• North Korea-backed hackers stole $1.7bn (£1.4bn) of crypto in 2022, says blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis. For context, North Korea’s total exports in 2020 totaled $142m worth of goods, so it isn’t a stretch to say that cryptocurrency hacking is a sizable chunk of the nation’s economy.
  • The (Justice) department said it had successfully prevented victims from having to pay $130 million in  ransoms to Hive, a prolific ransomware gang, before seizing two of the group’s servers on Wednesday night.

These are just two news items from a blog that I read weekly, to keep aware of trends in this problem area of cybersecurity that everyone talks about, but that too few (CEOs) are doing enough to protect themselves from. The blog is called “Cybersecurity News of the Week & Weekend Patch Report” and its author is Stan Stahl, the best-known expert on cybersecurity protection I know. The quotes I chose are not to suggest that  North Korea or Hive are coming for you, but to remind everyone that hacking can hurt us all in many ways, only one of which is by picking our pockets directly.

OK, maybe they are coming for you and we just don’t know it yet, but our job – your job in your company – is to make it difficult rather than easy for them and others to succeed. And that means keeping aware and updated. And that means your software, the publishers of which issue regular updates in the form of patches for security risks that they have discovered and fixed. Besides relevant news, every issue of Stan’s blog contains a list of new updates along with the current versions of most of the popular software in use today, and if our stuff doesn’t match Stan’s list, I get busy. Even better, Stan recommends www.ninite.com, a resource that can check all your applications against current versions and automatically handle many needed updates.

So my message for you today is this: Sign up for Stan’s weekly letter. You can do that at www.securethevillage.org. How do we keep up with all this stuff? It’s our job.

We are Your CFO for Rent

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