Matt Loria is president and CEO of Madison Heights-based Auxium, a company that helps small to mid-sized businesses with preventing cyber-attacks. DBusiness Daily News spoke with Loria about how to mitigate cybersecurity matters and protect data for companies and employees.
DDN: What does it mean to be a managed IT service company?
ML: We assume all the responsibility of an IT manager and that manager’s department on behalf of a client. We provide all the services that an IT department would provide to a company. Everything from the help desk to the service technician — the whole technical end that it takes to run a business. It’s a great way for small and medium businesses to spread their risks by having a professional company responsible for protecting their data rather than one or two internal people.
DDN: What are some cyber security mistakes you see companies making?
ML: Well, unfortunately, we see a lot of companies are fully entrusting their IT department or their IT management service provider. They’re trusting that they have them covered, but they’re not doing any external auditing to verify that. Much like the world of accounting, you get an external audit done on your books. Few companies are actually looking at outside cyber security auditing, they’re just kind of trusting things blindly. There’s also quite a few, what I would call, just specific misses. They have default passwords, like passwords that came with the firewall that they bought. The password on some of their key network equipment might actually be “password.” We see it all the time and it’s so disappointing; it’s not secure. In addition to that, some companies have no firewall or security dialed into their servers. Or they have opened accounts, or old accounts with an old employee that they’re still using. There can be a lot of remote sections that are not secure. If someone wants to access the server from home and they don’t have them set up correctly, they’re opening themselves up to a huge vulnerability.
DDN: How has your cybersecurity division grown in the past year?
ML: It’s really grown in terms of clients and resources, and that’s because every client needs it. There’s no business without the need. What you are seeing is business owners or leaders in their own peer groups where there’s direct stories of bad things that have happened to someone they know. It’s very rare that someone doesn’t know someone else who hasn’t had their server attacked or been part of a cyber-attack. We can really add value to a client. We do a lot in the world of security management and monitoring. Basically every day the bad guys are getting smarter, and there’s problems today that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Two real big things: more items are connected to networks than ever before; your heating and cooling system is connected to your phone, every guest is expecting Wi-Fi as they’re sitting in the conference room. Also, people can take every piece of info for their company and their personal life, and they are going digital with it. The more info that becomes digitalized the more need for security there is.
DDN: Is there anything about the cybersecurity industry that most people don’t know?
ML: I don’t think people realize there are a lot of great preventatives. Prevention is worth a lot of value. They might also not know that a majority of the attacks are not from sophisticated hacking. People may not realize they are falling for a trick email or accidentally leaving a password somewhere. That’s where having the additional protections can help you. But we also have to make sure everyone has some sort of security awareness training so we can be more savvy about knowing there’s an issue. I don’t know if most folks know about CEO fraud. A CEO’s email can be spoofed and look really legitimate. There’s a lot of that happening. When in doubt, if it sounds crazy, it probably is.
DDN: What is the gold standard, and how did the name Auxiom come about?
ML: We follow the golden rule. So, treating others how they want to be treated. It’s the core principle that my partner, Dan Mayer, founded the business on. AU is gold on the table of elements, and axiom is something known to be true. We try to embody that with everything we do. That’s where that name came from. In addition, anyone can hang a shingle in this industry, and there’s no business inspector looking things over. So we created a standard ourselves and we measure ourselves off of that