Sponsored by Business RadioX ® Main Street Warriors
Cherokee Cyber Commission is a group of business owners and experts passionate about educating our community about cyber security and online safety. Our team speaks at various events and holds educational workshops in Cherokee County, GA.
Shawn Stewart has 25 years of experience with hundreds of international, commercial, military, and government IT projects.
He holds certifications with ISC2, Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, ITIL, Novell, and others.
He has a Masters in Cybersecurity, a Bachelors in IT, a Minor in Professional Writing, and is a published author.
Ronald Sweatland is the Founder and CEO of Orcannus Technologies, Inc and the Red Team Commander at CyberGate IT. He started in the computer industry about 30 years ago.
A few of the projects he worked on while still in high school was a massive computer overhaul of a large banking hub in Charlotte, NC and implementation of America Online (AOL).
After high school, he enlisted in the US Navy and became a Submarine Sonar Technician on the USS Los Angeles SSN 688, stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI.
While enlisted, he ported in Alaska, San Diego, Japan, South Korea, Guam, Australia, and Tasmania. Ronald did two Western Pacific Tours of Duty and several reconnaissance / SEALs missions during his time.
After the Navy, Ronald remained engaged in the computer sector in one capacity or another. He has also worked as an automotive technician, restaurant manager, software support engineer, smart bomb/munitions engineer, and director of technology.
Ronald was the Director of Technology for the School and Computing and Software Engineering for Southern Polytechnic State University until the merger with Kennesaw State University.
He currently has two degrees: Cybersecurity / Assurance and Criminal Justice / Pre Law. He hold certifications in FERPA, Ethical Hacking, Pen Testing, and LTE Communications. When not in front of a computer, Ronald can be found in a kitchen creating dishes, as food is his hobby and love.
Anna Teal is a published author and the owner of Teal Marketing, LLC, and Aphasia Readers, LLC. Somewhat of a serial entrepreneur, one of her passions is helping small businesses succeed online, whether it’s with branding, website development, or social media marketing.
With over 15 years of experience and an MBA in International Marketing, she’s witnessed the evolution of digital marketing firsthand and loves to leverage the latest and greatest strategies for her exclusive clientele.
She enjoys serving on the Chairman’s Council for the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce and is proud to sit on the board of the Cherokee Cyber Commission to spread awareness of the importance of cyber safety.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Woodstock, Georgia. It’s time for Cherokee Business Radio. Now, here’s your host.
Stone Payton: [00:00:24] Welcome to another exciting and informative edition of Cherokee Business Radio. Stone Payton here with you this afternoon, and today’s episode is brought to you in part by our local small business initiative, the Business RadioX Main Street Warriors. Defending capitalism, promoting small business and supporting our local community. For more information, go to Mainstreet warriors.org and a special note of thanks to our title sponsor for the Cherokee chapter of Main Street Warriors, Diesel David Inc. Please go check them out at dieseldavid.com. You guys are in for a real treat this afternoon. Please join me in welcoming back to the Business RadioX microphone. Miss Anna Teal. How have you been doing?
Anna Teal: [00:01:11] I’m doing well. How are you?
Stone Payton: [00:01:12] I am doing well. Just returning from an overseas trip to Spain. Oh yeah. Gained a little bit of weight, enjoyed some food, had some marvelous experiences and kind of back in the saddle. Now. But I’ve really been looking forward to this conversation because we’re not really going to talk about your marketing company so much. You’ve got some other cool stuff going on. What is it that we’re going to talk about and who did you bring with you to help us?
Anna Teal: [00:01:35] All right. So I brought Ron Sweatland with Orcannus Technologies and then Shawn Stewart from Stewart Consulting. And we’re part of the Cherokee Cyber Commission, which is a initiative that, you know, it’s just a bunch of experts coming together that we’re passionate about educating the community on cyber security. So we do that by hosting events and doing all kinds of things, you know, to get out there and talk to seniors, schools, you know, different places in the community, to kind of share our vision and to help others.
Stone Payton: [00:02:06] Okay. So I got to ask why and with your permission, I’d like to ask all three of you individually, because I’d like to get that unique perspective. And I’ll I’ll start with you and then we’ll go around the we’ll go around the the horn. So, Anna, why did you get involved?
Anna Teal: [00:02:22] Um, basically because, you know, in my line of business, I encounter a lot of people who, you know, I have to obtain their credentials and sometimes their passwords aren’t as strong as they need to be. And, you know, I get a lot of interesting passwords or either their birthdate or their actual name verbatim or, you know, I’ve seen all different kinds of things and I’m like, Hey, man, you really should look at changing your password because your accounts need to be secure. So but yeah, yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:02:53] So I feel like I resemble that remark. So Shawn, what compelled you to get involved in this?
