Economic Sanctions, Cyber Law Enforcement, And Private-Government Collaboration For Cyber Protection With Emil Bove

In this episode of CHATTIN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Emil Bove, Trial and Investigations Lawyer at Chiesa Shahinian Giantomasi (CSG). Emil has extensive experience working in both the public and private sectors, starting his career as an assistant United States attorney specializing in cyber risk. Today, he speaks about the new sanctions announced against Russia following the invasion of the Ukraine, why Russia might push its financial transactions and assets into the crypto space, cyber enforcement trends pertaining to the same, and the recent collaboration of the private sector and the government sector for speedy cyber law enforcement and protection.

Recently, in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US Treasury department announced a lot of sanctions against Russia. One result of that is that banks are trying to comply with the sanctions on both US financial institutions and international institutions, identifying their exposure to the sanction parties, sanction relationships, and figuring out how to address that exposure – whether that’s blocking assets in some instances, or ending client relationships in others. Secondly, we’re anticipating mechanisms for any sanction party to engage in sanctions evasion and access the international financial system and even the US financial system directly through correspondent accounts. Sanction parties need to innovate. Russian parties are also expected to push financial transactions and assets into crypto.

Emil also discusses the trends in cyber enforcement. With Russia likely to venture into the crypto space, care needs to be taken while enforcing sanctions as not everybody is a Russian actor. Clients have to be sensitive to sanctions compliance. Recently, the OFAC has been sanctioning crypto service providers, some of which are based in Russia, who are non-compliant with US expectations for transparency and staying away from ransomware. Both on the regulatory and criminal sides, the government will be looking at public examples of non-compliant actors who are not seeking to implement the sanctions intended to choke back on Russia’s access to the financial system.

Another thing Emil talks about is the private sector’s collaboration with the government in connection with the above sanctions. He predicts that the partnership will be significant because the technological expertise of the private sector can help speed up the government’s work. The technologies used so far have repeatedly shown themselves reliable and trustworthy and have generated accurate results.

For more, tune in to today’s episode!


“There’s a cyber component to the banks trying to comply with the sanctions to both US financial institutions and really international institutions, taking a look at what OFAC is doing. And identifying their exposure to these now sanctioned parties and sanction relationships, and figuring out how to address that exposure, whether that’s blocking assets in some instances, or ending client relationships in others.”

“There are a few understood mechanisms for any sanction party to engage in sanctions evasion, to access the international financial system, and sometimes even the US financial system directly through correspondent accounts. Sanction parties are going to need to take some new steps to do some innovation. And I think that one way that we’re going to see that is Russia as a sovereign, and also just sanctioned Russian parties over there are going to push financial transactions and assets into the crypto space.”

“There’s then now a public opinion that sort of authorizes and endorses law enforcement collaboration with the private sector and use private sector tools in a sophisticated and developing space where government technology, especially in the law enforcement side, may not be quite as up to speed as where the more well resourced private sector parties are endorsing that and I think you’ll see that going forward.”


[00:43] – The journey to becoming an assistant United States attorney
[19:45] – About the US Treasury Department announcing sanctions against Russia [21:49] – The biggest things around cybersecurity being ignored right now
[29:58] – Closing thoughts

Connect with Emil:


The Russian-Ukrainian War Is A Lesson On Information Security and Leverage With Greg Radabaugh

In this episode of CHATTIN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Gregory Radabaugh about his wide range of experience in the military and information security, what the Russian-Ukrainian war illuminates about information security, and the essential practices civilians and security forces must equally adopt to strengthen cybersecurity.

Retired Air Force veteran of 30 years, Greg comes with a repertoire of wealth that ranges beyond overseas reconnaissance missions. He has experience as a DOD civilian, a Defence Intelligence Agency analyst, senior Information Operations planner for the Air Force ISR agency (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance), Director of the Joint Information Operations Warfare Centre, and many high-importance controlled defence and intelligence roles. But after finally retiring from the Department of Defense after 44 years, Greg has founded his own consulting company, Greg Bear Consulting.

