Tuesday, June 3, 2014


By Nick Ashton, CEO, CommSmart Global

Positions in life are earned.  That is, if they are to mean something.  Daddy’s or Mommy’s boy or girl needs to work it, before they understand what a working life is all about.  Given something on a “Silver Platter” does not bring experience, which is sadly lacking in today’s social and business world.  

Decision making is a lived art!

Respect, responsibility and importantly, accountability are not even understood in the Board rooms of the world.  It is about expectations, percentages and predicted profitability.  In fact, they don’t even care how you get there!  Just give me the damn figures and we had better have beaten expectation!  Words heard around the world at the end of each month, prior to the termination notices going out.

Do not get me wrong, companies have to be profitable, it is how you get there which is important.

Have you notice they never fire the person who causes the issues, it always someone who is now the scapegoat.  The real culprit either gets a bonus or promotion!

It is all our social and corporate responsibility to protect those that cannot help themselves.  In this case it is the customer, client, yes the public.  It is the information of everyone that is at stake.  If your company is selling something, you have to take a payment of some sort.  Mostly by a bank card which contains very personal information regarding each customer.  When they swipe that card on your equipment, you know have a responsibility to protect that very personal information. 

Most management have no idea of the intricacies entailed in how this payment is processed and the protection that is required, no demanded, when dealing in a retail environment.  

How would you like your bank account emptied, social security number stolen, all your personal information in the hands of a low life who only wants to make a buck from the details, which are worth money, many times over in the criminal cyber miscreant world.

Computer security is absolutely the #1 priority for all!  A great statement that is being ignored over and over again. 

Noblesse Oblige is something that should be, but is not!

It is all about data in motion and end to end secure connections.  This is all at the front end of the process, which saves time, money and frustration for all.

It is not the ability after the fact to track who stole the information and how it occurred.  It is shutting the door tightly, securely and barricading ourselves from the cyber terrorist.  It is not just a corporate matter, it is for us all!

Secure connections is first step!  We all are using computers in virtually all we do.  A telephone is not just a method of communication.  Today it is a full voice and data center and all we do on those devices, what we look at, open in an email affects us all.

It is past the time to think about security, it is time to act and be accountable to all!

It is stopping Negating Your Duty of Care and Corporate Governance as your insurance company will not pay out on your failure to amend the situation.  The excuse of “I didn’t know”, is not acceptable and it will be a very personal liability to those who have chosen to ignore!

CommSmart Global has put you on notice, that help is here!

For those of you that do not understand Noblesse Oblige, we have given the derivation below:

Noblesse oblige is a French phrase literally meaning "nobility obliges". It is the concept that nobility extends beyond mere entitlements and requires the person with such status to fulfill social responsibilities, particularly in leadership roles.

The Dictionnaire de l’Académie française defines it thus:

1. Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly.

2. (Figuratively) One must act in a fashion that conforms to one's position, and with the reputation that one has earned.

The Oxford English Dictionary meanwhile says that the term "suggests noble ancestry constrains to honorable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility."

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Is The Bank The Most Trusted Place For Your Money?

Is The Bank The Most Trusted Place For Your Money?
by Nick Ashton, CEO, CommSmart US

You work hard for the money, placing it in a trusted place, the bank.  Why?  Simply because that is what you have been indoctrinated to do.  We have always trusted the bank and believe they have our full security interest at heart.
Their security solutions are in reverse to the sane majority of the world.  Logically you lock and bolt the doors, make the walls impenetrable and have CCTV cameras surround the money pit.  All that if they are going to protect against a physically attack
and steal what they think is rightfully theirs, the good old stocking masked bank robber.

The stealing of your money from your bank does not work that way anymore!  It is all completed without using explosives, a good “safe-man” and a getaway car.  Today, it is achieved purely by a programmer, computer and the Internet.  All from the comfort of their beach house in the Turks and Cacaos islands or the Jersey Shore.

How can these cyber miscreants gain such access?  Isn’t the financial, insurance and investments institutions taking steps to protect what is rightfully ours and placed in their trust?

Banks want to investigate why or how it happened and are always in a reactive mode which is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.  Now you are chasing, expending energy that you did not have to do, if the door was bolted shut in the first place!  Yes, Proactive secure connection methods work and are far more cost effective for all involved.

It is not good enough to address the issues with the largest businesses worldwide, as the leadership is not up-to-date on computer security and only listen to either a Chief Technology Officer or IT Manager.  You must fully understand the ramifications of data throughput and how the information is stored for yourself. 

Access is the key, secure access only and we do not mean by using traditional passwords!

The Financial Times reported that in March 2014 London was under attack. The financial sector was suffering catastrophic computer failures. ATMs stopped working. The stock exchange put initial public offerings on hold because its computer systems are malfunctioning.

The source of the problem was traced to a piece of malicious code that was spreading over the internet. The transport network, power grid – and even a nuclear power station – are at risk. It is unclear whether the code had come from criminals, terrorists or a hostile government. In a bunker below the UK’s defense ministry, cyber security teams are working feverishly to find out.

Notice it is not the financial industry that is working on it, they believe others will fix this national attack. 

There lies the problem, the malaise and it has been festering for far too long!

Believe it or not, it was a test of sorts by a Cyber Security Challenge UK Master Class, an exercise.  During the London Olympics many attempts were made against the city. “We tracked 20 million cyber events, of which 77 were orchestrated attacks, stated Rob Partridge, head of the BT Security Academy. 

None of these succeeded in disrupting the games. But can a big city like London or the financial institutions of the world continue to be this lucky?  No!
Since a suspected Russian cyber-attack took down much of the civil infrastructure in Estonia in 2005, most countries have started to prepare for cyber warfare. When Russia invaded neighboring Georgia in 2008, its tactics included taking Georgian government websites offline in a denial of service attack.

In 2012 a targeted cyber-attack, attempting to disrupt oil production, put 30,000 computers out of action at the Saudi Arabian Oil Company.

And last year, ATMs, mobile payments and television broadcasts in South Korea were disrupted for several days after a suspected cyber-attack by North Korea. South Korea’s defense ministry estimated that the attack cost nearly £500m in economic damage.

US government files leaked to the press by former defense contractor Edward Snowden indicated that many governments now have the capability to disrupt internet networks in rival nations.

It is imperative we keep our own house in order and not think we can rely on others.  “I’m Sorry”, is not the answer people want or need to hear. 

Chris Forsyth, partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the law firm. “Companies may not feel they need to take this seriously until they are in danger of breaching legislation. Of course, they take it seriously when they get attacked. But by then it is too late.”

Banking, Insurance and Investment Institutions are traditional and entrenched in doing things the same old way, after all, they invented it! It is not just good enough to say we must be more responsible, it is about accountability.

It is way past the time for you to review and fully understand why!

Negating your Duty of Care or Corporate Governance is more of a risk than you

think. Failure to address computer security which results in a compromise is not going to be just a corporate matter, it is a personal one too! Business insurance will not cover known issues that were ignored, it is now a personal liability!

Time to take a deep breath, pick up the phone or send an email and CommSmart US will listen and decide what steps have to be taken.  

It is that simply and that Straight Talking…

CommSmart US has the elucidations and will discuss how we can assist in all facets of your information security.

WE are in the NOW and
KEEP YOU; in the KNOW…

Call: +1 (317) 426.0110
Email: info@commsmart.us

Key Talk – Man-In-The-Middle, Hacking & Phishing Solutions
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