Los Al Chamber hosts Brown Bag lunch

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Printmasters Owner and Los Alamitos Chamber Chairperson Nesi Stewart, center, is pictured from left with CIU Networks Director of IT Services Art Howe and Business Development John Pettus, the presenters during the recent Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce "Brown Bag" Luncheon held at the Fairfield Inn, in Los Alamitos. Photo by Loreen Berlin

The recent “Brown Bag Luncheon” hosted by the Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce was a real eye-opener to just how serious Cyber-theft has become, and that it’s continuing to be ever-more advanced.

Those who perhaps thought “they” didn’t need an Internet Technology (IT) specialist to help monitor their business and/or personal computer systems, most likely came away from the luncheon with a more-focused look at just how serious and sophisticated the Internet crimes are, and can-be, and how the crimes can affect individuals and businesses and what they should, going forward, be implementing for their personal and company’s safety.

CIU/Networks John Pettus and Art Howe, Business Development and Director of IT Services respectively, brought it all home by relating their own personal experience with cyber threats through something that became a reality for a lot of people when Equifax experienced a breach and personal identifiable (PII) information was leaked.

There were 148-million people in America who had their information compromised, with not only their first and last names made public, but their SSN, birthdates, addresses, credit accounts and driver license information thrown out there for anyone and everyone to see.
Equifax, one of the top three credit bureau companies, currently has a $575 million-dollar settlement in progress as a result of the breech.
“Consumer’s personal information was leaked because of a weak password on Equifax’s Web Portal that allowed hackers to access the Equifax servers and steal data,” said Pettus. “There was a lack of Patch Updates on the third-party software that allowed months of access without being noticed by the Equifax IT Department.” Pettus emphasized the importance of taking the time to update computers and other devices when update notifications are received.
What does CIU provide? They provide protection of a company’s Internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from Cyber threats with a compilation of services and products that protects electronic devices connected to the Internet.

They can help with a security assessment, spam e-mail, passwords, security awareness, computer updates, firewalls, encryption and back-up, to name only a few items.

“Cyber Security Insurance is now a standard and will continue to have even more requirements,” explained Pettus, “Ransomware attacks are on the rise, along with Cyber attacks.”

Phishing continues to trick computer users into providing sensitive information such as their credit card or login information, which can happen through email, the telephone and/or even innocent QR codes.

For further information, and/or to join the Chamber, contact the Los Alamitos Chamber at info@losalchamber.org
Lunch was sponsored by Al Stone, F&M Bank, who is also a Chamber Board Member; from Chamber member Mark Hernandez, with Seal Beach Subway on Los Alamitos Boulevard; Fairfield Inn and Suites, Los Alamitos, General Manager and Chamber member Sam Kishor, provided the complimentary meeting room.

Los Alamitos Chamber Chairperson Nesi Stewart, owner of Printmasters of Los Alamitos, thanked those in attendance, and welcomed the newest Chamber member, acupuncturist Sarom “Grace” Han, L.Ac, who gave a brief over-view of her acupuncture business, located on Katella Avenue.

Los Al Chamber hosts Brown Bag lunch