With the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war always keeping world tensions high, Greg suggests you give “Unrestricted Warfare by Colonel Qiao Liang and Colonel Wang Xiangsui” a read for learning in depth about permanent warfare and the absence of a difference between civilian and military targets in the Ukraine-Russia war. Noting from the war updates, Greg shares that although Russia seems to be focussing on justifying their actions to their internal audience, making them see that all is being done to protect them, Ukraine is focussing on the external audience, primarily the West, trying to gain support from the US, NATO, and others providing material, financial, and medical support. He also discusses how both the countries are gathering and making use of commercially available data for warfare – from tracking locations, to cellphone ranges, and a whole lot more. Everything happening in the war is striking from an information perspective.

The civilian sector, he adds, must prepare for war at this point as they could be used to incite or escalate conflict. There could be Denial Of Service attacks, deception, and other planned operations to impact the military by attacking people relevant to its personnel. Families of military personnel are especially targeted by these attacks. This is a side most people aren’t prepared for.

In conclusion, Greg shares that the civilian private sector needs to start thinking about security the same way the military does – for operational security. Using mobile phones and cameras in essential meeting places, not considering the secondary and tertiary access points in places, are a couple of the many things that go unnoticed. For more about it, tune in to this episode with Greg!


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“The Western concepts of the law of armed conflict relying on Westphalian concepts of chivalry, interior, and territorial integrity, and what constitutes an armed attack don’t apply to our adversaries and potential adversaries in the information environment.”

“Think about how to provide operational security to your business. And then think about how do you shut down our second and tertiary information leakages and then decide, how do I mitigate this threat by doing things, for example, having an offline backup of my network, or having a secondary network that’s offline that can go online immediately, if your primary one goes down?”

“A greater awareness of these operations in the information environment is crucial to private sector success of industrial control systems, security is going to be absolutely critical to maintaining our first world environment that we live in and enjoy today.”


[00:40] – Greg’s early life and founding Greg Bear Consulting [05:29] – Where to connect with Greg
[06:26] – What’s happening with the Russian-Ukrainian war?
[15:19] – Should the civilian sector prepare for a conflict at this point?         [20:42] – What can you do to protect yourself from cyber attacks?

Connect with Greg:

Website: baugh/

Understanding Ransomware Double, Triple, and Quadruple Extortion With Brad LaPorte

In this episode of CHATTIN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Brad LaPorte, former top-rated Gartner Analyst for cybersecurity, veteran US Cyber Intelligence, and product leader at Dell, IBM, and several startups. He is currently the Advisor at Lionfish Tech Advisors and Partner at High Tide Advisors, apart from being the Board Advisor at 4 early-stage startups – NetRise, rThreat, RunSafe Security, and TBD. He is also the author of the recently released cybersecurity book, The Rise Of Cybercrime. Today, he discusses the reasons for the increasing number of ransomware attacks worldwide and the measures to avoid or mitigate the risks from the same.

Explaining the increasing number of ransomware attacks, Brad shares that these days, all that is required to extort money from organizations is access to a keyboard on the internet. The barrier of entry to systems has been reduced. Additionally, over 98% of ransomware is paid out in Bitcoin, which is difficult to track. Starting November 2019, double, triple, and quadruple extortion tactics have started to be used, which has also added to this.

Double, triple, and quadruple extortion tactics can be explained hence:

  1. Double extortion is the exfiltration of sensitive data. So, companies are forced to pay the attackers despite having the encryption key or backup data.
  2. Triple extortion is when attackers disrupt the critical operations of organizations involved in, say, manufacturing, healthcare, or education. The criticality of the attack makes organizations highly likely to pay the attackers.
  3. Quadruple extortion is when attackers directly attack your customers or key stakeholders also. Also called supply chain attacks, they are like a force multiplier and cause an exponential increase in the damages.

Answering the question of whether or not to pay when ransomware attackers demand you to, Brad explains that one must try their best not to unless they’re left with no other choice. He also touches on the best cybersecurity practices to follow to mitigate the risks due to the attack, like the 12 key controls given by Marc around cyber resilience. He adds that even though the actual amount paid to ransomware attackers is coming down over time, the number of threat actors is increasing with the decrease in their barriers of entry.

One of the most overlooked reasons for cyberattacks is that over half of the organizations worldwide don’t know about the assets they have in their environment, the third-party vendors and other organizations associated with them, and over 75% manage everything through an Excel spreadsheet as their asset inventory database.

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Care must be taken to ensure organizations are well aware of their assets, as these could be one of the easiest ways for attacks to happen.

For more, tune in to today’s episode!


