February 23, 2024

Even-Bigger Tech

Even-Bigger Tech

The FBI just collaborated with agencies in 11 other countries worldwide to disrupt LockBit, which has been called the most harmful cybercriminal ring in the world. Hopefully this collaboration will put a stop to some of LockBit’s ransomware attacks on organizations such as Boeing, the British mail service, hospitals, cities, counties, and school systems across the U.S.

Unfortunately, we probably have not seen the last of this type of large-scale, multinational cybercrime. There’s a lot of money at stake for those who gain access to our technology. The combined market cap of the 7 biggest tech companies—Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Tesla—would make it the second largest stock exchange in the world, according to Deutsche Bank. And other key players keep getting bigger. Capital One, which has positioned itself as a tech company in the credit card space, just announced it will acquire Discover. Companies like these have very wide footprints, and most of us use technologies from many other sources as well. All of this is catnip for cybercriminals.

I’ve always been an early adopter of new technology and am proud that our team at Marcum shares that spirit. However, one challenge for any leader in an increasingly tech-enabled world is finding a way to keep tech in balance. As tools like AI become part of the fabric of our daily lives, we’ll need to be careful about the potential for technology to be used against us by fraudsters and cybercriminals. Fortunately, we have Marcum Technology on our side, helping both our own firm and our clients take a proactive approach to cybersecurity, but we’ll have to keep our eyes wide open as we move ahead.

And, beyond risks like cybercrime, there are risks to individuals and cultures if we don’t keep the role of tech in balance. Those of you who are parents and grandparents probably keep an eye on how much screen time the young people in your life are logging and make sure they break it up with time spent with friends, playing sports, or enjoying extracurriculars. As a leader, I’m well aware that it isn’t healthy for adults to live in a world that’s too tech heavy, either. Most of us have so many log-ins to get through the day that we really can’t even function at work if something goes wrong with our computer or phone. All of those technologies bring convenience but also the potential for stress.

That’s why, even as we embrace new technologies, we’ll be doubling down on our investment in Marcum’s people-centric culture. Getting work done efficiently is important, but so are other aspects of professional life, such as building great relationships with colleagues and clients, mentoring and being mentored, and lifelong learning about the profession, particularly as it morphs into a field that is very different from the one in which many of us started our careers.

While all technologies bring good with bad, crackdowns like this recent action on LockBit will help many organizations keep their data safe. However, it will be up to us, as leaders and individuals, to keep an eye on the role of technology in the workplace and our daily lives to make sure it’s serving us and not the other way around.

Next Thursday, February 29, will be Leap Day, which only comes every four years. If you’ve got deadlines looming this month—and who doesn’t?—enjoy that extra day.