(Part 2) The conflict between Russia and Ukraine may be taking place thousands of miles from the United States -- but the impact is being felt globally.
There are new and greater cybersecurity threats to be aware of here at home as a result of this war, as well.
We welcome Bryan Sevener of Valortech to give us the rundown.
Learn more about Bryan here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryansevener/
Learn more about Valortech here: https://www.valortech.io/
Questions? Comments? Continue the discussion by requesting access to our exclusive WVF Facebook Group.
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Today on Wisconsin veterans forward. We continue our dialogue with Brian ner, who is the CEO and founder of valor tech . He is a cyber security expert. We are talking about how current events throughout the world impact cyber security here at home. Really interesting topic. You wouldn't think that say the war in Ukraine , uh , would have an impact on, you know, your cyber security endeavors as a, you know, in your home or in your small business, but it , it matters. There's an impact really interesting stuff. Let's do it. You are listening to Wisconsin veterans forward. Wisconsin's premier audio resource for veterans, military families, veteran owned and veteran friendly businesses. Wisconsin veterans forward is brought to you by the Wisconsin veterans chamber of commerce at WWI veterans, chamber.org .Speaker 2:
Anybody that's been in business or has done business or even works even remotely, you know, has any kind of remote interest in this space will understand that , um , that your information is not important to the criminal. It's important to you and they don't care what's in there. They just want, they just know that that information's really important to you. And you're gonna want to get that . You're gonna wanna have your information back , um , and if they can get access to the things that you know , can mitigate that risk, I E backups and whatnot , they're going to, they're gonna remove those and you're gonna be stuck paying whatever they tell you. You're gonna have to pay if you want your, your important information back. So because of that connectivity, it just gives those nefarious actors a lot more access to you , uh , and well , the world.Speaker 1:
So wouldn't so, so are you saying that due to the conflict , uh, there are people who are more likely now to try to scam people out of money or to do it in a different way.Speaker 2:
Well, your , your , your typical attack, your , your typical attack, you know, your biggest threats, kinda the top five threats, fishing and , uh , fishing attacks, malware, ransomware, you know, your weak passwords, insider threats. Those are all those have been around for quite a while now, but , um, they're being exploited a lot more now and, and because cyber security and, and the threats that you're facing change all the time, you're also seeing the rise of new type of attacks. I'm sure everyone's received a spam SMS, right? Well, that's actually called smishing . Uh , and that issing yeah . Right. Smishing <laugh> , I don't know who coined these terms, but ,Speaker 1:
Um, yeah, we gotta find whoever came up with Ming and beat 'em up,Speaker 2:
But it's, it's, it's the rise of SMS based fishing attacks. Mm-hmm so , uh , you know, as you, as you're learning to protect yourself and more and more of the common individual, that's not in this area, starting to understand how these things work, criminals are changing their attacks as well. So yeah, we can talk about the Russia and Ukraine and how that affects things, but it doesn't help when you, you start either to politicians out there. I would say, be careful what you put out in the , in the ether, because you , why, why draw unnecessary attention to yourself? And now granted us helping Ukraine definitely makes, you know, doesn't help us in our, our relationship with Russia in a way shape or form. Uh , it , it , there us, it's a complicated world. <laugh> , this is such a deep, there's so much, there's such a depth to the complexities of these things that , um, you could really go down a rabbit hole. I'm trying to hard to stay away from that rabbit hole. Sure . Um, but you , you should be being, you should be proactive in, in preventing these kinds of things from happening to you being smart, smart to , you know , uh , smart, you know, complicated passwords things along those lines. Um,Speaker 1:
But I suppose with a lot of money being, I think I get what you're saying, like with a lot of money being filtered into , uh , into that in , into Ukraine, there are always, you know, in every conflict, anywhere where there is a public opinion, political figures are going to try to get on whatever more favorable side they can get on. And if their communications are compromised, it can make us look bad. It could compromise their campaigns. It could , uh , spreading misinformation could sway public opinion and make , uh , make it less politically advantageous for me to support somebody financially for us to support like Ukraine financially, if that became less popular, all of a sudden, maybe there wouldn't be the political will to do it. And we wouldn't be doing the right thing over there. You know? WellSpeaker 2:
Going , tying that back to like the connected world, right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so we, we can help Ukraine and therefore tick off Russia even more. Again, we don't need to be sitting next to each other to start attacking the other one because of that connected world, we have access to anything and everything. We, it , it , it can be found. Right. Um, so again, when you start provoking other, you know, other nations Russia, it Russia's very good when it comes to the cybersecurity stuff. They're same China as well. Um, so when you start, you know, becoming the, when you start helping the, the opposing faction to , uh, you know, to an enemy, the, you know, they're gonna come after you, especially in that cyber security realm, they're gonna go after your infrastructure. They're gonna go after your critical assets. They're, they're going to increase their attacks on, on , uh , in yourSpeaker 1:
Country. Should they be busy with their own war though?Speaker 2:
People have a lot of free timeSpeaker 1:
<laugh>, but I mean, and even before the conflict in Ukraine, Russia was pretty much nonstop in our business and maybe not necessarily , uh , cybersecurity attacks. I don't know. I , I don't know that eco, I know that they , they had warehouses full of people, just basically spreading misinformation to try to get all of us to hate eachSpeaker 2:
Transformation . Campaigns are a big thing, too, you know, they're , I think their , their big group over there is called Conti . And CTI's a very pro Russia , uh, uh , uh , criminal organization, cyber criminal organization, and interesting, you know, they, they just, they ramp up their attacks against, you know, us , us allies, anybody that's helping Ukraine. Um, and, and yeah, this stuff has been going on for ages now mm-hmm <affirmative> , but it just gets ramped up even further. There's more, there's more dedication to the cause, you know, and all that stuff, just it, the more you SA rattled and the more you draw attention to yourself, it, and it goes both ways and pretty confident of that , um, that , uh, youSpeaker 1:
Know , yeah. Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure we're not, youSpeaker 2:
Know , we're not innocent in all of this . Yeah .Speaker 1:
So how , how has the ecosystem changed over the last cuz you've been, like I said, you've frontline defender of , of this sort of thing for the last few years in particular and in an increasing fashion, how is it different now than it was a year or two years or three years ago?Speaker 2:
Well, go back even a little further, like five years ago. Mm-hmm <affirmative> you could just have a regular antivirus and you'd be generally okay. Right. Even as a bubble backSpeaker 1:
Owner, are you sayingSpeaker 2:
As a business? Yeah. I'm , I'm speaking more on the business owner side of things. Okay . Um, and, and some of the stuff does trickle down to the consumer, you know, talking about consumer, always make sure you have a , an antivirus on your computer, make sure you have multifactor authentication, you know, use different passwords for, for accessing of different, you know, different , uh , logins and be vigilant. Be very careful about clicking links and opening PDFs and anything along those lines, it just be vigilant. And your risk does go down a little bit. Any anybody that ever comes to you and tells you that they can a hundred percent guarantee that you'll never be , uh , crypto locked or held for ransom or any of that stuff is completely full of baloney . Right ?Speaker 1:
Um , that's not a thing you can guarantee.Speaker 2:
There, there is, there you , you can G the only thing you can guarantee is that at some point in your life, you will be ransomware. That's probably the only guarantee I'd ever give you. Right. Um, but it's really critical, especially with business owners to have work with organizations like ours, that, that catered a , uh , cater , uh , the security approach to your organization, which is very different than what it used to be even five or six years ago, where you could just have a simple antivirus, a firewall and call it good. Well, now the multilayer approach is , is really critical to , um, mitigating that risk to, you know, as far as you possibly can and always ensuring you have really good backups of all of your information that's on that's, you know, follow the 3, 2 11 rule. And that's three , three copies of your day at two different locations, one on different media , one completely offline.Speaker 1:
Um , say that, say that one more time. A little bit slower. I think that's , I think, cause I think that's valuable.Speaker 2:
So the old adage of 3, 2, 1 , it used to be three copies of your data. Two locations, one on different media. The new adage now is because hackers have increased the , the sophistication into those , uh , you know , in mitigating that risk for deleting those backups is now a 3, 2, 1, 1 rule, three copies of your data, two different locations, one on different media. And one of those copies completely offline and separate from your environment. That way there is no access there there's virtually no way for that hacker to get access into that data, guaranteeing that you can restore your information , uh, when you are ultimately held forSpeaker 1:
Ransom . They , when , when, when you inevitably, so you're saying as a business owner, you need to prepare for when you are subjected to a ransomwareSpeaker 2:
Attack . Yeah. It it's, it's, it's not a matter of if it is a matter of when. And I, I, I, I get migraines sometimes when I hear business owners saying , well, it never happened to me. It will , uh , it , it absolutely will if your day is hasn't happened yet, it will eventually come. Um, and just, I really hope when, you know, when you, you need help, we'll be here to help youSpeaker 1:
Right on. And I just, it took me a minute. Ignore the first link I put on the banner on the bottom. I was trying to it's all good, but yeah, valor, valor, tech.io is the website. You can see scrolling across the bottom. Uh , what, okay, so what sort of stuff do you have coming up? Um, and obviously you can't get too deep in the weeds because you're, you know, this is like , uh , you're , you're a cyber defender. Uh , but, but what does the future hold for you? Or what do you predict being the future is, you know, is web three and blockchain and wallet, verification stuff. Uh , are you , are you preparing for that transition? What , what does the future for you?Speaker 2:
Cyber security is not going anywhere. Uh, I , I, you know, even talking to some of the contexts I have in , in the insurance industry , um, they're , they're planning for this only to get worse and, and even through the pandemic and, and the subsequent year since then , um , they've seen nothing but a huge increase in that by an exponential fold. Um, so it's not going anywhere anytime soon, it , the attacks are gonna get more complicated. Um , their, their approach to their approach to getting your data is gonna be more complicated. As new techo new technologies come on board , they will find ways of countering that. And you have, you know, you have, you know, good cyber warriors, like my team at valor that are very active in staying ahead of those curves. And , uh, you know, as they change, we're going to change along with that. And, you know, I don't care about the technology coming out because we'll adapt and, you know, we'll be, we'll be there to protect whatever comes down the pipeline in terms of new technology.Speaker 1:
So, so in the future, every company, small business, or not should plan for a monthly expense to have a company like yours, to, you know, to implement safety procedures and processes and monitor and protectSpeaker 2:
Absolutely it . Um , I understand that small bus , really small businesses, you know, they're, they're cash strapped and everything else at a minimum odds are you have somebody that works in cybersecurity and there is a ton of different , uh, different material or different free materials out there for you to read on how to protect yourself at a baseline level. Mm-hmm , <affirmative> , um, strongly encourage everybody to do, do their research, do some education. Um, and when you get to a size where, you know, where you do have the ability to budget for some , uh, some aspects of security, I strongly recommend starting to engage early on with a, a trusted advisor, whether it's valor tech or, you know, any other, any number of other , uh, you know, good cyber security experts out there. Um, just to have that, that little, just get that Smid of , uh , of , of, of time and effort put into place to keep you secureSpeaker 1:
Right on. So, so how can somebody, if they wanna learn more, learn more from you, learn more about valor tech , learn more about just how to be minimally protected. Um, how do they get in touch?Speaker 2:
Well, there's a couple different ways. Eight , you can reach out to me on valor tech.io . That's our, that's my Val tech website. You know, you could email me, I'll , uh, I'll make sure that , uh, Adam can put , um, my email out there. I'm I keep that very available for anybody. Um, there's also two other new , new things that we , that I'm watching very soon. I'm watching my own personal website. Um, I have a beta version up. Uh, I will also give that to you, Adam. And on there, I will be offering a lot of free advice, a lot of , uh, um, links to products that I have personally used personally vetted out that I think are best to breed in the industry. Um, lots of free material for you to read lots of free resources that you can get access to. Nice. Um, and obviously, you know, we are also building , uh , what we're calling the tech on tap nation , um, which I will give you a link to as well, that the , that website's in beta , we're about to launch in probably the next week or two here. Um, but that's a , that is a actual community based around tap, being beer, being Wisconsin of of course. Sure. Um , and tech where we will actually be , um, bringing in person meetings or in person invites. Anybody can attend these where we will be bringing vendors in show , letting them to showcase their technologies , um , showcase their, their market expertise. And , uh, we are currently producing , um, our podcast where we will actually have vendor spotlights , um, and be doing the same thing, allow any vendor that wants to showcase durability to do it to a much greater audience. Um, all of this stuff is gonna be launching very, very soon, probably within the next, probably less than a month,Speaker 1:
Right on man. Well, yeah, definitely , uh , share those links and I will put them in the show notes when the audio version of this comes out. Uh, sure. To appreciate your time, man. Uh, thank you for, for all that you do to keep everybody safe and for sharing this information with everybody, man. It's good stuff.Speaker 2:
Hey, thanks for having me appreciate. It's great catching up with you . And , uh , yeah, man, I know life has been pretty busy, but uh , I'll eventually get down to you guys and , uh , there you go visit . Yeah , we'll catch up. We'll grab a beerSpeaker 1:
Works for me. I'll tell you what, hang on the line for just a minute. I'll I'll touch base with you afterwards. There you have it folks. Look, he , one thing that that stuck out to me is especially for a small business, he, he mentioned, I know you're cash strapped, but , uh , but this is an important line item. You know, what's more expensive than a monthly fee of having somebody monitor your stuff is a ransomware attack. And it's one of those things where you, you don't need it until you need it. And when you need it, it's too late. So an ounce of prevention, right? Uh, best to protect yourself. And that's two weeks in a row that we've talked about the necessity to protect yourself from a , as a personal , from a personal level, as a consumer, as a business owner, as a professional , uh, as , as a corporate entity, all of those things, you have to be protected. And either you have staff protecting you like actively protecting you or , uh , or you have a team like Brian's team at valor tech , who is, is doing that defense. If , if for a corporate entity standpoint, that's as important as the burly person with the black sunglasses and the little earpiece that you know, protects, you know , does security at your building and lets people in and out. It's just as important, like equal, equal importance because man alive, you could be buried as a small business owner, one ransomware, attacker, and they don't care. None of those people care. They , they wanna take things from you and they wanna take stuff that they didn't earn and they wanna make their living doing that. And they don't care if, if your business fails, if you go bankrupt, they don't care and it stinks, but we gotta defend yourself . We need to defend ourselves. We have to be proactive about it because being reactive when it comes to defense, physical cyber, whatever being reactive is expensive. So the proactivity line item and the cybersecurity thing, put it on there. Hate for you to pay the price happy tech month, everybody. Next month is agriculture month. We're gonna bring the thunder looking forward to it. See you next week. Thank you for listening to Wisconsin veterans forward brought to you by the Wisconsin veterans chamber of commerce. Please visit firstname.lastname@example.org . Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast, leave a rating and review in whatever platform you're listening through.