“In trying to extort money from organizations, ultimately, all you need is access to a keyboard on the internet. So if you look at some of them (attackers), the people that can actually wreak havoc on organizations are quite vast.”

“Even though the actual numbers of payments are going down and declining… The amount of groups are increasing because of that low barrier of entry and actually increasing it over time. ”

“Over half of (the) organizations don’t know what assets they have in their environment, and over 75% actually manage everything out of an Excel spreadsheet as their asset inventory database.”


[02:33] – Why are ransomware attacks increasing?
[07:15] – Should you or should you not pay when ransomware attacks require you to? [09:45] – The biggest things around cybersecurity being ignored right now
[12:49] – Get in touch with Cory

Connect with Brad:


Navigating Cybersecurity Risks in Modern Communication Platforms With Max Buchan

In this episode of CHATTINN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Max Buchan, founder and CEO of Worldr. The conversation gets into cybersecurity for communication platforms, hybrid and in-person communication channels, and the factors that might change the way we communicate in the future.

Max tells us how he got into cybersecurity while growing up in a small town in the United Kingdom (Canterbury), and how he revolutionized communication encryption around the world. He also worked as one of Coinshare’s first employees, which helped him learn about data jurisdictional issues and encryption keys. Max has spent the last three years building his own company, Worldr, and has been offering security for communication platforms through it.

Now, this might make you wonder: why is there a need for a company like Worldr for additional security services when most popular communication platforms have built-in encryption and security? Max explains that his company’s products are not for every other user on the internet, but rather for those who do not want to change their communication platform and want to communicate in a more scalable and secure environment with no third-party inference. Worldr works with large corporations having a significant employee strength who want all of their data to be secure.

Max also shared his thoughts on the best way to communicate in the future, saying that he believes it will be a hybrid style because some people prefer in-person communication while others prefer online communication for time efficiency.

Max also addresses the current challenges that the CISO community is facing, as well as how they approached this application. He stated that the CISO community is currently very small and needs to scale and that people and governments all over the world are taking small but progressive steps in this space. He later mentions the concept of zero trust and how it influences product development.

The conversation winds up with Max discussing the ever-changing and shifting cybersecurity space.

Listen to the conversation for more details!


“We’re not building these products for every single user on these platforms. I mean, these are great products, I believe, you know, for instance, Microsoft Teams, I think is approaching 300 million users, which is an incredible number. I mean, we don’t build these solutions for the broad base, we build them for specific industry verticals that have needs that go a little bit beyond a one-size-fits for certain products.”

“I want to caveat this by saying there are no zero-trust products, right? Because I feel like, you know, you go to one of these conferences, I was lucky enough to speak at InfoSec Europe, a month or whenever it was ago. And I mean, just everyone’s got zero trust everywhere. And you know, it’s an important concept. But it’s not a product And again, it all comes down to essentially, least privileged access and building in controls and governance every step of the way, right into your entire policy outlook.”


[00:42] – How did Max, while growing up in the UK, revolutionize communication encryption in not only the US but abroad?

[02:07] – Why is there an additional need for security in various communication platforms when they are already highly encrypted?

[05:29] – The communication styles of the future

[09:12] – Challenges CISOs are facing today?

[12:10] – What is zero trust?

[13:34] – How cybersecurity space is ever-changing and shifting

[15:11] – How to reach out to Max Buchan

Connect with Max Buchan:






How The Russia-Ukraine War Is Bolstering Ransomware Gang Attacks With Sherri Davidoff and Michael Kleinman

In this episode of CHATTIN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Sherri Davidoff and Michael Kleinman about the rising ransomware attacks in cyberspace and the legal and operational ways to confront them. Sherri Davidoff is the CEO of LMG Security, and the author of three books, including “Ransomware and Cyber Extortion” and “Data Breaches: Crisis and Opportunity.” Michael Kleinman is Special Counsel in the Data Strategy, Security, and Privacy Practice at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

The Russian-Ukrainian war has given us an open window into ransomware gang operations, thanks to some gangs facing internal discord, like the Conte ransomware gang, which became known for putting a pro-Russia statement and having a gang affiliate steal their internal information and put it out online. If sources are to be believed, the Conte ransomware gang has made at least $2.7 billion in Bitcoin over the past three years – a number drastically higher than any previous ones we’ve seen. The result of the explosive growth of such ransomware gangs is also that law enforcement is getting better at following the money and busting cybercriminals. However, the fight gets tougher as criminals move to more privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies.