Shawn Stewart: [00:03:01] Man Well, I’ve been in the industry for about three decades now working on different layers of computers. It network things of that nature. And security has always been a big issue. And like we tell the kids these days, it’s like, I know your password and if I don’t know your password, nothing that you do online ever goes away. Keep that in mind. And they’re like, oh, but Snapchat. No, no, Snapchat. A subpoena can get everything that you just did. So keep that in mind. So we we want to educate not just businesses, but politicians, law enforcement, the children, of course, and the elderly who are the two biggest targets in our community right now for cybersecurity, especially for hacks and money. Anything that requires fraud that pulls in. And, you know, our elderly community is the one that seems to be most underserved.
Stone Payton: [00:03:53] So it’s it’s not a new challenge. It’s just but the stakes are getting higher. Why is it coming to the forefront now?
Shawn Stewart: [00:04:02] It’s it’s all about technology and access. Yeah, everyone has a cell phone now. Everyone can be reached 24 over seven. And if it’s too good to be true, it almost always is. But we humans never learn, it seems like, and we always want to trust. We always want to trust first, and that’s our downfall. So we want to educate people to say trust but verify.
Stone Payton: [00:04:24] So, Ron, was it the margarita Mondays that the club has or what brought you into the fold? Man Oh, it’s.
Ron Sweatland: [00:04:31] Always about the margaritas. So we came up with this concept because we saw that the community had a need. There’s a lot of companies even that don’t have the wherewithal, the skill set to properly secure their infrastructure. So when we started, that’s kind of what we had in mind a couple of years ago. The. Uh, Department of Homeland Security director. Get up there and said we basically have enough to secure our own government. It’s up to the private sector to get involved and protect the basically the community, because unfortunately, the government doesn’t have the money and the manpower to do that. So that’s kind of where we step in, is to provide that skill set to to be there as the resident experts in this area, even with other technology companies that may not have that specific skill set in there.
Stone Payton: [00:05:34] So yeah, so skill set and it’s mindset, right, that they have to feel like it’s an important thing and give it that, that level of of priority. You mentioned several constituencies just right off the bat. You mentioned the elderly, which I want to learn more about because you mentioned that was a particular challenge, but there were other aspects of the community too young folks, law enforcement. So it strikes me that it could be a real challenge trying to develop a message or messages or curricula that’s going to effectively meet the needs of each of those distinct constituencies. Can can you guys speak to that a little bit? Yeah.
Shawn Stewart: [00:06:13] And they’re each facing something different. Okay. For instance, in Cherokee County, if there’s a crime that involves a computer and data is pulled forensically to be used in trial, the trial can be delayed up to 18 months for that data to be viewed. Because what we have here, we have, what, two forensics people in the county and they’re so overwhelmed. So by default, everything rolls over to the GBI. Well, the GBI has a backlog of 18 months because they’re not only supporting what’s in the state, they’re supporting all the municipalities and counties that can’t do it themselves. So for the law enforcement side, it’s very important for us to say, okay, it’s not just a matter of going in and collecting this forensic data. There’s a certain way to do it so that you can speed up your own processes so that if you collect your forensics data and search in such a way, you might be able to allow your people to process it faster or get it ahead of the list in the GBI.
Stone Payton: [00:07:14] So talk to me about the price of failure. So if we don’t get our arms around this thing, I mean, the stakes really are high, aren’t they?
Ron Sweatland: [00:07:24] They are. And there’s actually a legitimate business model called ransomware as a service. And I mean, people are making millions and millions of dollars. It’s through digital currency because that can’t be traced. But I mean, that’s that’s what it is. And. You know, you might have somebody that’s been in business for, you know, ten, 20, 30, 40 plus years and just having the wrong person or having somebody click the wrong link, even something that says, I don’t want to get this email anymore. Well, you hit the unsubscribe button. Guess what? The unsubscribe button is the trigger to hit the the ransomware. So I mean, even hitting unsubscribe now is is is not even safe. So I mean, losing your business as far as the, you know, residential type stuff goes. I kind of know what Sean was saying. You know, the second that somebody puts something on the online, it’s there. It’s there forever. It’s not going away. You can hit, delete and whitewash and Hillary your stuff. So, I mean, it’s.
Shawn Stewart: [00:08:27] Like the for instance, Equifax. Equifax was hacked. It’s been almost two years ago now. I believe once Equifax was hacked, all of our historical credit data was dumped onto the Internet, all of it. So when you now get a fake email from Best Buy, it’s because you have or have had a Best Buy account at some point. And the person who’s sending you that email knows that because of the Equifax hack all of your data. Okay. Mark Zuckerberg said privacy is dead. I don’t believe that. I believe our history, our Internet history is compromised. Yes. But we going forward, we have to be able to protect it. And there’s ways we can do it. But it requires educating people.
