May Letter

Shifting priorities.

Hi there,

Current events have been called by some, including yours truly, evidence that we are entering a historical age and new world order. If the notion is accurate, the last 60 days have set the stage for how to prepare for the rest of our lives.

Shifting Priorities

Coping and persevering over the last few months has required a shift in almost everything we do. Changing priorities quickly, we consciously adjust according to the guideposts we see. Using some sweeping thoughts and ideas, I believe these last few months tell us the primary challenges ahead are:

  1. Physical and mental health
  2. Economic resiliency
  3. Digital transformation

In these times, success or failure in any one of these three challenges goes hand in hand with the other two.

Also, it is becoming increasingly clear the dominant life-skill needed for success in the new era is self-sufficiency. The ability to think critically and logically about each of the three issues above is the existential challenge we face today.

View from the Field

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella say's his company is seeing a massive adjustment of priorities since COVID-19:

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 1.36.49 PM"... we have seen 2 years' worth of digital transformation in two months."

Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft, April 30th, 2020

The tidal shift toward home and home office activities is forcing rapid change because so few are prepared. In usual fashion, the New Yorker sums it up in a cartoon:


Before getting to "the numbers" that illustrate the point, let me state this is not about fear-mongering. My purpose here has always been to inform, educate, and empower. But, as Henry Kissinger concludes in a letter to the Wall Street Journal on April 3rd:

"Now, we live an epochal period. Failure could set the world on fire."

Henry Kissinger - "The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order." WSJ April 3rd, 2020.

Numbers from the New Age


The increase in ransomware attacks in one month - from February to March 2020, according to VMWare's CarbonBlack cybersecurity division. 


Average ransomware payment made in 2020’s first quarter, according to an analysis by Coveware. Ransomware payments are up 33% compared with the $84,116 average in the last quarter of 2019.


The expected increase in losses from cybercrime from 2020 to 2021. Next year damages are expect to total $6 trillion. For perspective, this amounts to:


The earnings of Tesla, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Walmart combined, multiplied  5-times equate to cybercrime losses expected in 2021 - the size of the third largest economy in the world.


The increase in spam since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO - according to IBM’s X-Force security business. Google's Gmail division says it's seeing 18 million malware and phishing emails related to Covid-19 every day, in addition to more than 240 million coronavirus-related daily spam messages.

3 to 5 Years

The time it will take to re-structure during the first chapter of the new world order, according to Ray Dalio, one of today's most brilliant thinkers about matters of history and the global arena.

Listing numbers equally eye-popping from the last 60-days is easy. But let's move forward.

What To Expect From TDS

The decisions we make on our health, finances, and rate of digital adaptation in the immediate future will have life-long repercussions.

For Total Digital Security and the fulfillment of our mission, this means providing tools, information, and the support required to preserve individual privacy, information security, and personal safety in the new age.

Our commitment to "Cybersecurity for Life" during this crucial time includes an increase in the frequency of updates and knowledge-based resources. We will keep you abreast of not just the state of cyber risk and security solutions, but also advancements in personal technology you will soon be using every day. 

  • 5G wireless - no, it doesn't cause the coronavirus, but it's difficult to grasp how life-changing 5G and near-zero delay will soon be. It's so profound; some call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  • WiFi 6 - it's considered the biggest upgrade to home WiFi in 20 years. But if you are looking to upgrade, wait a bit for the forthcoming 6e protocol for better compatibility with older components.
  • SD-WAN network security - comprehensive and seamless protection for home/office networks, WiFi, and all connected devices. SD-WAN is the future of cybersecurity, and we are pioneers making it accessible, affordable, and simple enough to use for home and office networks.
  • Encryption and authentication  - new digital privacy and security tools for use in our every day lives.

Monitoring, Managing, and Reporting

While we will continue to focus on monitoring, managing, and verifying your digital security systems, we are adding additional reporting capabilities. The new reporting is meant to keep you informed, aware, and engaged with your status regularly and systematically.

Reporting will start with the Managed Network Security solution. If you use the MNS service, please expect to hear more from us about status updates and personalized reports.

As Always, Engage

As always, please contact us if you would like to review your services or have any questions or concerns.  Use the online form or email  us at to start. Include some detail so we can best respond.

New Phone Scams Use Spoofing

Finally, sophisticated phone scams are spiking. The new generation of these exploits aren't anything like the robocalls we've learned to hate so much. Those are actually on the decline.

The new generation of phone-based scams are highly sophisticated, targeted, use spoofed caller-ID, and in some cases are impersonating your bank. Don't be lulled in to the feeling you're too smart or aware to be a victim. See security guru Krebs here, and in the 4th tile in this email below.

Thanks for reading,

Brad Deflin

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Click for a PDF printable version

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Apple Says iOS Mail is Vulnerable and Affects Almost All iPhones

This is a new, emerging story, but it's a massive security hole and has been verified by Apple - almost every iPhone is vulnerable. The exploit allows hackers to read your emails, steal your data, and remotely control your iPhone. All the major news agencies have reported it but this story from Kim Komando on April 27th is best.

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Email Extortion

If you’ve ever gotten an email from a hacker claiming they’ve got you on tape watching porn, you know exactly how disturbing “sextortion” scams are. Over the last 60-days these creepy emails have been sent to millions. Ignore them, delete them, and if they use a recognizable password for legitimacy, change it ASAP, and contact us for more information. Clcik the image to view an example.

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AFP event Brad Deflin at podium on BEC fraud

AFP Interview

On April 13th I was interviewed by the Association for Financial Professionals to discuss the surge in wire transfer fraud, or "BEC." Photo from AFP event in 2019.

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graphic of a smart phone with shark fins

When in Doubt, Hang up the Phone

Many security-conscious people probably think they’d never fall for a phone-based phishing scam. Here’s how one security and tech-savvy reader got taken for more than $10,000 in an elaborate, weeks-long ruse. Krebs, April 20, 2020

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newspapers laptop and coffee green cup

Managing the Risk of Working from Home

An article by Brad Deflin written for privacy guru Ted Baumann and the readers of "The Baumann Letter."

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The best way to start protecting?

Go private! Over 80% of cybercrime originates with an email. 

  • Own your email - not Big Tech
  • Professionals, families - for privacy, security, and physical safety
  • Office 365 upgrades.

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