With the current geopolitical state with Russia and Ukraine in the way, cyber attacks are focused on more than economic gains, as our guests share. Vulnerabilities and attacks on critical infrastructure are predicted to rise. An interesting point to note is the OFAC advisory on ransomware from September 2021, which tends to assuage the risks towards individuals considering making a ransomware payment and avoid being hit with sanctions violation and the reputational and financial risks associated with that. This new advisory helps you if you implement cybersecurity practices, including those highlighted by Cisco, like having an offline backup, incident response plan, cyber training, and authentication protocols, and cooperating with law enforcement during and after an attack. You might never get a full sign-off, but these would certainly help your company’s image significantly.

The FTC is on the watch, and you need to look for a lock for vulnerabilities and repair or remediate them. If not, you’d land in hot water.

The Ukraine-Russian war has also seen the introduction of new kinds of malware like wiper ransomware that wipe out the complete information from a system. These are known to have been distributed through software vendors like tax software. Though Ukraine is on the receiving end of these attacks at the moment, fears are the attack could extend to more countries.

In situations like this which jeopardize our cyber health, early detection is critical. Also important is the need to have a coordinated industry-wide response to reduce

the damage. As attackers get better at sneaking in and damaging our systems, our defense style also needs to grow from reactive to proactive. Prevention methodologies must also go hand-in-hand with government regulations. For more on this, listen to this episode!

Please note that this podcast was recorded on February 25,2022  prior to the passage of the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022.


“One of the points from the White House is to bolster resilience to withstand ransomware attacks. And for the past two decades, we’ve seen almost a reticence to push our businesses and organizations too much. Because we recognize cybersecurity as a cost.”

“The new banking law was designed not to be overly burdensome to banks, but to give regulators an early heads up about issues. And that is super important, especially if you’re concerned about large scale operational impact on our financial sector.”

“Now is the time to deploy proactive measures, things like multi factor authentication, endpoint detection and response security training, we have to figure out what is blocking organizations and just jump over those hurdles and make it happen.”

“At an organizational level, we need visibility by installing appropriate detection systems and response systems monitoring. Because the earlier you detect an incident, the better able you will be to prevent it from metastasizing into a bigger problem like ransomware.”


[01:05] – Hot topics in cybersecurity today
[03:55] – How is the US government responding to the increased supply chain kind of cyber attacks?
[09:47] – How to reach out to Sherri Davidoff and Michael Kleinman
[13:03] – About the FTC providing notice about patching up their systems to companies
[15:31] What is meant by wiper malware?
[24:30] Key takeaways from today’s conversation

Connect with Michael and Sherri:

Michael Kleinman:

Sherri Davidoff:


Driving Pay Equity In Workplaces With Maria Colacurcio

In this episode of CHATTIN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Maria Colacurcio, CEO, Syndio, bringing pay equity in workplaces worldwide.
Maria talks about switching from her liberal arts background to enter the tech space and eventually finding her purpose in leading the movement for pay equity in companies.

A history and political science student, Maria’s entry into tech happened by chance when she met a woman at a dinner party at the height of the tech boom, who suggested she move from nonprofits to tech, and even got her a referral to a marketing role at her company. Maria grabbed the opportunity and worked in the marketing division for the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian and has over time, switched jobs and moved to technological roles at companies.

At a point while she worked at Starbucks, the company was hyping about their pay equity announcement. Considering such things weren’t mainstream conversation back then, it meant a lot. While exploring more about it during that time, Maria got to know the Head of the Global Employment Law at Starbucks very well, and learned the way that a typical traditional pay equity analysis is done – it wasn’t good. She realized that not only was the system backward-looking and cumbersome, it also didn’t reveal anything about the behaviors or practices that drive the pay gap in the first place. Desiring to make it better, Maria tried to infuse software innovation with proactive research to bridge the pay gap in organizations. She shares that this research has taught her the importance of starting pay in bridging pay gaps – you’ve to make sure it’s done right to avoid pay disparities in the chain of employment roles.