Stone Payton: [00:09:09] Well, I’ll tell you what. You’re scaring the hell out of me. Well, I just mentioned earlier in the program that I just went on a trip. When I got back, I had to wade through a bunch of emails. And one of the first thoughts that occurred to me is I got to unsubscribe to half of this stuff, but now I don’t know if I want. All right. So so there’s there’s law enforcement. You talked about that, but you also mentioned elderly or specifically particularly vulnerable. Yeah.
Shawn Stewart: [00:09:34] Yeah. Well, the elderly is the largest target demographic right now of scams, mostly social engineering. I know from personal experience, my own mother in law received a letter from the IRS in air quotes that said, We noticed that you had a death in the family last year. Her her husband passed away last year. Call this number because we owe you tax or you owe us tax money. The number went to a call center in India. And it was a scam. It looked legitimate. And it came through email. No computers. No email. And it looked legit. And of course, what’s the first thing that a law abiding citizen is going to do? They want to call and they want to get it verified. They want to get it cleaned up. They want to get their name off the IRS list. But it’s and it’s prevalent. It’s everywhere. And it’s not just IRS. It’s Social Security Administration. We get those calls all the time. Or, hey, I’m a Russian female looking for love. We see that that is one of the biggest scams that are out there now for the elderly. And it’s not even romance necessarily, but it’s, hey, do you just want to talk? Companionship. Companionship.
Stone Payton: [00:10:47] Wow. Okay, Ron, you got to give me a little bit of relief here. What are some things that like some big rocks, some things I should do or not do?
Ron Sweatland: [00:10:56] So with those links, if it’s something that you don’t see, just block it. What you can do with most is report phishing. So depending on who the email is coming from, most of them have something. If you get something, if it’s not already built in, like if you get something through Gmail or whatever, usually that’s a right click on that email and then you can say block, you can actually say report phishing for a business type things. And usually if you hit report phishing, that email will go through the, your, your company administrator and they’ll say, okay, yeah, this is junk and then they can take it from there. Anything that looks there is no company in the world that’s going to ask you for payment and Walmart gift cards. Yeah, that’s a big one. That’s a big one. Any kind of stuff. I know that there’s there’s. Payment type things now that are even kind of sketchy, but they’re legitimate. Like if somebody wants to steal some money or something or.
Shawn Stewart: [00:12:07] Yeah, Venmo is a big Venmo.
Ron Sweatland: [00:12:09] You know.
Shawn Stewart: [00:12:09] They do protect and back in validate who the money’s going to at least. Right?
Ron Sweatland: [00:12:14] So the best thing that you can do is if somebody’s asking you is simply pick up the phone and call that person directly and say, hey, are you asking for money? Or, you know, what could this be? But I mean, if it if it doesn’t look like it’s safe or anything looks fishy about it, if it’s a phishing type scam, just mark it as phishing, block it, whatever it is. Don’t ever click any of the links that are in there because chances are right now you hit that unsubscribe. That’s it. That’s all it takes is one click. All right.
Stone Payton: [00:12:46] So what does happen when you hit a link like that? There’s some stuff happening in the background that I don’t even know about and it’s spying on me or what’s happening.
Ron Sweatland: [00:12:54] So what happens is it’s like somebody going up to your house and they, you know, hey, I’m with the I’m with the police department, You need to let me in. So you say, oh, yeah, you must be okay. You’re with the police department. When they come in, they’re holding the door open while they’re letting in, you know, hundreds of bad actors in there. And what they’re doing is, is they’re rearranging your furniture and they’re turning the TV and everything else. So essentially what that’s doing is, is once you click that, you’ve given somebody permission into your computer and they’re going to start encrypting files, and then you need actually a key to decrypt those files. So if you don’t have the encryption key, which normally is part of the ransom, they can do that. If it’s somebody’s a bad actor that’s not looking for a ransom, that’s just looking to cause trouble. That might be just a malware type thing where they just go and they just really mess up your computer. They’re just being mean. Yeah. Or there’s that.
Shawn Stewart: [00:13:52] Too. They’ll use your computer as a bot to attack someone else, so it looks like it’s coming from you and not from them. Yeah. Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:13:58] All right. From a marketing perspective, Miss Anna, as a sales and marketing person, I want to get the message out about some stuff we’re doing at Business RadioX or like the Main Street Warriors program that I talked about at the top of the show. Does that mean we need to? Stop using email marketing or what impact does it have on the ways that we go to market and communicate?
Anna Teal: [00:14:20] I don’t think there’s any direct impact. It’s just being careful and being aware and being educated on what to do and what not to do and not to click on anything crazy.
Stone Payton: [00:14:29] But but as simple as wanting to get an email to someone and have them click on a link that takes them to this cool show we just did on cyber security, right? I mean, you guys are throwing my whole world upside down here.
Anna Teal: [00:14:39] I know. It’s like, how do you trust anybody at this point? Right, right, right. No, I think there are, you know, certain things that you can do rather than saying this is not spam, please open because that’s what a hacker would say. Probably. You know, I don’t know. I know that’s what you would say.
