This week we’re joined by James Azar: Co-Founder and Chairman of CyberHub Summit, which is hosting a summit on cybersecurity awareness in Atlanta, GA on November 8th and 9th at the Omni Hotel.

The summit is going to be a great event for all companies, regardless of industry; and it’s going to be focused on explaining issues and solutions in layman’s terms, so you don’t have to be an expert to attend.


Even if you aren’t necessarily attending the summit in Atlanta, it would be very hard nowadays to admit that it is not timely. Recent events like the Equifax breach and the Yahoo hack have turned society upside-down.

Yahoo alone said as many as 3 billion accounts were affected… and the world only holds 6 billion people! You do the math.

50% of the world had a Yahoo breach this year.

Your marketing stack is no longer all that’s at stake. Your company is. No matter your industry, if you or your bank get hacked, then you could potentially lose all your money; and therefore all your business.

“It’s no longer ‘if.’ It’s ‘when.’ So how do you handle it when you get hacked?”

If your database exposes your contacts to intruders, then your customers could get hacked through you: a company they trust.

And since there are over 5k marketing softwares now, there’s no guarantee that you’ve chosen one that’s as secure as possible; or that’s constantly updating to meet today’s evolving threats.

“Humans are the weakest link in the chain.”

Even a reputable cybersecurity company was breached this past July.

FireEye’s social media marketing was controlled by a third party individual; and when his Facebook account was hacked, the entire company was compromised.

All it takes is one moment of complacency, and one email can shut you down and hold you for ransom while a hacker demands payment in bitcoin; and one bitcoin nowadays is worth $5,000!


The main problem with Equifax (besides their insider training scheme) was the fact that they didn’t report their breach for months. That, James points out, was their largest key mistake.

If you suspect a hack, report it immediately.

Of course, it’s still terrifying if you’re the employee who may have compromised everything by accident. Many individuals fear they could lose their jobs for their mistake. But James has never seen anyone’s career ruined over a breach – provided it was brought to the company’s attention as soon as it happened.

No one’s going to fire you for making a mistake. They will fire you for covering it up until it can’t be fixed.

“You’re not going to lose your job in most companies for saying, ‘I clicked on the wrong link,’ right away. You’re going to lose it for clicking on it and not letting anyone know…

If you speak to as many CISOs or CIOs or IT guys [as I have], they’ll tell you: ‘I’ll never fire someone for reporting it. I’ll fire them because I’ll find out a week later that I got hacked and we lost this much information, and they didn’t tell us.’ ”

Part of the reason why time is of the essence in such situations is because many hacks don’t come from within the same state as your location. That makes it a federal crime, or even an international crime. That puts you in the hands of the FBI or the secret service – and they’re busy.

Cybersecurity law enforcement is always busy with bigger fish; so minor hackers are free to prey on the weak like looters after a natural disaster.

That means your salvation is going to come from companies like CyberHub, as well as your own IT teams. And just like a more localized law enforcement team, they are more likely to crack a case when the trail is still hot.

The sooner a breach is caught, the sooner it can be shut down.

Everybody has or will, at some point, accidentally click on something they shouldn’t have. It just happens. When it does, make sure your company is already prepared ahead of time.

A. Have a plan.

B. Warn your clients and customers.

C. Work with IT and security to find the breach.

Keep your business credible by keeping it transparent. Many security breaches go unreported because companies don’t want to lose face or a large portion of their customer base. But that’s a bigger gamble than many realize.

A company is more likely to keep their customer base if they’re honest about making and then fixing mistakes. It’s certainly understandable that companies would want to avoid bad PR at all, but customers realize we’re all human.


After (or, if you’re lucky, before) your network is compromised, there are many ways to ensure that hackers have a harder time getting in again.

The key is to be proactive.

The most common step, says James, is to always use multiple passwords. Many people use easy-to-remember or nearly-identical passwords for the sake of convenience, and that’s the greatest threat.

Using a third-party random password generator, like LastPass, is a step in the right direction – but even that’s not ideal since you don’t know who or what is on the other end of that network.

James recommends just keeping a hard copy notebook or a text document – something not internet based – where you keep a record of your passwords. It’s not the fastest or flashiest of methods, but it’s the most protected.

“Cybersecurity’s not supposed to be easy… but that’s part of security. No one wants to take their shoes off at the airport. But if you want to get on an airplane, you have to pass through the TSA and take your shoes off.”

There are other recommended methods of cyber protection. If money isn’t as tight, try to keep two phones: one for communication, and one for verification and account storage. Be careful about letting your phone automatically sign into wifi hotspots.

That’s especially relevant as Industry 4.0 becomes more and more commonplace.

Insure your business for cyber threats.

Not only is it a good investment; but insurance companies have private investigative teams that are invested in recovering your property!

“[Manufacturing] companies are the bread and butter of our economy… it’s vital that the leaders of those companies start to have that conversation about cybersecurity.”

In short? Be prepared. Be vigilant. And start taking preventative measures now.


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