district suffered a devastating ransomware attack months ago from which it has not fully recovered. No data was stolen, but a great deal of data was locked and held for ransom, much of which was not backed up. As a result, teachers are starting the new school year without key materials.
Earlier this year, a simple thought occurred to me. Hackers are the new mafia. Cybercrime is the newest part of the organized crime business model. How could looking at things this way change the cybersecurity landscape?
In late July, three Connecticut school districts experienced or became aware of data breaches or cyberattacks. The school districts of New Haven, Wallingford, and Pomfret were affected. NBC Connecticut interviewed Kelser’s George W. Kudelchuk III for a story that covers each of the three school districts.
Less than 12 hours after the massive Capital One data breach was announced on a Monday night, Kelser CTO Jonathan Stone was on the phone with a reporter from The Washington Post helping break down the role of cloud storage in the story. In the days that followed, Kelser experts were on all four local Connecticut TV networks to provide perspective on this breach.
As part of my role as CTO at Kelser, I am also vCIO for some of our clients, such as Hoffman Auto Group. A vCIO, also called a virtual or fractional CIO, performs the strategic function of a tech executive for an organization that doesn’t necessarily need a fulltime CIO in house.