Stone Payton: [00:14:58] All right. So let’s talk about the work, the structure. So how do you get these kinds of conversations going, this kind of education? How do you gather the the the what do you want to call it? Intellectual property, the important information? And then how do you disseminate it to these different groups? Are we are we going into schools? Are we going into workplaces? Or what does that look like?
Shawn Stewart: [00:15:22] Yeah, we’ve kind of done it all. I mean, we we definitely have spoken to a lot of the children. The county has a lot of great initiatives that we’ve kind of piggybacked on like career day and things like that, where we go in and talk about what we do and how to be careful online, things of that nature. And there’s a lot more initiatives that are coming along now too, from from a lot of different areas. But yeah, it’s it’s hard to get people to come out of their shell because there’s such a fear. You know, you walk in and you say, Hey, I want to help you with cybersecurity. And the first thing they go is, Are you a hacker? Well, yes, but I’m a good hacker.
Ron Sweatland: [00:15:58] I’m a white hat. Yes, I.
Shawn Stewart: [00:15:59] Am. Yes, I am. But so it’s really hard to get them to trust up front what you’re saying until they realize that you’re coming from a place of. I want to help you. Look, I’m not in here to. I don’t want to expose you to the feds. I don’t want to expose you to your insurance carrier that you’re not in compliance. You know, I want to just kind of educate you on what to do and what not to do. I’m not I’m not asking for money. That’s that’s always the big question. It’s like, well, how much do you want? It’s like, well, you’re welcome to give us a grant that we can use for other people, but we’re not out here with our hands out. You know, we’re trying to make this as as inexpensive and free to the community as possible, right?
Stone Payton: [00:16:38] When you do find that you have genuinely helped an individual, an organization, it must be incredibly rewarding. It must feel great to know that you’ve you’ve probably saved them some money and some anguish. That’s that’s got to be very rewarding work. And I applaud that. And I’m a business owner. Where and how do you find the time to to do this? I mean, I would be completely understanding if you kept all this great knowledge to yourself because you’ve got a businesses to run. You just felt like it was that important.
Shawn Stewart: [00:17:14] It’s probably the most important thing we have going forward from a technology standpoint. Yeah, because if we don’t teach everybody top to bottom how to move forward safely, it’s like sending them off into a minefield. You’re going to have elderly who lose pensions, you know, who lose substantial amounts of money because they want to trust. Yeah. And, you know, they they accidentally give out their bank account information. There’s no coming back from that. They will wipe a bank account out in seconds. We’ve seen them actually go through and log right into their bank account information and see how much money they have. Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:17:53] Yeah. So if they get they these bad folks, if they get the account number and then the password, they can they can go in there and move money around. Guess. Right. Wow. You haven’t done anything to make me less scared in the last few minutes, but that’s all right. We’re going to hang in there and we’re going to get.
Shawn Stewart: [00:18:11] There are things that are happening that are meant to protect us and some things like Stir Shaken, which was something the government built. And it’s been going on now for years and finally has come to fruition. So Stir Shaken was initiated by the Federal Communications Commission to say, look, we’re getting all these phone calls and all these phone calls appear to be coming from places they’re not. Caller ID what stir shaken has done is say, okay, we’re going to force all these phone carriers to confirm the person who’s calling matches their caller ID, and we’re going to give it a confidence level of A, B or C. If you receive a phone call. I mean, this is this is just blanket, good, safe information for everybody. If you receive a phone call that does not have an Associated caller ID name to it, don’t answer. It is most likely a scam. Or a survey asking you how you would like. If you want a car insurance or your new car warranty and all of that. Either way, you don’t need to pick up a phone call that does not have proper caller ID, and every phone carrier is now required to give every phone that you have spam protection. So if you it’s either on by default or you have to go through a small little step process. But everyone should have the caller ID spam blocker set up on their phone. It’s free. The federal government forced them to turn it on for free for all carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and all the sub carriers.
Stone Payton: [00:19:45] Okay. I think I may have this because there’s this guy named Spam Risk that calls me every day. That’s it. So So it’s on my phone and doing what it’s supposed to be doing.
Shawn Stewart: [00:19:54] Your carrier has has set it up there so that you will be alerted if a call comes through with a low confidence that that’s not who they say they are in most cases. I hate to say this, I’m going to lose a sponsor. It’s typically a Google Voice phone number in almost all cases because those are free. Now, Google Voice does now require you to go back and tie to a cell phone, but that cell phone doesn’t have to be your real number. So. If you do see a phone number come across without a caller ID, don’t answer it. It’s probably not someone you want to talk to.
Stone Payton: [00:20:30] Oh, yeah.
Shawn Stewart: [00:20:30] Yeah. So you can think the federal government for that one thing. That’s it. One right there.
