WGMD Business Spotlight Featuring ThinkSecureNet – Episode 08/05/21
Interviewer: Let me welcome back to WGMD Mr. Mark Kosloski, Vice President of Sales from ThinkSecureNet. And I also want to introduce Larry, their cable guy.
Gentlemen, welcome. How are you doing?
Interviewer: Mark, would you be kind enough to position the mic the way I’ve got? Yeah, just pull it over. It’s fine. Yeah. Much better, much better. So how are you guys doing today?
Mark: Good, good, good. Very good.
Interviewer: I’m glad that you’re here.
So many people’s businesses, as you’re aware, have been damaged, if not destroyed, by a lack of security on many levels in their IT information technology infrastructure. I know individuals who have been very seriously harmed by ransomware, and it’s very, very harmful. Now, Mark, VP of Sales, you know about this, don’t you?
Mark: Look, there’s never been a time, I think, in the industry, where more is at risk. People are just getting lambasted. You talked up last week about the government shutting down; we’ve got municipalities; we’ve got schools, country, the city of Baltimore got hit last year there, for Pete’s sake. We’ve got hospitals that right down and out for five weeks. And you talked about it from a revenue standpoint, trying to serve the community and stuff. This is really tragic stuff. And we’ve really got to do each of our parts to get ahead of it.
Interviewer: Let me bring in Larry, their cable guy. Larry, are you related to the former president of the Air Traffic Controllers’ Association back in 1981? No? Okay. All right. Well, listen, we’re glad you’re here. That’s a very interesting nickname. And I’m guessing that you are the expert in cabling.
Larry: Yes. Yes. I got taken advantage of that name, and it has worked for me. People remember me in the industry.
Interviewer: Okay. Now, cable technology itself, obviously, has changed an awful lot. Even the lowly kind of cable is a coaxial cable. That’s not what it was just 10 years ago, right?
Larry: No, much of it is changing. The technology that’s being used today is not our technology of yesteryear, for sure.
Interviewer: Okay. Now, you’ve been with the company for about six years, is that right?
Larry: I bring about 30 years of experience.
Interviewer: Ah, okay. And Mark, how did you folks find out your cable guy?
Mark: Well, look, this was a natural kind of merger between the two organizations. Larry was running his own company out in Pennsylvania. Jack and the company here were busy doing the network infrastructure. We were rolling out computer systems, applications, doing what we do best, and time and time again, there was just this need for organizations to actually get IT earlier into the solution, having the cabling, the infrastructure to support the computer system that we were talking about.
And so it was just a natural, the merger between the two interests. And so, six years ago, Larry joined the organization, and it’s just been an amazing partnership since. In fact, Larry, we usually start you off each week with a joke, don’t we?
Larry: We do our Monday morning joke.
Mark: That’s right. So we have a company morning meeting, and Larry starts.
Interviewer: Let’s hear some examples.
Larry: I mean, some of the jokes I tell are jokes that many people would not really care for, but last week, I was on a trip. And so, you know, after arguing for an hour with a man who said I was sitting in his seat, he finally said, “Okay, you fly the plane.”
But seriously folks, seriously, I just flew in from Louis Boyer. My arm’s tired.
Interviewer: So Larry, our guy, also tells jokes.
Interviewer: If I would have been there, I’d say, “Okay, fine. I will fly the plane.” I don’t care if it’s got wings and an engine or a rotor, I will fly it.
But seriously, folks, now, Larry, we live in a time — I’m no expert on this kind of thing — but I’m guessing that there are several different layers and approaches to security. There is probably physical security. There is probably software security. I’m just guessing. Larry, am I on the right track here? I’m positive that ThinkSecureNet, has those bases more than covered?
Larry: They do. My position with the company is on the infrastructure side and the cabling part of it, the physical aspects of it. As technology has gotten faster and faster, the piece that links it all together is the cable. It becomes more and more important to focus on that part and not just go with any solution that just happened to come down the pike. The cable that not only goes from the closet or the data rack, as we call it, out to the workstation or the computer but also what connects between those closets and how are those things are connected. All become pieces of the puzzle that need to be put together properly. Spending all your money on the software, the computers, or the networking equipment doesn’t help if your internal workings don’t communicate through that cable.
Interviewer: Mark, presuming that your firm can handle the physical security needs in an enterprise, can you also handle the software side, making sure that ransomware does not get into your client’s infrastructure, either the IT side or the physical side?
Mark: Yeah. It’s across the board. We’ve got software that actually monitors each individual systems server. We’re constantly looking for any deviations in file changes. Anything that’s loaded onto your system. We actually redirect URLs through a database, in which we double-check and re-check the links to ensure that it’s a safe site that people are navigating to.