Maria also talks about the rising awareness around ESG commitments, including the perspective of institutional investors from the ESG lens and how they’re trying hard to figure out what it means to have social ESG commitments as a company that has workplace equity embedded in the human capital. Another thing she talks about is how shareholder proposals requiring companies to disclose adjusted and unadjusted pay gaps have been featured in proxy season since 2015. As per statistics, 7 of the Fortune 100 companies face these pay gap disclosure proxies. And at 2 of these companies, it has succeeded. She also discusses pay transparency legislations that are forcing companies to post a good faith range for any new job position to avoid pay disparities.

There are two sides to pay equity – equal pay for equal work and the median pay gap. Our litigation is largely centered around the first and there’s a lot of legal risk to that. Companies also need to focus on the median pay gap, which is a reflection of opportunity – it’s the averages. In California’s SB 1162 – the legislation that just passed the California State Senate, it’s not just about pay transparency on job ranges.

It also includes disclosure of your median pay gap to the state and public reporting of your W2 earnings by EEO category. Companies need to do a full-body scan to adapt their practices to bridging the pay gap.
Towards the end of the conversation, Maria also shares actionable ways to implement equal pay opportunities at workplaces. Tune in to this episode to hear all about it!

“It was this crack in the door, which has been a real consistent theme in my career, seeing sort of a door cracked open, and then just being curious, having that intellectual curiosity to say, I wonder what wonder that leads, and then kicking it open.”“The Head of Global Employment Law at Starbucks, and I started talking about, ‘Is there a way to infuse innovation in software to make this something that is more proactive to make this something that looks at for example, starting pay is the biggest factor in any pay equity analysis?’. So how do you look at starting pay, make sure at that moment in the employee lifecycle that you’re getting it right so that you’re not having this consistent and ongoing backwards looking repeat have the same remediation over and over and over.”
“The median pay gap is really just a reflection of opportunity. It’s the averages. So do you have all of your men, for example, in the highly paid positions at your company? And why (though you may have really good gender diversity) are all your women sort of in the lower levels? If you had to disclose your median pay gap that would become very obvious to the outside world.”
[00:37] – Maria’s early life and advent into the cyberspace [05:04] – Trends in the ESG space
[07:45] – What should companies do to ensure pay equity? [09:31] – Connect with Maria
Connect with Maria:

Using Social Media To Educate The Public About Cybersecurity With Dana Mantilia

In this episode of CHATTIN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Dana Mantilia, an online cybersecurity educator with an identity theft protection background. She discusses getting into the cybersecurity space, becoming a social media marketing and cybersecurity expert, and the challenges and opportunities in the industry.

Dana joined cybersecurity in the identity theft protection world in 2017, developing a product for the same (called Identron). Gradually, she realized the need and the lack of education in the industry. That was also when the idea of doing some LinkedIn videos about the same for educational purposes came to her. As she continued on the same, COVID happened; and with it, she introduced online training for non-technical employees and has since become one of the most marketed cybersecurity individuals in the US.

Dana moves on to discuss IT and cybersecurity. Addressing the gradual movement of IT professionals into cybersecurity, she explains that the two are still very different fields. She emphasizes that the two departments need to list their responsibilities and ensure they don’t get mixed up.

Discussing the importance of cybersecurity training for employees, Dana shares that it’s easy for cybercriminals to trick an employee into hacking a computer system; hence, training methods must be given importance. She adds that although some of the training can be handled with technology, a lot of it needs to be done in person to make employees remember it for longer.

Dana also discusses the most significant challenges faced when working with non-technical cybersecurity people. The most significant challenge is communication, i.e., speaking in layman’s terms. She explains the disconnect when a lot of jargon gets thrown around, and the person listening cannot understand it. Work needs to be done to better this situation.

Tune in to this episode for more learnings about cybersecurity and social media marketing from Dana!


“My thought process with cybersecurity is it’s still not being embraced by the private sector, just starting to be really held feet to the fire with the government side of things. So this is the time to really build their online presence over the next three to five years. And then when everybody is forced to embrace cybersecurity, they’re

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going to be the first ones that are going to be seen as an authority and they’re going to be able to gain more clients.”

“My videos are very short, very focused. And if I can I add a little bit of humor into them. And just hoping that people are going to remember what the point is that I was talking about in there.”

“One of the biggest problems is that the technical people that handle the cybersecurity aspect of things, they’re extremely intelligent people. But their communication skills, when it comes to speaking to somebody in layman’s terms, is not always there’s a disconnect there.”


