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9 ways customers can benefit from an integrated portfolio
Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies
If there’s one thing we can safely say about the future of work, it’s that we are going through a significant period of change. With technological, social, environmental and generational shifts impacting our priorities, work can no longer be defined as a physical space we go to, neither does it relate to a set schedule of ‘on’ hours each day. And while the events of the past year have brought increased focus on what the future of work or the “next normal” will be, in reality work has been evolving steadily for years. Today we can stay connected almost anywhere, from home, in the office, while in the air or even on a cruise ship! This capability was critical for organizations to manage through the pandemic, and will continue to be a key priority in the months and years that follow. (more…)
Cryptocurrency is all the rage right now. With amateurs getting in on the hype to learn how to trade it and watching the market escalate day to day, it can be a very exciting endeavor. But what happens when those with huge social media accounts, including Elon Musk and even Mr. Bitcoin himself, are hacked and then advertising bitcoin scams on their platforms? Absolute mayhem, that’s what.
This exact circumstance became Twitter’s worst nightmare last July, and for good reason. Approximately 130 accounts were affected and 45 were actually used to tweet scam messages, and most of the accounts that were accessed in the scam had at least a million followers. The scammers are believed to have received about 400 payments in bitcoin valued at $120,000.
The real kicker is, the “hacker” was not a professional by any means. In fact, he was just shy of becoming a legal adult – which is lucky for him and his impending jail sentence. All of this is to say that it does not take a professional team of adult hackers to take down not only one of the largest social media platforms in the world, but also some of the most influential politicians and celebrities, who we hope would have higher security than us regular civilians.
So, let’s break down the hack to understand how this happened, and talk about how businesses can put measures in their security strategy to ensure it does not happen to them. This “elaborate” plan – put in quotes because while it was elaborate in that it was successful, it was also not difficult at all for this teen to execute it because it was a social engineering scam that happens so often. Social engineering is essentially an attack where the victims are tricked into providing confidential information through very convincing scams.
An example of what the posting on Twitter looked like is below, and as you can see, it came from our former president, Mr. Barack Obama. So you can only imagine how influential and real it felt for the average Twitter user who happened to be scrolling through and is already excited around the hysteria of bitcoin.
Some of the other high profile accounts included Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian. All 130 of the accounts that were compromised were to promote the same bitcoin scam. The tweets were flying in at such a rapid rate the bitcoin hashtag went viral, again making it seem as though it was even more real than it was.
Just fewer than 400 people fell for the scam, which was less than 13 bitcoins, but the real victim here was Twitter. Thanks to the hack, Twitter’s share value dropped immediately by four percent. Obviously the most detrimental consequences of a hack are the victims that fall for it and lose their hard earned dollars. But businesses really suffer when things like this happen.
In this case, the attacker gained access to the admin tools that Twitter was using in order to recover and reset accounts. Think about when you forget your password on any site – an email is sent to the admin of the site, and a reset password code is sent to your email. That tool at Twitter was the main victim of this crime, because the hacker was then able to go into the most prestigious accounts and change their passwords so he could take full control of what they posted.
But how did he get that far? Well, there could have been a few vulnerabilities at play that gave him the advantage of getting in. Because so many employees were working remotely, some of them were allowed to run internal admin functions from their locations, which were likely not to be the most protected of places. And for many of these employees, they could have been permitted to even run these functions on their own devices, which without the proper security in place, could mean a multitude of vulnerable access points.
Pretending to be an internal Twitter support service representative using non-standard authentication due to an email outage.
Instructing a number of staff to perform certain actions, with those staff granting remote access to their devices – which could be used to either scrape administrative access credentials or simply pivot admin tool access from those devices.
Rogue access to the internal Twitter tool used to reset and administer Twitter accounts*
While we may not feel pity for Twitter because of their massive presence, any business is just as susceptible to a social engineering hack of this kind. Imagine a small-to-medium-sized business, where employees wear multiple hats and everyone is working their hardest. A person in accounts payable could receive a very convincing email about a wire transfer that appears to come directly from their CEO, which isn’t uncommon in a smaller sized company. Since it appears real, and this employee has a lot on their plate, they proceed with the transfer and within minutes the hackers are in. This has significant implications to the business’ data.
