Michael McLafferty

Michael McLafferty
Michael McLafferty has been researching cyber-security and applied ethical hacking for over nine years. His interest in cyber security began in 2010. At the time, he was creating search engine optimization scripts for various small businesses, with clients asking him to secure their websites, leading to developing a passion for cyber-security and switched gears from search engine optimization. In 2012 he became a private cyber-security consultant for both individuals and small businesses, providing network and endpoint security advice, as well as social engineering awareness training to employees and upper management. In March of 2017, he Co-authored his first book titled “Applied Network Security”. He also has experience as cyber-security researcher, sponsored by local businesses to further the advancement of cyber-security methods and applied knowledge. He is the co-founder of an open society of ethical hackers that meet weekly to discuss and apply new cyber-security skills, with full access to both a lab and cutting edge ethical hacking equipment, to develop new methods in offensive security. Mike is an inventor, with several patents pending on various cyber-security tools and software. With collaboration from his fellow colleagues and continued research, he is committed to reshaping and setting new standards and levels of excellence in the world of cyber-security.

Recent Posts

How to Protect Your Privacy on Social Media Sites

Posted by Michael McLafferty on Aug 26, 2019 10:14:00 AM

Social media has fundamentally changed how we communicate and stay connected to the people we care about. It has been an excellent tool for collaboration and expressing ideas around the world. These aspects of social media have been amazing but have also left many open to a serious intrusion of privacy. Protecting your personal information on social media has never been more important. In this blog, we will discuss the best ways to stay safe while using social media.

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Topics: Cyber-Security, Data Privacy, Social Media, Privacy

Phishing: Don't Take The Bait

Posted by Michael McLafferty on Jul 17, 2019 10:27:45 AM

The “phishing” industry is a booming goldmine for hackers. More unsuspecting victims fall prey every hour to phishing campaigns, than any other type of cyber-attack. It is an epidemic of sorts, plaguing the digital world.

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Topics: technology, Cyber-Security, Data Privacy, Phishing, Internet, Internet Safety

PCI-DSS Compliance: A New Business Standard

Posted by Michael McLafferty on Jun 24, 2019 3:32:54 PM

The way our society exchanges good and services has come a long way. The age of the “digital consumer” has dawned. More people than ever are shopping online and making purchases using credit cards. Nearly every business existing in the modern age had to adapt to take credit cards payments. This created several issues for both merchants and consumers. Identity theft and data breaches started to become a rampant issue in the late 90s and early 00s. It has continued to be a serious and increasing concern to authorities. More than 510 million records with sensitive information have been breached since January 2005(source: https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org). These issues were exacerbated by a lack of cohesion among the credit card providers. They had no agreement upon standards, as to how the transaction process should occur and how sensitive financial data is stored. To maintain consumer confidence, action had to be taken. On September 7th, 2006, the credit card providers decided to hold a meeting on how to best protect the cardholder. The outcome of that meeting would create the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. The council is made of up five members, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and JCB. The objective of the council is to oversee the continuing development of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

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Topics: PCI Compliant, Data, Data Privacy, PCI-DSS, PCI Compliance

Data Privacy In The Free World

Posted by Michael McLafferty on Jun 20, 2019 10:05:00 AM

We live in a rapidly changing world. Constant breakthroughs in new technologies are occurring at a fantastical pace. This has led to many wonderful improvements in our society but has also come with unexpected conundrums. Advances in data collection methods have completely transformed our commercial sectors, by allowing the consumer to be studied and observed in real-time. As the consumer interacts with the product or service, data is collected. It is then sent to manufactures and marketing firms for research analysis. Data collection has also impacted our society on various social media platforms and created serious ethical dilemmas. Mass data collection can be a positive contributing factor to the improvement of many emerging technologies but must be applied ethically. Another factor to consider, is how the data is being stored and who can access it. Over time (and many data breaches later), it was decided a standardized set of rules for data collection and storage was needed. What evolved was the General Data Protection Regulation.

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Topics: technology, GDPR, Cyber-Security, Data, Data Privacy

The Impact of IoT on Cyber-Security

Posted by Michael McLafferty on May 20, 2019 10:10:00 AM

Human beings have always sought out ways to communicate more efficiently. Our society has come a long way since the days of the telegraph and radio. Never have we been more inter-connected with our ability to communicate and collect data than we are now. New advances in technology has given us an unprecedented look, into how our industries and commercial sectors operate. The consumer can now be studied with precise observation in real-time. The arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) has ushered in a new age of mass communication and data collection. First, let us discuss what IoT is and how it is applied in the real world. Simply put, the Internet of Things is a network of Internet connected objects able to collect and exchange data. Kevin Ashton of MIT was the first to mention the Internet of Things in 1999. His goal was to bring radio frequency ID (RFID) to the leaders of P&G. IoT has evolved tremendously since then. It is important to understand how versatile IoT can be. A “thing” in IoT can be a medical device (pacemaker) monitoring vital statistics, a built-in sensor to monitor tire pressure, or a smart thermostat to keep server rooms at acceptable temperatures, and commonly used household devices, such as Nest, Ring doorbell, and Roku boxes. All these examples collect and send data back to the manufacturer. Data is also sent to third-party analytical centers for both marketing and research. IoT is generally subcategorized by device, into three distinct groups: information technology, operational technology, and smart objects.  

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Topics: technology, IoT, Cyber-Security

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