[01:02] – From Connecticut to the most marketed cybersecurity individual in the US: Dana’s journey
[03:14] – What can cybersecurity folks do to help grow their network?
[05:32] – Why businesses must invest in cybersecurity training

[10:47] – The biggest challenges in dealing with non-technical cybersecurity people

Connect with Dana:


Building A Secure Career in Cyber Risk Management With Shiraz Saeed

In this episode of CHATTINN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Shiraz Saeed, Vice President and Cyber Risk Product Leader at Arch Insurance Group Inc. His role involves the strategic direction of Cyber Risk products or services at the company. Today, he talks about his exciting journey, playing multiple roles as a businessman, real estate broker, underwriter, and risk manager, and the people and situations that led him to build that.

Shiraz spent the majority of his life working with his dad, who was a watch dealer. At that time, watch dealerships had a business model very similar to insurance, and hence, growing up, Shiraz was always around credit cards, retail sales and instances of fraud. He pursued his under-graduation in Finance and was interested in finding a career in either banking or Computer Science, which were a hot topic then. But realizing the challenges in the professions, he decided to work with his dad on his business full time.

At a later time in his career, Shiraz also started a CTE course campaign across the country to get brokers, clients, and risk managers to understand risk management. By doing this, he could improve his ability to gain traction and deliver solutions, find policies that work at reasonable terms, and efficiently manage risks. Over the years, he received an opportunity to work with Starr, serving as the cyber product leader. He used the opportunity to learn about cutting edge technologies in the industry and further enhance his skills. He moved from there to work with Arch Insurance, where he serves as the Vice President and cyber risk product leader.

During his conversation with Marc, Shiraz also shares his observations from the cybersecurity industry over the last ten years and what challenges the industry might face in the upcoming year or two. He shares that the frequency of cybersecurity incidents has increased massively over the past ten years and that we need to invest more in cybersecurity practices for more organizational and individual security in the future.

Tune in to the episode today to learn more about cyber risk management from Shiraz!


“If you’re gonna sell something, you have to make sure you know more about that product, that space, that industry than anybody you’re selling it to.”

“He [Shiraz’s father] would always say [that success] it’s 70% hard work and doing all the right things, and 30% luck, or forecasting or opportunity, whatever you want to call it.”

“What has really happened over the past 10 years or so is the level of frequency of the incidents that we’re seeing, has surpassed the amount of expectancy that any of us ever had.”

“People want to maintain a level of sustainability in the marketplace.”

“You got to be the educator, whether they buy it from you or not, whether they do business with you or not, you need to demonstrate or teach them about what it is all about, and why it benefits them and why it doesn’t benefit them. And then, by doing that you automatically improve your ability to get traction, because you help them for real, whether you’ve made the money on it or not.”


[03:49] – Shiraz shares his life’s story with us

[22:12] – Shiraz talks about the person who’s helped the most in his career and life

[23:57] – What Shiraz learns from his dad’s journey in life

[27:23] – Shiraz’s thoughts on cybersecurity in the upcoming one or two years

Connect with Shiraz:


Cybersecurity Compliance For M&A Deals And The Changing Regulatory Landscape With Steven Teppler

In this episode of CHATTINN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Steven Teppler, co-chair of the cybersecurity and privacy practice of Sterlington. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad School of Law. Before joining Sterlington, Steven was the Chair of Mandelbaum Salsburg’s Privacy and Cyber Security Practice Group. He is an ISACA certified CDPSE (Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer) and has been involved in cybersecurity and electronic discovery matters for over 20 years.

Sterlington’s work primarily revolves around private equity and family firms. With a strong litigation department, they also perform transactional work. Steven is involved in developing cybersecurity and assessing cyber risks for clients.

During their conversation, Steven and Marc discuss M&A transactions, the changing cyber regulatory landscape, and mitigating risks on the buy-side and sell-side of the market.

Steven explains that an M&A (merger and acquisition) is a transaction involving both purchase and sale. Both parties undertake a certain amount of due diligence in the purchase-sale environment; there are considerations on both sides with serious implications for liability. Therefore, risk evaluation pre and post-acquisition is necessary for private equity companies. The same principles apply regardless of the type of transaction (mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, trends offers).