How can any business, regardless of their size, ensure that this will not happen to them?
An end-to-end security approach is a great place to start when it comes to protecting your business. This way, every “end,” or vulnerable place where a hacker could potentially get in is protected.
Security Awareness Training is a great way to educate employees to be on the lookout for phishing emails or anything suspicious for that matter. Security Monitoring ensures that your business is being watched 24/7, 365 days a year, and will make you aware of anything potentially hazardous to your data. And Vulnerability Management is ideal to classify and potentially remediate any threats. Lastly, any access point in your office can create vulnerability, but with MFP protection, you have another added layer of security. No matter what your security needs are, document and data protection, video security, or cyber security, this all-encompassing blueprint was designed to ensure you have security today for stability tomorrow. 😉
A while ago, ‘disruption’ was a big buzz word in the media. Every innovator was looking to cause disruption with the status quo, and while it was unsettling, this unsettlement was designed to create more attention and thought around the factors of the disruption. (more…)
With March marking a year since many businesses, ours included, had to swiftly pivot to remote work, we are now able to see the impact this has had on business priorities. IDC’s 2020 worldwide SMB market profile noted that these priorities have shifted to focus on revenue generation, with a much more targeted emphasis on customer and operational excellence. (more…)
On Monday, March 8th, Konica Minolta is hosting a global panel discussion to celebrate the achievements of women across our organization, to coincide with International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration of women’s social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments, which closely aligns to our vision to drive a more inclusive workplace now and in the future. (more…)
The past year has been a time of transformation across all aspects of life. It has tested our ability to multi-task and adapt, forcing many of us to completely reinvent the daily routines we’ve lived in for years. While everyone has been faced with unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, the disruption it’s caused has provided a moment to pause, step back and look at how we live our lives. It has also given many of us the opportunity to evaluate our routines and make changes to help us be more successful, efficient and happy. (more…)
After wearing many hats within marketing throughout my career, including digital marketing, campaigns and events, I started at Konica Minolta in early 2019 in a much more focused role as their Public Relations Manager. Admittedly, I feared missing out on the marketing aspects of work I enjoyed so much, and wondered if I might not be challenged in such a specific role. Not to mention the fact that public relations (PR) ranked #8 in CareerCast’s 2019 Top Stressful Jobs Report. What was I getting myself into? Two years later, I am happy to say my trepidation was completely unwarranted. By taking a creative approach and integrating my role within our greater Marcomms team, I found ways to not only extend the reach of our PR messaging and build our brands, but help to support our sales teams and generate leads. (more…)
While 2020 was devastating for an innumerate amount of varied businesses nationwide, it was particularly fruitful for a few particular industries that work hand in hand. Shifts in human behavior have resulted in a banner 2020 for digital retail, with people staying at home more often and shopping online. During the COVID-19 crisis, e-commerce experienced 21% growth globally. With the majority of products needing packaging and labels, these two print segments experienced amazing growth; labeling has grown to a $13B business with corrugated print at $29B. The pandemic had a positive impact on packaging demand with forecasted growth of 4.5% CAGR. As more and more people continue to shop online, this number could possibly double due to the increased consumer demand on these new businesses. (more…)
COVID-19 catapulted the world into the future almost overnight. Firms that had a “wait and see” attitude when it came to deciding to take the plunge into new innovations in technology or to ensure they were not vulnerable to security breaches, had a rude awakening in store. There is a distinct concept that sums up how firms unknowingly prepared for the pandemic versus those who were considering a future preparedness plan: strategic partnerships. (more…)
So much has changed going into this year, but with that change comes the opportunity for businesses to reinvent themselves to better meet the needs of their customers. There is an ever-increasing shift from in-store to online shopping, which is not new, but according to a recent RBC Capital Markets survey, 42 percent of surveyed consumers now purchase groceries online at least once per week. That number is up almost half from a similar RBC survey conducted in 2018. This is truly a fortuitous chance for many consumer brand owners to develop a closer connection to their customers by enhancing their packaging and labels. (more…)