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Cyber attacks have been an ongoing challenge for individuals and businesses over the years. Previously, they manifested through emails, Trojan horses, and various forms of malware that, upon infiltrating your computer via the internet, replicated themselves and replaced code within functional programs. Today, this threat continues to persist, posing a constant danger to both individuals and businesses.

But as digital technology has evolved at unprecedented rates, so too have cyber attacks and their complexities. Recently, I discussed how Ransomware has impacted many industries — most recently, the manufacturing industry. Ransomware attacks are a Hard Trend that is not slowing down anytime soon, as cyber criminals infiltrate organizational software and lock away vital information the company requires to operate.

Frankly, it is unfortunate that when these cyber criminals demand compensation, or ransom, to return the information, including sensitive customer and client information as well as valuable data, many organizations simply buckle and pay without ever fixing the problem.

And as a result, yet another attack is sure to follow. Soon, the organization is a crisis manager that never actually manages the crisis!

Ransomware attacks cost organizations millions of dollars, but worse, they reduce client trust in the organization — valuable equity in the longevity of an organization that far outmatches simple cash-in and cash-out. Suddenly, future profits are at risk as much as current profits!

I want those future gains to be bountiful for you, your team, and your organization as a whole. And without question, I know that the best defense in cybersecurity and Ransomware is an effective offense, all of which stems from proactivity and a well-developed sense of anticipation that complements an Anticipatory mindset!

Persistent Cybersecurity Threats to Stay Vigilant Against Today

Now, you may be thinking, “A cyberattack could never happen to my business. We are too small of a business to be of interest to cyber criminals.” Or perhaps you are comfortable with the status quo, thinking, “Our current IT system has protected us for years and will continue to do so.”

That way of thinking will quickly cause a downfall in this digitally transformative world! Focusing on what has happened previously instead of looking to the future on where Ransomware is headed is dangerous.

This would be like a sports team believing that their strategy from years ago could still win a championship against a team that has a strategy for today’s game. We all know what the result of this would be.

Cyber threats intrude on every industry and have been increasing at unprecedented rates since 2020, when Ransomware started making headlines. Now that there is less of a focus on Ransomware, many are tabling the threat and moving on.

Let me present you with a few current statistics according to a 2023 study completed by cyber insurance company Corvus Insurance:

•  Ransomware attacks are up 95% since 2022
•  Attacks on law practices are up 70%
•  Threats to government agencies increased by 95% through 2023
•  There is a 60% uptick in Ransomware attacks against the manufacturing industry
•  Ransomware attacks are up 142% in the oil and gas industries
•  50% of transportation and logistics companies reported attacks

If these trends continue, and trust me when I say that you can count on this as a Hard Trend, there will likely be an attack every two seconds by the year 2031!

The focus may be on lost monetary funds; however, these threats are far more debilitating. In March of 2023, the Minneapolis Public School District was hit by the hacker group Medusa, who leaked over 300,000 confidential files of employees and students. Additionally, Lehigh Valley Health Network was hacked and is facing multiple lawsuits due to the loss of sensitive patient data that violated HIPAA laws.

In those cases, trust was breached and negatively impacted the future progress of these organizations.

Cyber criminals utilizing the advancement of technology to their advantage is just as much of a Hard Trend as those leveraging it for the good of their organization and industry. However, allowing these cyber criminals to do this is a Soft Trend. We can change the course of this!

Exponential Thinking Can Improve Cybersecurity

Because no industry is safe, it is no longer acceptable to sit back and let our IT departments operate as they always have. To keep employees, clients, and valuable data safe, it is paramount that we look to the future to anticipate the disruption that cyber crime and various Ransomware attacks will become and plan ahead before it ever has the opportunity to disrupt and destroy your future gains!

There may be no way to foresee exactly when a cyber attack will threaten your organization, but with my Anticipatory Leader System, the goal is to pre-solve any problems that may lead to a Ransomware attack or other cyber threat! We want to be prepared for when it inevitably happens so we are not trying to implement agility in the wake of an attack after the fact.

Because I encourage exponential thinking with regard to disruptive digital technology, I want you to use this same level of cognition regarding Ransomware and cyber threats.

For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for years but came to the mainstream with the introduction of ChatGPT in late 2022. Now, there are countless other AI applications out there, and cyber criminals are already using this technology to write virus-ridden code and streamline cyber attacks on various industries.

You cannot stop these individuals from utilizing AI for bad, but likewise, they cannot stop you from utilizing it to do good! Ask yourself:

•  How can you also use AI to improve your cybersecurity?
•  Can you leverage it to find holes in your system and create a better defense net?
•  Can you implement AI or hire an organization to implement it as a way to outsmart any tech trying to breach a firewall?

Of course you can! It is just about finding the right application and the right team, and beginning with an Anticipatory mindset.

Posted On Tuesday, 12 March 2024 00:00 Written by
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More sellers are listing their homes, but 7% mortgage rates and still-high home prices are pushing down sales

New listings of U.S. homes for sale rose 13% year over year during the four weeks ending February 25, the biggest increase in nearly three years, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Total inventory is also improving: Active listings are flat from a year ago, marking the first time in nine months the total number of homes for sale hasn’t declined.