Also, the regulatory landscape in cyber risk is changing fairly dramatically. For instance, now, if an M&A transaction involving a health care type of entity that handles personal health information encounters a lately discovered or latent HIPAA problem. In that case, it violates the Privacy Rule – there’s been a late discovered exfiltration. It could lead to escalations to several regulatory compliance departments.

There should be a baseline security level on the sell-side, so you’re not selling something that can put you into liability or potential liability on the buy-side. You also need protection on the buy-side to get certain representations and warranties from the seller; they ensure you have adequate insurance. You might also want to perform a cybersecurity risk assessment on the proposed acquisition to avoid warnings or trouble later.

Steven explains that cyber diligence should begin at the very outset, because just like any other managed service provider, depending upon the interplay between the private equity company and the portfolio company, there will be an interchange of managed service. Protecting that information is necessary. Any private equity company needs to ensure that its subsidiary or holding companies portfolio companies are equally protected, depending on the type of industry or service they provide.

To conclude, Steven advises avoiding cyber risks, starting with, do not call a number or tap on any unknown link – be conscious. Abide by cybersecurity tips at all times.


“In any purchase and sale environment, there is a certain amount of due diligence that has to be undertaken by the parties. And whether you are a buyer or seller acquisition or the acquired, there are considerations both on the sell-side as well as on the buy-side that can have very, very, very serious implications for liability.”

“Cybersecurity is part of a business. It’s part of your business functionality.”

“Having a protecting on the buy-side means that you get certain representations and warranties from the seller, they also make sure that you have the adequate insurance, and maybe you want to maybe not even take necessarily the word or the representations of the seller, but perhaps you’ll want a separate assessment and a separate cybersecurity assessment risk assessment done on the proposed acquisition.”


[00:46] – Steven’s entrepreneurial journey

[02:27] – Cybersecurity interplay between M&A transactions

[06:47] – The changing regulatory landscape and its effect on M&A transactions

[12:17] – Get in touch with Steven

Connect with Steven:



The Role of Managed Service Providers for Cybersecurity with Thomas DeMayo

In this episode of CHATTINN CYBER, Marc Schein interviews Thomas DeMayo, Principal in the Cyber Risk Management group with PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP. Thomas is the lead Cyber Risk Adviser and Auditor for the firm. He is responsible for implementing and designing the Firm’s Cyber Security service offerings, audit programs, and testing procedures. Thomas consults in IT governance, information security, threat and vulnerability management, privacy, and IT compliance. Today, he shares his backstory of getting into cybersecurity and what he’s learned from his journey so far.

Even as a kid, Thomas had a fascination for computers. After graduation, he ended up taking a job in network engineering at PKF O’Connor. Later on, he was asked to check on the firm’s systems, IPS, and calculations. That led him to shift to cybersecurity. And around 2006-2007, he already had clarity on what he was supposed to do going forward.

Thomas talks about the client benefits of partnering up with someone who has both cybersecurity resources and tax intellect. They can advise clients on a more cyber-specific path and help control their program. That’s invaluable to a lot of clients.

Towards the close of the conversation, Thomas talks about the future of a hybrid work environment. Hybrid working may or may not persist for a long time. But it is something that is not going to go away any time in the near future.


“Even as a kid, I was kind of always fascinated with getting the computer to do what I wanted.”

“We are those trusted advisors who are able to come in and say, yes, we can help you, we could advise you on a more cyber-specific path and help you control your program. That’s invaluable to a lot of clients.”

“When we’re helping them, we’re advising them on what they need, and that’s what matters; that’s the key thing.”

“You have to challenge them to make you understand what their cybersecurity program is, or at least ask them, show us what your basic cybersecurity policy looks like. I think that’s going to start to help you understand you even have a level of formality.”

“As the world wakes up and really starts to focus on this, they’ll start to look at that supply chain risk.”

“Some businesses based on their business model will realize that this really does work. Our employees are happier and are still productive; we don’t need to be in the office to do certain things.”


[01:43] – Thomas explains how he got into the field of cybersecurity.

[03:58] – The benefits of partnering up with someone who has both cybersecurity resources and tax intellect.

[08:33] – Reasons why more clients are engaging in services related to cybersecurity.

[10:10] – Questions clients should be asking their Managed Service Provider.

[13:25] – Where do you see this hybrid work environment going in the next 18 months?

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