In July 2021, the world faced one of the largest ransomware attacks in history.
Every company affected had one thing in common. Their IT infrastructure was managed with network management and remote control software developed by U.S. technology firm, Kaseya.
Hackers exploited over 1,500 businesses by leveraging zero-day exploits in Kaseya’s software used by cybersecurity firms, giving them full access to all of the devices managed by these firms.
Upon learning of the exploit, Kaseya warned customers to immediately shut down their on-premise servers. The company’s cloud service, believed not to be affected, was also taken offline as a precaution.
Cybersecurity expert and founder of ReachOut Technology, Rick Jordan, says this was completely avoidable, and he’s on a mission to prevent it from happening again.
ReachOut Technology was also attacked by hackers trying to exploit vulnerabilities in the software, which was running on local servers in his firm’s data center. But his team identified the threat and shut it down in under four minutes.
“Ultimately, this happened because the vast majority of people who provide cybersecurity are not qualified. I think they believe they know what they’re doing, but the truth is most do not. And that puts their clients in an incredibly vulnerable position,” explains Jordan.
Jordan has extensive training from the industry as well as government organizations including the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency. He says that cybersecurity is a complex field. One that requires extensive ongoing training, as well as an extremely creative mindset.
“Cybersecurity professionals obviously have to understand how hardware and software work at a very deep level, but they also have to understand psychology. That’s because 98 percent of the hacks first get a foothold through social engineering,” he said.
Social engineering is a term that describes using psychological manipulation to gain access to data, systems, and locations. And it’s surprisingly effective because most people don’t know what to look out for.
In other words, the typical person is highly susceptible to social engineering and the typical business has little to no cybersecurity in place. When coupled with the dramatic increase in cyberattacks—particularly from organized crime and hostile nations, it becomes clear that consumers, businesses, and our economy as a whole are at tremendous risk.
He wants to change that by bringing enterprise-grade cybersecurity to the average user.
“Cybersecurity is difficult and expensive because it requires a large team of highly skilled and highly specialized technicians. The average IT firm simply cannot afford the staff needed to do it right,” he explains.
Peter Bookman, serial entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, agrees.
Bookman is founder and CEO of guardDog.ai, a company that protects wired and Wi-Fi networks against threats in “Edge Territory” – the locations outside the perimeter of the network or on attached devices that other solutions can’t see, including the many IoT devices that now occupy home and business networks such as digital doorbells, smart refrigerators, and game systems.
He says, “Many companies with employees working from home through VPN connections believed they were safe. While many VPN connections are secure, a personal device may contain malware that now travels to the company, ironically, through the secure VPN. Or worse still, if the VPN makes a permanent connection to the family network, any internet-connected device on the family network is now able to access the company server as well.”
Imagine the shock when a security audit of an organization reveals 14 unknown internet connections, and upon correction of all 14, discovers an additional threat sitting on the conference room table in the form of an internet-connected “spy pen.”
This demonstrates just how easy it is for devices other than computers to create additional threats most people would never even consider.
Rick Jordan plans to solve this ever-growing cybersecurity threat at scale through consolidation.
His cybersecurity firm, ReachOut Technology, which recently went public, is on a massive acquisition spree. The company is buying up IT and cyber security firms generating between $500,000 to $5 million dollars with the intent of building a virtual army of cybersecurity experts, and then leveraging economies of scale to provide enterprise-grade cyber security to the masses.
He says nothing like this has ever been done before.
Others are taking notice. While speaking at an industry event among 4,000+ cybersecurity experts, the concept generated a lot of interest. And outsiders are seeing the opportunity as well. Pioneer of the infomercial and Shark Tank star, Kevin Harrington, is one of them. He recently partnered with Jordan to take the company public and expand its reach.
Harrington said, “I’ve always been able to spot great ideas before they take off, and when Rick came to me with this one, I knew it was going to be a winner. Every day, we all become more reliant on technology, and every day we face a growing number of threats. That’s not going to change. So a company that can solve this is going to do very well in the market. That’s why I put my money and brand behind the concept.”
It’s clear that as technology’s role in our lives grows, so will the risks we face as a result of that. So it’s clear that we need to do something to protect ourselves and our businesses.
Jordan believes he has that solution, and so far, it seems that many agree.