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Perspectives from Channel Connect

In October nearly two thousand people descended on Orlando, Florida, for Intelisys Channel Connect. It is our biggest event of the year, and a great opportunity for our partners to level up their security game. My colleague, James Morrison, and I shared a few of our observations in a blog post over on the Intelisys site. Take a look!

Repelling a Ransomware Attack

I recently did an interview with Authority Magazine where I discuss ransomware, and I suggest five things you can do to protect yourself or your business. The interview also explores a bit about my career in cybersecurity, and some of my thoughts on leadership. You can find the article here.

When I talk to business owners and ask their biggest fear as it relates to cybersecurity, almost universally the answer is ransomware. And it’s no wonder – a ransomware attack can damage a business or shut it completely down. And businesses are not the only targets. Any of us can be the target of cyber criminals. I hope to explore the subject as it relates to protecting our personal computers and devices in the near future.

Cybersecurity in the Banking Industry

As you can imagine the banking industry focuses a lot of resources on cybersecurity. In my recent article for the West Virginia Banker Magazine I discuss a wholistic approach to the cyber threats faced by the banking industry. You can read the article here.

I should point out that the approach discussed can easily be applied to businesses in many different industries, not just the banking industry.

Table Stakes Security Services

I recently wrote an article for Cyber Defense Magazine discussing the minimal security products or services that a business, concerned about cybersecurity and protecting from bad actors, ought to have in place. I consider these “table stakes.” You can check out the article here.

Cyber Defense Magazine, is published monthly and shares a wealth of information to help you stay one step ahead of the next cyber threat.

Honoring Their Ultimate Sacrifice

Maj. Lewis P. Smith II

Today across the country most of us are enjoying a day off. I’ll be at a family cookout myself. It is easy to forget the meaning of this holiday – a day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

Our family is blessed that while we have a number of veterans among us none died while serving. We do remember Lew Smith. Well to be honest I don’t remember him personally. I was just six years old on May 30, 1968 when Forward Air Controller (FAC) Lew Smith, serving in the Vietnam war, was shot down over Laos.

But Lew had a big impact on our family. Lew introduced my sister, Connie, to her husband, Frank, while Lew and Frank were at Penn State. They were both music majors and both in the US Air Force ROTC. The Smiths were friends of the family. Lew’s dad, Coy Smith, was a contractor. They lived just up West Water Street in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, from our house.

So today, while at Connie and Frank’s for our cookout I’m certain Frank will tell some of the Lew Smith stories we’ve heard several times before. And that is fine for today is really about just that, honoring and remembering those who gave their lives in service to our great country.

My Piano Journey

In January of 2020 I decided to start piano again. There was a global pandemic coming. But, the pandemic was not my motivation. A young girl who lives in the apartment above me was practicing her piano and progressing very nicely. I was intrigued. So after almost 50 years I ordered a keyboard and began experimenting with online lessons. And soon, with the rest of the world, I realized that online study would be the only option for quite some time.

Fast forward to to today. My progress has been hit and miss. While I’ve subscribed and participated in various online programs and systems they all seem to lack the structure I need. So this week I interview with a teacher and will most likely start weekly lessons.

To mark this moment in time I made a YouTube video of the latest piece I’m working on, Bach Prelude in C Major. My playing is choppy but I’m having fun! And I will continue to work on this piece.

Let’s see where this journey takes me.

IP Addressing Basics

I am in the process of creating training on the subject of IP address basics. We’ll start with IPv4. I thought, “You know, I have a website. Maybe I can incorporate it into the training.” And so I have used this site as a potential destination for our example network.

A Simple Customer Network

Margin vs Markup

I’m always second guessing myself on this subject. I understand markup. Margin often tries to make my head explode. I found this Markup vs. Margin blog post over at Patriot Software to be very helpful and I bookmarked it. Pretty smart of this software company to make this reference available. I imagine a CEO struggling in a pinch and finding this. Then, if they are at all like me, next thing they know they are watching product information videos on the company site. Nicely played Patriot Software.

Markup vs. Margin Chart: How to Calculate Margin and Markup

A Little Recognition

In the midst of these challenging times I feel so blessed to be employed by an amazing company, Segra. Segra today recognized my efforts there via social media. I’m sharing the post from LinkedIn below.

I work every day (usually via our Unify collaboration tool, Zoom and Teams) with a solid group of colleagues. Collectively we exceed customer expectations and overcome challenges. I’m proud that we’ve been able to be a part of “the new normal” for many of our customers. Hopefully we never forget how important each of them are to our continued success.

Jim Mundy is a Segra Sales Engineer Manager. Jim has been a dedicated team member for 5 years recently taking over the responsibility of managing all sales engineers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Jim continues to be instrumental in helping customers, including continuing to go on site visits, despite the pandemic. Thank you for all you do Jim!

Greatest professional achievement within the last 12 months: Taking on management responsibility for the Mid-Atlantic Sales Engineering team.

Most proud of personally or professionally: Over my years in the telecommunications industry I have had a chance to mentor some aspiring network and information security professionals. Today they have moved on to leadership positions in other organizations and are paying it forward.

Something unique about Jim: I’m an amateur radio operator. While my ability to “get on the air” is a bit limited in my current residence I still stay active in the hobby by participating in local clubs and enjoying the hobby with other amateur operators, or “hams” as we are also known.

from Segra social media post on linkedin

SSL the Hard Way

I’m continuing the journey of building this WordPress site in a bit of a hybrid fashion. It is not an “easy button” method like WordPress.com or even a hosting provider’s managed solution. But I also didn’t start with a raw cloud VM somewhere and built the LAMP stack.

This day the big accomplishment is that I FINALLY was able to figure out SSL, get my SSL certificate created and uploaded, and get the sought after “closed lock” when arriving at this site via HTTPS.

SSL Lock Closed – Certificate Valid

It s not like I’m taking credit cards or dealing with any PII (personally identifiable information). But even for casual browsing many browsers now require, or favor, the encrypted connection via HTTPS.

The effort was a challenge. I could have gone with the quick and free auto-configuration option of a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. This method is offered by my current platform provider. I wanted to generate a key, order a certificate, install it, configure it, and launch it. I learn by doing. And hopefully you are now seeing the result of that effort.

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