And when you talk about the physical side, we’ve got Larry rolling out the cabling and infrastructure, and you hear so much about organizations going wireless. People just naturally assume wireless is the way to go. People don’t want to be tethered to a location and a physical piece. But ultimately, the wireless network is one of the Achilles’ heels of many organizations. And that’s why, from a best practices approach, from a security standpoint, you still want to have a cabling infrastructure in place. It reduces the amount of sniffing on a network that potentially has. You don’t have to worry about the keys.
Interviewer: When Wi-Fi first came on the scene, people would drive by in neighborhoods with a laptop, and they would just hook up that way. And now it’s like being able to break into somebody’s safe from across the streets.
Mark: That’s right. Look, you go to a Starbucks, you go to a cafe, maybe even McDonald’s, or whatever the case may be. These are all open networks, right? And when you’re connecting to it, other people are connecting it to, and that’s providing risk. Companies can help diminish some of that by rolling out a physical architecture.
Interviewer: That makes sense.
Mark: Now, of course, we can secure the wireless technology as well. And that’s one of the things that we talk about often with organizations, right? You want to make sure that you have an enterprise-grade solution that’s fully compliant and secure. If you’re an organization that’s in retail, and you’re handling credit cards through point-of-sale machines, you want to make sure that it’s encrypted, right? And so there’s only one of two ways in which these points-of-sale machines can actually interface right with the backend system — through a wireless that’s properly secured and prepared.
And then, alternatively, they have the point of sale machine. You see, the server goes back to the desk and enters your order, but she’s also scanning the credit card in the backend. So that’s also to be secured. Larry does a fantastic job of making sure that that entire infrastructure is not only secure but also meets the demands the needs of all the other solutions that are out there. We’re talking about access control technologies. People are swiping badges now to open doors; we’ve got phone systems that are running over your technology pieces. All of these low voltage requirements fall under the scope of Larry’s cabling team. Security is paramount and one of the biggest things to be concerned about, but it’s also making sure that you can support the infrastructure.
Interviewer: When you speak to a potential client, are there different levels of technological service that you can provide? I’m thinking of a hospital where people’s lives are at stake.
Mark: Sure. Maybe a different level of technology than perhaps a fellow who has a chain of six or eight garages where perhaps the level of technology is not going to be quite as critical. I mean, yeah, there’s money involved in the garages, but if some ransomware idiot breaks into a hospital’s technology system, oh boy.
Interviewer: Any healthcare setting is obligated to maintain its secure infrastructure, right? Because you don’t want your private information, health information disclosed or breached, to say nothing of your heart-lung machine.
Mark: I’m going to tell you from an identity theft perspective, I still want that garage. If they’re going to be handling my personal information, remember, in the state of Delaware, you are mandated through House Bill 180 to protect that information. Failure to do so means you’ve got to notify the attorney general. You’re put onto the website for the hall of shame.
Interviewer: Interesting. And therefore, you’ve exposed yourself and your reputation. So it’s really important to do the right thing across the board, even when you’re a small garage? Very interesting.
All right, Mark and Larry, their cable guy, we have one minute left; wrap this up. Are we talking huge expenses or?
Mark: No, no, no, no. Larry does a great job of making sure that we’re there.
Interviewer: Larry, what are some of the certifications you carry? I mean, you’re a designer here, right?
Larry: Registered communication distribution designer, which carries with it a requirement for continuing education. I took a lot of training and classes, as well as an exam, to get that designation. And we also have our staff; our staff is trained. Our installers are trained by manufacturers on the parts and equipment we install.
Mark: And the other thing I’m really proud of Larry is his standard for safety. We’ve got an unbelievable safety rating right now. It’s not the same thing you’re going to find from two guys in a truck and a ladder driving around, right? This is a professional company. We carry liability insurance. We’re certified. We’re the professionals you’re going to want to call for that infrastructure.
Interviewer: Outstanding. How do people get in touch with you, Mark?
Mark: ThinkSecureNet.com. And by the way, we’ve got a great website. There are actual resources that you can download. If you click over to the website, click “Resources,” you can download a checklist on this and use the checklist. You can start there to identify whether your cabling infrastructure is going to be secure or not.
Interviewer: There’s a series of things that can go down there, right?
Mark: Yes. Correct. There is a nice little checklist to check out if you’re hiring somebody else, how to make sure that you get the right type of installation, where you go.
Interviewer: Mark Kosloski and Larry, their cable guy, from ThinkSecureNet.com. Thanks for being with us.
Mark: My pleasure.
Post Topic(s): IT INFRASTRUCTURE