Sunday, August 9th 2020   |

UPDATE: Cybersecurity survey, training course offered

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

While the real threat of anti-Semitism and public attacks at synagogues and at other highly visible targets has captured news headlines in recent years, the concept of improving cybersecurity and possible attacks directed towards Jewish businesses through computers and other devices has yet to be fully considered.

The logo of MyIT, the local information technology firm recently merged with ECS. (Photo by ECS+MyIT)

That changed with a series of two free seminars on cybersecurity held for the benefit of the Jewish community under the direction of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans.

The first of the two sessions was held Monday afternoon, July 20 and the second the following day on Tuesday morning, July 21. ECS+My IT Chief Strategy Officer Perryn Olson, who put on the training spoke exclusively with the CCJN on the previous Friday via telephone.

“It’s going to be business-oriented, but we will have a section on working from your house, so there will be a section for individuals,”  he explained.

“We’re going to talk about how not to fall for phishing emails, advice like that,” Olson continued. As a training for business and cybersecurity, he cautioned, the training will not be about securing home networks, for example.

Session I and II were identical to Monday’s training, Olson added, so it was not necessary to attend more than one session. However, it was possible to attend both.

Cybercriminals continue to target faith-based organizations and faith leaders on a regular basis, according to industry insiders. Recent highly publicized data breaches, such as those at the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles and at the City of New Orleans, have had disastrous outcomes that have shut down government offices and the courts for months.

Already hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses hit by data breaches from hackers can further affect a business’s bottom line.  Confidential data can be compromised and the ability to fundraise can be sharply curtailed. Olson promised that attendees will learn easy and affordable ways to protect their organizations as well as their private accounts. 

Enterprise Consulting Service (ECS), a  Shreveport-based IT firm merged with Metairie-based MyIT in January, according to Olson. Federation’s office manager and executive assistant Melody Kirkwood was instrumental in arranging for the firm to offer their assistance to the Jewish community. Original plans to hold the training sessions were pushed back due to the ongoing pandemic, according to Olson.

While the one-hour sessions will be general in nature, there will be some items that will be customized towards the Jewish community, he added. 

Here is the presentation. (The CCJN presents this as a public service.)

Olson went on to say that he will also be available to answer questions related to topics such as “Zoombombing,” an occurrence where an uninvited person intentionally crashes a private meeting application through careless public notices of the meeting on websites or through mass emailings. 


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