Friday Buzz: An Experiment in Hacking Vulnerability

An association tech expert conducts a test to show how dangerous hacking incidents can be. Also: How voices alone can surface unexpected biases.

How seriously are you taking security? If your answer is “not very,” you may want to read Joshua Hiller’s piece at Association Success.

Hiller, the lead innovation engineer for Aptify, recently conducted an experiment that involved putting a few servers online just to see how long it would take for them to be breached.

He noted that some of the servers he put up with the help of Amazon Web services were hit almost immediately, either by an unexpected third-party scan or by an attempt to breach the server. In one case, a third party scanned a server before he had even finished setting it up.

Hiller’s point?

“Security cannot be an afterthought,” he stated. “If you are not properly patching, hardening, and auditing your servers, you will eventually regret it. Your servers will get probed and you will get attacked, there is no hiding.”

So yes, take security seriously—and update your platforms in a timely fashion.

A Major Bias Problem

Are we biased even when we don’t mean to be? That’s a problem featured in a Fast Company piece.

According to research highlighted by the magazine, people tend to take female voices less seriously than male voices, even if they’re saying the exact same thing. But it’s not the only form of bias—accents also can have a negative effect.

If you have a strong New York City accent, you may not be taken as seriously as someone with a British accent.

“It’s not always what someone said, it’s also how they said it,” Stanford Linguistics Associate Professor Meghan Sumner explained to the magazine. “How we view people socially from their voice, influences how we attend to them, how we listen to them.”

Other Links of Note

“Associations that offer memberships often have to make adjustments that can rock the boat, but they are often necessary,” wrote MemberSuite Junior Content Writer Amanda Simmons. Read her post to understand how to tackle these inevitable membership difficulties.

Boosting your donations near the end of the year might require a little media notice. At Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog, media relations pro Peter Panepento breaks down how to earn a few end-of-year media shout-outs.

Interesting idea of the day: The website Unpatent, cofounded by the founder of the online store NewEgg, hopes to use crowdsourcing to fight what it calls “stupid patents.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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