Stone Payton: [00:20:37] So what do you guys need more of? Do you need more sponsors? You mentioned sponsor. Do you need clearly you want to get the word out, but what do you need from the business community? What do you need more of right now as a as an organization, you think?
Shawn Stewart: [00:20:53] I think the biggest thing we need is people who. Will listen, right? Because, I mean, personally, I’ll stand up on the stage over here at the at the amphitheater and talk all day long. But that’s really not going to do anybody any good. We would really like to have some deep level of community outreach to where we can go and speak to to everybody. And, you know, we’ve talked to Sheriff Reynolds. We’ve talked to his his office. We’ve talked to the GBI. We’ve talked to several people. And they’re all like, this is a great idea. Good luck. So. Yeah, because I think they’ve tried it too. And it’s it’s kind of hit the same thing. People are people just I think they’re overwhelmed by it, to be honest.
Stone Payton: [00:21:38] Well, as a lay person, I can tell you I’m overwhelmed. I’m a little bit skittish. But I there’s also a little bit of a sense of confidence that we’ve got smart people like you guys working on it. So when you see spam risk pop up on your phone with your skills, do you just have fun with it and you go ahead and answer it anyway and then you just because you know what you’re dealing with.
Shawn Stewart: [00:21:57] Sometimes it record and say, Hello, can I help you? Oh, which kind of gift card do you need? Okay, I’m scratching it off now. Yeah, I only if I’m bored, but that’s far between.
Stone Payton: [00:22:10] When you mentioned earlier a scenario where someone’s close to them had passed away. Well, if you hit a certain demographic, a certain a critical mass of those, people are going to have a friend that recently passed away. It’s just a numbers thing, right? Well, they pulled.
Shawn Stewart: [00:22:25] It from obituaries. They pulled it from because they had to have the information from somewhere. And if you think about it, all this information is public knowledge, what we call osint. It’s just open source intelligence. Right. And, you know, those people who like to post way too many things online, those people basically are handing someone, here’s the playbook with how to hack me here. Here you go. Yeah. My my child’s name is this. They’re three years old. My other child’s name is this. They’re four years old. And they go to this school and I do this and they’re in cheer and they’re in football. That’s an awful lot of information.
Ron Sweatland: [00:23:00] Not only from that, but I mean, we’ve even made jokes about. You know, we’ll have some of these business groups that meet and they’re taking pictures of one another. It’s like, well, look at all the businesses that can be hacked right now because everybody’s at this group. Yeah. So, I mean, it’s, uh, you know.
Anna Teal: [00:23:19] Never post when you’re on vacation.
Ron Sweatland: [00:23:21] That’s the worst thing. Oh, yeah, We’re. We’re all down here.
Shawn Stewart: [00:23:24] Just arrived in Key West. Yeah.
Anna Teal: [00:23:27] Come. Please rob me. Yeah. Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:23:29] I mean, this is not the kind. It’s not the way my mind works. And I guess a lot of people are that way, right? Right.
Speaker6: [00:23:35] Yeah.
Anna Teal: [00:23:35] Because you’re a good person.
Speaker6: [00:23:37] You know?
Stone Payton: [00:23:38] So the ransom thing. So say more about that and how it works. And if there’s anything we can do, businesses small and large, to kind of buffer ourselves from that.
Ron Sweatland: [00:23:49] One of the biggest things is. Training the people phishing campaigns where we set up basically fake a fake ransomware site. We send out random emails to your business and then see who just like phishing, see who takes the bait. And then once they get that bait, they go to a landing page that says, you know, guess what? You just, you know, destroyed your company just by this one click and have them go through some kind of training. So even before then, it’s trained the employees. What that does is it gives them and empowers them to learn a new skill set. So not only are they using that same at the office, but now they can take that and use it at home where they can say, you know what, this doesn’t look right if they’re getting something with their personal stuff, part of the ransomware stuff that goes along, kind of what Sean was talking about is one of the worst things you can do is use your business email as your personal stuff. So you go to you set up a Best Buy account and you’re using your business stuff. Best Buy gets hacked. Hopefully they don’t get hacked. But it and again, so sorry, we’re not we’re not trying to pick on them. But if something were to happen now you’ve got that you’re typically going to use your same password that you use with your work stuff to do that. So now you’ve got that. You’ve got a CEO of a company or somebody that’s high up in HR person, you know, any kind of C-level executive that’s doing that. Now all of a sudden they’ve got the keys to the castle, to your place. Now they can do whatever they want. Not only can they do that, but they can sit there and they can look at your emails and.
Shawn Stewart: [00:25:42] Emulate your emails.
Ron Sweatland: [00:25:43] Email because it’s like, you know, they let’s say that CEO’s name is, you know, Robert Sanchez. Well, Robert Sanchez, I’m just using that. That’s writer transportation. But he maybe he signs the stuff. Thanks, everybody. Bobby. So. You get something that looks exactly like him, you know? So, I mean, those are all kinds of things to worry about. What’s when it happens, what can you do to protect yourself? For a company is to make sure that you have all of your updates on your environment, all always meaning the computer.
