Cyber Security Threats and Strategies – with Hon. Michael A.L. Balboni

In this episode of CHATTINN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Michael A.L. Balboni, CEO of Redland Strategies Inc. Prior to Redland Strategies, Mike worked as a New York State Senator and chairman of Homeland Security and Law Enforcement committee.

Born in Burns Town New York, Mike studied law and had a unique experience of serving in the New York State Senate for 10 years. Afterward, he went to Albany where he was appointed the first chairman of the Senate homeland security committee. As a chairman of the 9/11 homeland security committee, he learned all aspects of homeland security including cybersecurity. By acknowledging the risks of chemical plants he created regulations for the infrastructure protection – by passing legislation and supervising the implementation process – by the department of homeland security and emergency services within New York City.

His firm, Redland Strategies, assists companies and government agencies to develop and implement security strategies to improve business performance and maximize growth. For example, in the cybersecurity space, he helps companies to develop strategies for data management, data processing, storage, cyber breach issues, threats from an energy perspective (mainly due to sensors that are used for energy digitization which are itself Internet Of Things (IoT) components), etc.

Additionally he talks about the threats of malicious-payloads taking over a physical operating system (cross over from IT to OT) – for example manipulation of a nuclear power plant via cyber-attack. This type of threat was faced by the Ukraine in 2017 when their 2 nuclear power plants were disrupted as a result of internet manipulation.

Mike also talks about the importance of home network security. He says that it is now more important than ever to secure home networks because our society is moving toward a home-based virtual-workforce and cyber threats are growing continuously. According to the FBI home routers are vulnerable, so it should be everyone’s focus to invest in a cyber-infrastructure and cybersecurity. Having said that, everyone should understand that cybersecurity is not a destination, it is a journey; you must continue to evolve because threats are evolving.

Lastly, he shares his thoughts about the impact of Covid-19 on large organizations and the accessibility of the Covid-19 vaccine. He talks about sports organizations, they are employing the best strategies to keep their players, coaches, and staff safe. However, sports organizations right now are facing a huge challenge in bringing indoors. Everyone is waiting for the Covid-19 vaccine, but the distribution of a safe vaccine to enough people to bring us back to some sense of normalcy is not going to happen overnight.

Topics Discussed in the Podcast

  1. The journey of Michael A.L. Balboni’s professional life.
  2. Balboni’s experience of serving at New York State Senate and Senate Homeland Security Committee.
  3. Cyber threats from energy perspective and the role of digitization in that.
  4. Cyber attacks to take over a physical operating system (cross over from IT to OT).
  5. Recent presidential elections’ security.
  6. Importance of securing home-networks and investing in cyber-infrastructure and cybersecurity.
  7. Some fundamental cybersecurity strategies.
  8. Perks of working with the best and brightest people.
  9. Thoughts about the accessibility of the Covid-19 vaccine.

 

An interview with Darren Blatt CEO of Affiliate Ball

In this episode of Chattinn Cyber, Marc Schein interviews Darren Blatt, a pioneer of Professional Internet marketing and the CEO of Affiliate Ball.

Darren begins the conversation with a reference to how it all started for him and how he transitioned seamlessly into the industry that had the Internet at its center. He then reflects upon the definition of an Affiliate, pertaining to the Affiliate industry before getting into the technicalities of the contemporary world’s most prominent field — Digital Marketing.

Darren shares his comprehensive insight into how the huge trade shows across major cities such as New York, Vegas, San Francisco, etc., allows him to justify the marketing and branding efforts. To that end, he points out that throwing affiliate balls require utmost interaction, especially when the marketing methods have taken a massive and unprecedented turn during the pandemic. He goes on to describe how the pandemic has pushed him to tweak his approach to trade shows and how he has leveraged virtual connectivity to keep the flow intact.

Subsequently, Darren addresses working with celebrities and their impact on the marketing endeavors. Finally revisiting some of the best practices for effective marketing.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Heading to trade shows regardless of the industry or the industry segment is essential for learning.
  2. Targeting trade shows concentrated around the niche is even better and further attracts a great learning experience.
  3. Success in the digital world is guided by various underlying facets, with “asking questions” being integral.

Key Quotes:

  • “An affiliate is someone who gets paid on production” – Darren (3:43)
  • “Throwing Big Events are really some of the best branding and marketing you can do.” – Darren (5:40)
  • “But by the time we all get back in person, I think you’re going to see these events explode because people are dying to go back to listen to them” – Darren (13:30)
  • “There is 80 20 rule in marketing where 20 percent is what you know, and 80 percent is who you know.” – Darren (18:00)

Cyber Security: An Invisible War Fought From the Home Front

In this episode, Marc Schein interviews former Congressman Patrick Murphy. Beginning as a Division 1 athlete turned West Point faculty member, the Pennsylvania native eventually entered into a multi-tour deployment after 9/11 and then returned to the U.S. to serve in Congress. Accomplishing much more than the average American within just a few short decades, Murphy has experienced and witnessed some of the major formational moments that have rocked our country both for better and for worse.

Following in the footsteps of many war veterans like Sam Walton of Walmart, Ralph Roberts of Comcast, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman of Nike, and Frederick Smith of FedEX, Patrick Murphy’s commitment to bolstering the success and advancement of our country did not end upon leaving the field or the office. Years later, this “soldier for life” finds himself once again serving the American people, this time in the form of cyber security.

Murphy explains, “In warfare, we [say that] the first four domains are air, sea, space, and land. The fifth domain is cyber. That fifth domain isn’t just in the battlefield. It’s here.” Schein and Murphy discuss how U.S. cyber safety is not a hypothetical, distant threat but an active, invisible war that exists both nationally and internationally. Financial institutions, energy grids, the telecom industry, and personal data are all at risk for a breach at any moment. “That war,” begins Murphy, “is being fought on your iphone and on your desktop at home…and at your workplace.”

Serving as a member of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, Murphy meets weekly with other public and private sector leaders who, in part, are in charge of creating recommendation reports that detail a national approach toward cyber threats. Believing that these threats will only increase as we move into this new decade, Murphy advocates that we all need to participate in the cyber battle. Both public and private sectors should adhere to the recommendations released this March and learn to practice “proper cyber hygiene.” Listen in to this episode to gain an understanding of basic cyber issues and what you can do to be a part of the solution.