The GOP circus train driven by ”The Donald” and stoked by the media, is coming dangerously close to riding off the rails that would otherwise encourage the political discourse which voters evaluate to make informed decisions.

I am awestruck by the acceptance of the republican middle, embracing the hyperbole that is blurring their ability to separate reality from the fantasies of Donald Trump.

Like the Road Runner cartoon in which Wile E. Coyote paints a tunnel on a rock wall and Wile E. Coyote slams into it believing his own illusion, Trump is leading both his constituents and his rivals into the wall as well. 

Without referencing Mr. Trump’s often caustic and hurtful instances to vituperate Mexicans. immigrants, women and his peers among others, he is, by default, energizing a dangerous group of “passionate” lemmings he considers “his people”.

And while Trump may personify Nebuchadnezzar before his twisted mind was made right, it is doubtful Trump will make things right.

George Stephanopoulos’ recent interview of Trump asking him “HOW” he intends to carry through his policies, solicited this response …. ‘Management” 

His GOP rivals have been thrown into an arena facing a den full of hungry lions.  And they don’t have the chops to go toe to toe with Trump, embracing fear and paralysis instead. 

The GOP circus train is headed straight for Trump’s brilliantly painted trompe-l’oeil tunnel.


This, today from the National Journal ....

"The federal government is expecting to spend more than $500 million in the next five years to manage data breaches. The money will be spent to clean up the damage that results from exposed data which often includes private information such as email passwords, credit card numbers and social security numbers. The government is budgeting this money to pay contractors that can mange these events."

The 2015 Ponemon Institute's Cost of Data Breach Study examined the cost incurred by 62 U.S. companies across 16 industry sectors.

According to this year's benchmark findings, data breaches cost companies an average of $217 per compromised record, of which $143 pertains to indirect costs which include abnormal customer turnover, and $74 represents the direct costs incurred to resolve the data breach such as investments in tech and legal fees.

According to the study, malicious attacks continue to be the primary cause of data breaches accounting for 49% of incidents. Nineteen percent concerned employee negligence and 32% involved IT and business process failures.

The total average organizational cost in 2014 rose to $6.53 million.  The study suggests steps to decrease the cost of a breach, but diligence and up-front investments appear to be front and center.

The statistics are chilling and should serve as a wake up call that has been ringing off the hook for several years.

The Feds are obviously concerned as they will be investing in excess of 15X the average rate of a U.S. firm's cost for the next 5 years, at minimum, to manage these expected events.  

Note to the Feds: How about managing increased security before the breach event?

Are We Blindly Moving Forward?

In just the last few days reports of hacking and ad fraud appeared as footnotes in the trade media.

CMOs have much to be concerned about.

ITPRO announced that a YAHOO malvertising attack left 900 million users at risk of ransomware.  Yes, that was 900 MILLION.  On the same day, Trustwave Holdings discovered hackers who were using RTB platforms to spread a Trojan virus through programmatic ads that do not need to be clicked on to activate the virus.  In other words, simply visiting a site can infect a computer.

As most programmatic platforms do not have robust technology to distinguish between hackers and advertisers, Trustwave believes it is fairly easy to pose as a legitimate business and buy up infectious ads.

It is no wonder that the Association of National Advertisers and the International Advertising Association are raising the specter of transparency concerns.  As a result, they are commissioning studies and surveys in an attempt to stem the flow of fraud across all media disciplines.

ComScore recently tracked NHT (Non-Human Traffic) across a number of campaigns and recognized that 14% of the campaigns generated 5-20% of NHT, accounting for 45% of the total NHT impressions. Another company at the forefront of fraud analysis is Forensiq, "relentlessly fighting online ad fraud".

I would venture that most CMOs have no standards in place with sellers, technology platforms feeding programmatic and traditional trades, their agencies and data providers.
Recently, a Jeep SUV was hacked through its entertainment system and controlled from a remote (10 mile) distance and forced to drive off the road.  Chrysler and Harmon are now facing class-action suits.  Could Yahoo face similar negligence suits for failing to protect its users from the malvertising hack?  

It’s getting ugly and it’s just the beginning.