Stone Payton: [00:26:22] Update, the computer. So that’s a good thing because I was about to ask if I got to be careful about doing that right. The days of protecting.
Ron Sweatland: [00:26:30] Yeah, the days that used to be an IT thing. You got to keep three versions behind and etcetera. You can’t do that anymore because everybody, not only your operating system, but a lot of the software that’s on your computer, they push those security updates constantly. So making sure that you’ve got that up to date, newer versions and of Windows starting at Server 2019 and more is actually that has built in defender that has ransomware protection. So what that does is if you have that enabled, if something comes in and tries to start rapidly renaming your files, it stops it right there. And there’s a lot of even IT companies that don’t know that, hey, that functionality is there. So I mean, that’s one of the things that we can do is empower those IT companies to say, Hey, you need to protect your customers as well. So there’s all kinds of, you know, good, good antivirus solutions. None that are free, though, right?
Shawn Stewart: [00:27:29] No free antivirus.
Ron Sweatland: [00:27:30] No, no. Free is what you get. You pay for what you get for its free versions are usually a kind of help you sleep at night just because, oh, I might have something on there that’s going to protect me. But if it’s not constantly being monitored and live updated, it’s not going to really do anything.
Stone Payton: [00:27:49] There’s your ideal sponsor, right? The antivirus, like whoever the gorilla in that market is, that’s who ought to be writing.
Shawn Stewart: [00:27:54] You check Webroot McAfee, I mean, Norton Sentinel Yeah, all of those guys.
Stone Payton: [00:28:00] And so there’s the there’s the technical aspects of getting girded up properly. But it strikes me during the course of this conversation, the weak link is the human always.
Ron Sweatland: [00:28:10] It’s always.
Stone Payton: [00:28:12] Wow. All right. So, I mean, you guys have thrown out so much information in such a short period of time. My mind is spinning. I’m going back and forth between fear and awe and respect, like I’m running those three bases right there. Is there I don’t know, a checklist or the, you know, the 15 do’s and don’ts or the the the daily practice or is there have you started to add some structure and some rigor and stuff so that the layperson can do some of these things that seem to be more second nature to you guys?
Ron Sweatland: [00:28:41] So I know that we all have kind of our own thing, but at the end of the day, it’s all pretty much the same set. Looking at reputable sources, if somebody doesn’t decide, hey, we’re going to go with the commission even looking at like NIST and some of the bigger like government type things where they do have those security standards in place. At this point. I know that, like a lot of people have what we call YouTube PhD. Even if you look at it, even if you have a YouTube PhD and you get something from there, it’s better than nothing.
Shawn Stewart: [00:29:22] So it’s true. And a lot of the things that are out there for Nest and the other frameworks they call them, which is just kind of like it’s guidelines for how to run a business for for businesses. You really got to start with your policy. You know, the policy is like number one, if you don’t have a standard set of policies and an attorney will tell you this in a heartbeat because they’re, you know, charging by the word. But it’s if you don’t have a policy that’s enforceable. So if if you don’t have every one of your employees signed to say, okay, this is how I’m going to use the Internet, here’s how I’m going to use this computer. If I don’t use this computer in this Internet properly, then I’m subject to being written up or possibly even terminated. We’ve seen businesses be hacked from the inside and not have policy in place. And that person is not charged because they have no legal standing to charge them with anything. So policy is the very first thing you do because it tells everyone what you expect of them.
Shawn Stewart: [00:30:21] Then you educate them toward the policy that you have in place to say, Remember what I said? You don’t click on links. Okay, here’s why You don’t click on links and show the examples and constantly send them fake emails to say, Oh, I recognize that that’s fake. You know, the education comes and then at the end you bring the technology in to say, okay, let’s put a good firewall in. Let’s make sure that our antivirus is up to date. Let’s make sure that if we are communicating with the cloud like AWS or with Office 365, that it’s a secure communication. We have to make sure all of our our windows are up to date. All of our systems are up to date. Even Mac Mac is Mac had their first ransomware attack. It’s it finally broke spades on that one So nobody’s safe. Android’s doesn’t matter iPhones doesn’t matter. There are products and technologies out there for every single device. You have to ensure that you aren’t going to get caught basically with your pants down.
Stone Payton: [00:31:21] And there are smart, motivated people on the other team.
Shawn Stewart: [00:31:26] State sponsored, right? Most of these places are state sponsored either by the the red country, the bear country, even the Dharma group. I mean, that’s state sponsored out of India. Iran has some. North Korea has some. And then there’s the people who just do it for the heck of it that aren’t tied to anybody who are probably some of the smartest people in the world. So they make millions. Actually, the latest number was if you put all the numbers lost to cybersecurity last year, it would be the third largest country in the world. I think it was $6 trillion. $6 trillion lost to cybersecurity issues last year.
