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Tech Takeaways from FHT&T 2017

Brandon Hall
Chief Information Officer

What a wonderful time I had with all of you at our annual First Heartland Technology and Training conference. It’s always a pleasure to speak with all of you and meet many of you for the first time! We had some good topics, a ton of breakout sessions so you can customize your track of learning to best fit where you are, and some really fun activities. I have some good feedback from some of our participants but I still welcome negative feedback as well. We can’t fix it if we don’t know it isn’t working. A high level overview of some of the topics I covered personally were dealing with data, proper password management, and the cybersecurity landscape.

Dealing with data basically covered different practices and use cases for some of the offerings available with FHC. I talked about Sharefile for file storage (the compliant dropbox alternative) that really helps mobile reps stay mobile. I spoke about proper backup strategies using Carbonite and proper safeguarding of data with regard to encryption of mobile devices and general safety of client data.

In my password management breakout, we covered multiple different techniques on developing good passwords that are secure and easy to remember using techniques studied by universities across the world. The bottom line was the longer the password and the more variety the password has, the higher the entropy level, and thus the harder it is to break. Some of the techniques were down right funny and they still worked for making manageable passwords that were memorable. And the final takeaway from this breakout was the use of for password management. I am a huge fan of and use it on a daily basis to manage over 600 logins and passwords. I have used and trust it and will continue to use it and pay for it.

Lastly, the cybersecurity landscape is pretty bleak. I’m not going to sugarcoat what we face as an industry. Some statistics show that we are an ever increasing attack recipient and the attackers are getting smarter by the day. They use what has worked for some and continue to hone and enhance their attempts relentlessly, by using phishing emails that look legitimate, social engineering that is believable, web pages with ads infected with malware, and the most stunning piece of cybersecurity info was the leak of all the CIA’s hacking techniques to the public, that immediately led to the proliferation of the WannaCry ransomware that tore up all kinds of systems in Europe, including 16 hospitals. The effects of this are still being felt by more and more ransomware infections, variants, and copycats are still costing users time, data, and money. The reminders for this session are to update all software, run anti-malware software regardless of the type of computer, Mac, Windows, Etc. and back up your data in case something like this hits your computer, you can recover with minimal loss.

Those of you who didn’t attend really missed a great conference, but you always have our tech talks we continue to grow, answers are a phone call away, and you can always attend next year! We would love to have you.

Brandon Hall  |  Chief Information Officer    636.695.2820    bhall@FIRSTHEARTLAND.COM


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