• MOST CYBERATTACKS PREY ON HUMAN FALLIBILITY.” The latest model is ‘Executive Impersonation’ which, “unlike a typical scam email which may have poor grammar or overly suspicious requests, is convincing because the criminals spend time figuring out the corporate culture and common phrases & terms used by employees.” The scam involves an email from someone in authority who instructs immediate funds-wire to a regular vendor, which of course diverts to a bogus account. Tips to materially mitigate this risk: (1) Training of every finance-positioned employee about external cyber-threats – phishing and fake vendor emails as well as exec impersonation; (2) Two-factor authentication supplemented with encryption before data is backed up to cloud or external devises; (3) Consistent updating & maintaining security controls, including firewalls, anti-virus protection, software & patch installation; (4) Periodic training updates. “Cyber-fraud is estimated to climb to $6 trillion annually within two years. DCG can help you mitigate the risk of becoming a victim. [AICPA INSIGHTS – 11/9/18]
  • THE RISK OF OSTRACISM FOR OFFENDING SOMEONE’S SENSIBILITIES, combined with potential liability from now absence of definition for ‘sexual assault’ (following the #MeToo movement), has resulted in 35% of surveyed companies announcing they will not hold office holiday parties this year. POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS RUNNING AMUCK, supported by the U.S. Dep’t of Education’s definition that acceptable vocabulary must be “free from words, phrases, or tones that reflect prejudiced, stereotyped or discriminatory views of particular people or groups… or inadvertently exclude people from being seen as a group,” otherwise language is considered ‘non-inclusive.” Latest absurdity is at Colorado State University where the phrase ‘long time, no see’ has been deemed “derogatory toward those of Asian descent… along with ‘you guys’ or ‘freshman’ because those terms are not considered inclusive of all genders.” [LBN EXAMINER – 11/18/18]
  • FRAUDULENT EMPLOYEE BUSINESS EXPENSES EXCEED $500 MILLION A YEAR. According to analysis by the Ass’n of Certified Fraud Examiners, submitted bogus business expense bills include anything from phony travel upgrades to strip clubs, yoga classes, dog kennel fees, vacations, and bottles of vodka claimed as ‘work lunch’ expenses. Catering to this activity are websites (like fakereceipt.us) which “make it easier to create a bogus paper trail,” while companies try to combat with technology (like AppZen) which use artificial intelligence to identify exorbitant or fabricated expenses. But “there’s no way A.I. can spot all the sneaky ways employees try to defraud their employers” and businesses should always maintain an ‘audit’ function somewhere in their accounting process & control procedures. DCG can help. [BLOOMBERG NEWS – 11/14/18]
  • MORE THAN HALF THE WORLD’S POPULATION – 4.5 BILLION PEOPLE – LIVE WITHOUT ACCESS TO SAFE SANITATION. India, in particular has a sanitation crisis which has led to “chronic malnutrition, resulting in mental & physical stunting, and antibiotic-resistant infections that kill some 60,000 newborns a year.” That country has now adopted a policy based on Mahatma Gandhi’s advice more than a century ago that “Sanitation is more important than political independence” and is pursuing a campaign for “the largest toilet building spree in human history… 110 million toilets for people who presently brave the elements, snakes, scorpions and sometimes stick-wielding farmers to relieve themselves in fields, forests & riverbanks… subjecting themselves to gastrointestinal infections and shorter lives, along with the country’s loss of over 6% GDP.” [BUSINESSWEEK – 11/5/18]
  •  THE POLITICAL POSTURING FOR ‘GUN CONTROL’ WHICH FOLLOWS HORRIFIC MASS SHOOTINGS by mentally deranged killers is unfortunately not an answer. Certainly background checks might help; that lobbyists have fought successfully to halt such litigation is absurd and preposterous. (Just hours before the latest slaughter in a Los Angeles suburb, the NRA “had the gall to warn the American College of Physicians, which had voiced alarm at gun carnage, to ‘Stay In Your Lane’.”) But the biggest reason that mass-killings continue – in States with and without gun ‘controls’ – is that “such massacres are a contagion and each new atrocity lowers the threshold for the next…with broken, damaged people willing to inflict horrific pain on their neighbors & friends.” Since most perpetrators are killed by police or suicide, their true motivations are never reliably uncovered, but one absolute motivator is the subsequent publicity which bestows the infamy they desire. Is 24/7 media coverage for weeks (even years if they live to stand trial) such a necessary media priority for national attention that it justifies this impact? [THE WEEK – 11/23/19]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Understanding Moral Psychology is the critical first step in coming to any common ground between presently polarized political camps. An excellent TED talkhttps://youtu.be/8SOQduoLgRw

         What to do if you’re choking and no one is around to Heimlich maneuver you: https://biggeekdad.com/2015/11/this-video-could-save-your-life/