Stone Payton: [00:32:10] So, Anna, do you feel a lot better about your own situation since you’ve been hanging out with these guys? Do you feel like you at least you’ve got your shop buttoned down and you’re able to help your clients more? Or are you still like me running these bases?
Anna Teal: [00:32:22] I feel like I’m definitely more well rounded hanging around these guys because they’ve taught me a lot, but I feel like I can better serve my clients more than some other marketing companies because I am that conscious of what it requires for businesses to stay secure. And so that’s that’s kind of, you know, what I take pride in. Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:32:42] All right. So what’s next for you guys? You got some upcoming events. Have you got new materials coming out? You got some flash cards for me or what are you or like a daily reminder, but you can’t send it with a link.
Shawn Stewart: [00:32:52] What are we would We are working on putting together a newsletter. We ask people to go to our web page and sign up for the newsletter. We do host events. We have several. You know, it’s not just us three. There are several other companies involved in the in the commission, quite a few. And if you start naming some of the names, people are like, Oh, really? They’re in there? Yes. Yeah. We’ve got we’ve got quite a quite a few folks and we’re working on trying to put together relevant training for businesses, individuals, law enforcement, politicians, whatever we can get on a regular basis. Just really it’s dependent upon either need based or interest based. So we ask people to go to the website and say, Hey, I’d like you to come and talk to our business about spam or about social engineering, you know, physical security. You know, there’s all the different pieces and parts to it that, you know, you wouldn’t think about. We kind of call it the red pill moment. You know, why oh, why didn’t I take the blue pill? Well, you can’t, you know, head in the sand is not a security posture. So and we’re willing to go we’re willing to go anywhere we need to to talk to people. It’s not you know, you don’t have to come to us. We’re happy to come to you. And we’ll talk about whatever subject you want to talk about that’s relevant for your business or your your kiwanas group or whatever.
Stone Payton: [00:34:08] Oh, I think that is marvelous. So, all right, what is the best way to reach out? Is it there’s a website. Is that the best place to go? Start tapping into this work and learning more.
Anna Teal: [00:34:18] It’s Cherokee Cyber commission.com and you can email us at hello at Cherokee Cyber commission.com as well.
Speaker6: [00:34:25] Fantastic.
Stone Payton: [00:34:26] Well, before we wrap, I want to hear a little bit about your business. Okay. Yeah, Tell me about yours, Sean.
Shawn Stewart: [00:34:33] We are Stuart Consulting is a woman owned Georgia business who’s been in business since 2011. We do a lot of business with the military, the government, a lot of Fortune 500 companies. I would tell you who they are, but I can’t. We don’t kiss and tell. I can say we do have non security clients such as Polaris Industries, Chanel, the perfume company, and that’s about the only ones I can disclose. And we we are the the local site phone company, phone representatives for the Parris Island for the Marine Corps. Those are the only ones I can actually disclose.
Stone Payton: [00:35:11] Got it. And I know you’ve been on the show before, but it’s been a while. So tell us tell us about your outfit, man.
Ron Sweatland: [00:35:17] So we’re canvas is we’re all pretty much primarily cybersecurity now.
Stone Payton: [00:35:24] So this is your wheelhouse. Everything we’ve been talking about.
Ron Sweatland: [00:35:26] Okay. Absolutely. So we are penetration testing and ethical hacking. One of the things that we that we see a lot of is as you go through a building, even if it’s on the third floor and you see Post-it notes with passwords on the side of the computers, I can take a drone with high definition cameras and go and just click and see what your password is just with a drone. So, you know, those kinds of things. That’s one of those policies.
Stone Payton: [00:35:56] You’re talking about. We probably maybe you should not be allowed to put a Post-it with your password on your monitor.
Ron Sweatland: [00:36:02] And the security the security assessment, making sure that not only are your people trained and what they need to do, but taking a look at your equipment, do you do you have a server that’s like 25 years old, You know, because we can. Yeah, yeah, we can. We can take a look at those. And actually it’s. We can condense pretty much an entire server room into like two modern type servers that are quieter, Don’t take as much air or electricity, electricity. They don’t heat up the room and all of a sudden we’ve just opened up a big, huge place for you to store more boxes. Um, so there’s that aspect of it, but just pretty much everything security. And then we do some work. I primarily do a lot of work with another company, Cybergate it, and they’re here in Woodstock as well. So we do a lot of the I.T. type things.
Stone Payton: [00:37:04] So well, you certainly have job security. This this need is not going to go away. If anything, it’s going to continue to be more complex. It’s going to be a moving target, right? Oh, yeah. But we got to enlist the help of the everyday person. We got to we got to trust folks like you to to help us. And then we’ve got to be diligent, vigilant, whatever that word is, we got to be paying attention. All right. Marketing. Get us get us an update. What’s going on over there?