That’s welcome news for homebuyers, who have been battling the dual challenges of low inventory and high mortgage rates for over a year. But while today’s buyers have a few more homes to choose from, they’re still facing historically high housing costs. The typical homebuyer’s mortgage payment is $2,671, just $47 shy of last October’s record high.

High costs pushed pending sales down 8%, the biggest decline in five months, and mortgage-purchase applications declined for the fourth straight week. But more house hunters are searching as more homes hit the market. Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index–a measure of requests for tours and other services from Redfin agents–is up 10% from a month ago to its highest level since last September. Pending sales could improve in the next few months if rates don’t increase further and new listings continue to rise.

“House hunters are out there, and competition picks up every time mortgage rates decline a bit,” said Brynn Rea, a Redfin Premier agent in Spokane, WA. “I’m telling buyers who can afford it to look now while they have more breathing room and less competition. They have a good chance of negotiating the price down or getting some concessions from the seller, which could make up for getting a 7% mortgage rate instead of 6%.”

Leading indicators

Indicators of homebuying demand and activity

 

Value (if applicable)

Recent change

Year-over-year change

Source

Daily average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

7.15% (Feb. 28)

Up from 6.92% a month earlier

Up from 6.78%

Mortgage News Daily

Weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

6.9% (week ending Feb. 22)

Up from 6.77% a week earlier

Up from 6.5%

Freddie Mac

Mortgage-purchase applications (seasonally adjusted)

 

Down 5% from a week earlier (as of week ending Feb. 23)

Down 12%

Mortgage Bankers Association

Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index (seasonally adjusted)

 

Up 8% from a week earlier; up 10% from a month earlier (as of week ending Feb. 25)

Down 9%

Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index, a measure of requests for tours and other homebuying services from Redfin agents

Google searches for “home for sale”

 

Up 7% from a month earlier (as of Feb. 24)

Down 8%

Google Trends

Touring activity

 

Up 12% from the start of the year (as of Feb. 25)

At this time last year, it was up 14% from the start of 2023

ShowingTime, a home touring technology company

Key housing-market data

U.S. highlights: Four weeks ending February 25, 2024

Redfin’s national metrics include data from 400+ U.S. metro areas, and is based on homes listed and/or sold during the period. Weekly housing-market data goes back through 2015. Subject to revision.

 

Four weeks ending February 25, 2024

Year-over-year change

Notes

Median sale price

$365,888

5.4%

Biggest increase since Oct. 2022 (with the exception of the 4 weeks ending Feb. 11, when there was a 5.5% increase)

Median asking price

$396,975

5.5%

 

Median monthly mortgage payment

$2,671 at a 6.9% mortgage rate

7.7%

Down less than $50 from all-time high set in October 2023

Pending sales

75,947

-7.7%

Biggest decline since Oct. 2022

New listings

79,354

12.9%

Biggest increase since June 2021

Active listings

763,254

Unchanged

First time active listings haven’t posted a YoY decline since June 2023

Months of supply

3.9 months

+0.2 pts.

4 to 5 months of supply is considered balanced, with a lower number indicating seller’s market conditions

Share of homes off market in two weeks

37.9%

Up from 36%

 

Median days on market

48

-3 days

 

Share of homes sold above list price

23.6%

Up from 22%

 

Share of homes with a price drop

5.8%

+1.6 pts.

 

Average sale-to-list price ratio

98.4%

+0.4 pts.

 

Metro-level highlights: Four weeks ending February 25, 2024

Redfin’s metro-level data includes the 50 most populous U.S. metros. Select metros may be excluded from time to time to ensure data accuracy.

 

Metros with biggest year-over-year increases

Metros with biggest year-over-year decreases

Notes

Median sale price

Newark, NJ (15.5%)

San Diego, CA (15.3%)

Montgomery County, PA (14.5%)

Pittsburgh (13.9%)

Anaheim, CA (13.5%)

San Antonio, TX (-5%)

Detroit (-0.4%)

Declined in 2 metros

Pending sales

Austin, TX (5.7%)

Milwaukee (3.7%)

Minneapolis (2.6%)

Cleveland (1.2%)

Pittsburgh (0.6%)

Cincinnati (0.6%)

San Antonio, TX (-29.8%)

New Brunswick, NJ (-19.4%)

Warren, MI (-18.3%)

Atlanta (-16%)

Houston (-15.6%)

Increased in 6 metros

New listings

Dallas (35.5%)

Jacksonville, FL (34.3%)

Austin, TX (31.6%)

Fort Worth, TX (29.8%)

Miami (25.7%)

Atlanta (-5.8%)

Newark, NJ (-5.4%)

Milwaukee (-4.6%)

Providence, RI (-4.3%)

Chicago (-1.5%)

Warren, MI (-0.9%)

Declined in 6 metros

To view the full report, including charts, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-update-new-listings-increase-pending-sales-decline/

Posted On Sunday, 03 March 2024 07:47 Written by

Meet Tim Holmes, creator of Nurkl Toys, who is on a mission to help kids stay creative! In his recent video, Tim showcases how sticks can be transformed into endless possibilities for kids to enjoy. Check out the video!

 

 

Posted On Friday, 01 March 2024 13:09 Written by
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