AZ Tech Talk: ‘Even dead people aren’t safe from hackers’

Above: Grand Canyon University President Brian Mueller opens Az Business magazine's AZ Tech Talk on Thursday at GCU. Business News | 10 Oct |

Sean Moshir, CEO and co-founder of CellTrust, used humor to put the risk of a cyberattack into perspective at Az Business magazine’s AZ Tech Talk.

“I told my wife, ‘ancestry.com got breached,’” Moshir joked. “‘Even dead people aren’t safe from hackers.’”

Moshir was part of a panel of experts who offered cybersecurity advice to a standing-room-only crowd of business leaders and executives at AZ Tech Talk, which took place Thursday at Grand Canyon University.

Other panelists included moderator Dr. David Bolman, provost and chief academic officer at University of Advancing Technology; Ori Eisen, founder and CEO of Trusona; Heather Monthie, PhD, associate dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at GCU; Greg Schu, partner at BDO; and Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

“When we first started talking about cybersecurity in the late 1990s, it was a niche topic,” Bolman said. “We never thought it would become an issue that would affect every business … While breaches at WalMart make headlines, small businesses are just as likely to be subjected to cyber attacks.”

The focus of the panel discussion was on illustrating just how vulnerable we are to cyberattacks.

“We use Uber and Lyft because we like that they know exactly where we are,” Schu said. “But we forget that Uber and Lyft aren’t the only ones who are able to know exactly where we are.”

While the panelists said businesses are divided into two categories — those who have been victims of a cyberattack and those who don’t know they have been victims of a cyberattack — they did offer some advice to business leaders to help them minimize risk.

Bolman: “While we have always been of the mindset to ‘keep, keep, keep,’ it’s now time to think about minimizing, particularly when it comes to the amount of data we keep.”

Schu: “If you don’t have cyber insurance, it might be time to do some research. If you are breached, cyber insurance provides some funds to help you get things fixed. If you don’t have any, look into it.”

Monthie: “People are naturally curious and hackers use that curiosity to their advantage when it comes to ransomware and phishing. It all comes down to education. Talk with your employees and educate them about the risks of ransomware and phishing so they don’t open the wrong email and put your business at risk.”

Bolman: “Business owners contract out their cleaning, landscaping and other services. If you don’t have the resources to have a staff member focused on cybersecurity, look into contracting that out.”

Eisen: “Cybersecurity is so big and so prevalent, most business leaders don’t know where to start. But you need to start, so start with just protecting yourself today. Remove one obstacle. And look at it like that every day. If you don’t look at it as trying to remove one obstacle at a time, it will be overwhelming.”

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