Anna Teal: [00:37:31] We just work with small businesses to tell their story online through like website development, social media, blog, posting, content, writing, whatever you need to brand yourself online. We help small businesses. You’re welcome.
Speaker6: [00:37:44] John, Are you.
Stone Payton: [00:37:44] Helping these two out?
Shawn Stewart: [00:37:45] Yeah, and I did everything on my website, including all of my blogs. And they are they are beautiful. And the is constantly in the 90 seconds. Yes.
Anna Teal: [00:37:52] I love his website. It’s one of my favorites that I’ve built so far. So you should check out his.
Shawn Stewart: [00:37:57] Yeah, I had nothing to do with it.
Stone Payton: [00:37:59] So it’s not only pretty, but there’s SEO expertise. I mean, it’s functional and it gets the job done. It gets people coming to the right.
Anna Teal: [00:38:06] Because what’s the use in having a beautiful website if nobody sees it?
Stone Payton: [00:38:09] So now if I did my pre-show research right over an hour and a half ago before I drove down here, I’m kidding. We got at least two authors in the room or is everybody in the room written books? What’s what’s happening here? Don’t we have some published authors here?
Speaker6: [00:38:24] Yes. Ladies first.
Anna Teal: [00:38:25] Yes, I published three books. Aphasia Readers.
Speaker6: [00:38:30] Sean.
Shawn Stewart: [00:38:31] I haven’t got any books, but I’ve won several awards for short stories.
Speaker6: [00:38:34] Really? Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:38:36] Wow. And that’s just. That’s a passion of yours. It’s outside the scope of what we’re talking about. These short stories. Or are they all like cybersecurity horror stories?
Shawn Stewart: [00:38:43] None of them are cybersecurity. I am working on a book that is cybersecurity, but I’m so busy, you know, it’s hard. Cyber sci fi, cyber, that one. Cyber sci fi. Yeah. But I guess if I were a good author, I wouldn’t be doing this.
Stone Payton: [00:38:57] And writing you’re doing is with aphasia, right? Yes. Yes. Say a little bit about aphasia.
Anna Teal: [00:39:03] Well, aphasia is a speaking in language condition, so it can affect your reading, your writing a lot of things. And so aphasia readers was developed out of a need to provide relevant reading for adults with aphasia. So on a simple scale, so they don’t have to read children’s books. So. Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:39:23] Well, good work. How about you, Ron? You got a book in you, man? I think I.
Ron Sweatland: [00:39:26] Have one published thing from college when I was working with the Marietta Police Department. Okay. Yeah, it was, you know, just hear about it anymore. But the Google glasses where they. Oh, yeah, we could where the police department, they would put on the Google glasses and they could like look at a license plate and then would immediately say, yeah, this is a student here. They would have the facial recognition. Oh, wow. They would have. They could do because it you could talk to it as well. So if they had it hooked up to a drone, they could say, you know, go up 20ft and see if there’s a shooter on the roof or something to that effect. So.
Speaker6: [00:40:05] Mm.
Stone Payton: [00:40:06] All right. So do you feel like you do have a book in you, though you might write something about cyber security or you may do something totally different, like, you know, talk about mermaids or you got hobbit.
Shawn Stewart: [00:40:14] Fan fiction sometimes.
Speaker6: [00:40:19] Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’d be fun.
Ron Sweatland: [00:40:20] Maybe a cookbook.
Speaker6: [00:40:22] There you go. For hobbits. For cookbook, for hobbits. Why is he giving you?
Stone Payton: [00:40:26] What’s all this about? Hobbies.
Anna Teal: [00:40:27] He knows him so well.
Ron Sweatland: [00:40:29] A book about hobbits.
Speaker6: [00:40:31] That is a fun book. Hobbits do. All right.
Stone Payton: [00:40:36] One more time. Best way for our listeners to get out, have a conversation with any of the three of you or learn more about this, about this commission. Let’s make sure they’ve got a way to connect. Yeah.
Anna Teal: [00:40:47] So you can just visit Cherokee Cyber commission.com or reach out to us by email at hello at Cherokee Cyber commission.com.
Stone Payton: [00:40:54] Well, it has been an absolute delight having all three of you in the studio. It’s been a little bit scary, a little bit sobering, but I think that’s important. Right. And I really thank you guys for the work that you’re doing in your profession and your willingness to expand beyond that and really get out there and try to help all these different constituencies that we talked about. And I hope you won’t be a stranger, maybe swing back around periodically and get us updated on your efforts, because as we said before, this is not a static environment that we’re talking about. And I would love to continue to follow this story as it unfolds, if you guys would be up for that. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, thank you all so much for joining us.
Speaker6: [00:41:35] Thank you. Thank you.
Stone Payton: [00:41:36] My pleasure. All right. Until next time, this is Stone Payton for our guest today. And everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you again on Cherokee Business Radio.