John George Sr., president of tech management firm, TREYSTA, talks about AI, cybersecurity and ice cream!

Jennifer Botchie Deinlein//April 28, 2023

John George

John George Sr., president of tech management firm, TREYSTA, talks about AI, cybersecurity and ice cream!

Jennifer Botchie Deinlein//April 28, 2023

How do you see AI applications like ChatGPT affecting businesses? 

Huge potential for ChatGPT and AI to automate some business functions and boost productivity. Big impact for coding and software development with the opportunity to drastically reduce development time and cost. The potential to assist folks with learning disabilities and visual/hearing challenges is also very intriguing. We may be able to leverage AI to boost our quality of life, make daily tasks a bit easier and positively impact society. With great potential comes some unknown risks. It’s kind of the wild, wild west in the artificial intelligence frontier right now. Risks are still being evaluated and we are even seeing some industry trailblazers calling for a timeout in development to assess some of the risks. Some of the risks may remind us of the old Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton movie “The Terminator,” from 1984, in which the artificial intelligence defense network Skynet becomes “self-aware” and the machines take over! 

How do you and TREYSTA keep up with changes in the IT field and turn that around to your clients? 

Education for our team and our clients is key. Our industry is constantly evolving, and we strive to stay ahead with training and education. Most of our clients want to understand the technology at a high level but want a partner to handle the details so they can focus on their core mission. Cybersecurity is at the forefront of everything we do. 

What are the biggest cybersecurity threats to businesses today? 

Any business that has an internet connection is a potential target these days. Between state-sponsored agents and cybercriminals, it is a constant battle to protect your organization. Improving your cybersecurity posture is critical. Having a security assessment performed can help establish a good baseline.  

Two of the most cost-effective tools organizations can deploy are multi-factor authentication (MFA) and requiring complex passwords. An example of MFA is requiring a text code to a secondary device, (such as a) cell phone, to complement a password. Even if a hacker cracks your password, they won’t be able to login without the secondary authentication. Always confirm any financial transactions — wire transfers, direct deposit, etc. — with a secondary authentication. Never transfer funds with an email request only; always verify with a phone call or person-to-person conversation. Microsoft states 99.9 percent of account compromise attacks are blocked by adding the extra security measure of MFA and that 94 percent of ransomware victims weren’t using MFA. If your passwords are less than eight characters, change them immediately! An eight-character password with upper/lowercase and symbols can be cracked by the average hacker in less than eight hours. However, a password with an 18-character string with a mix of upper/lower case and symbols would take up to 438 trillion years to hack. Create a phrase or sentence between 15-20 characters that you can remember. Rotate your passwords on a regular basis. Security awareness training is another good tool. Every organization should also have cyberliability insurance to provide an additional layer of coverage. 

Since you’ve had a side gig driving an ice cream truck, what is your favorite ice cream flavor? 

An old-fashioned Good Humor Giant Ice Cream sandwich! It’s a classic that brings you back to your childhood. It’s also a bigger and better version than you can purchase in your grocery store. 

About John George Sr. 

John George Sr., 51, joined TREYSTA, a technology management firm with offices in Gettysburg and York, as a vice president in 2019 and was soon after named president. He has spent more than 20 years in the information technology industry. 

George earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. 

He and his wife, Kristin, live in South Middleton Township with their four sons, ages 10, 12, 15 and 17 – leading Kristin to say she lives in a house with five boys. The family has also operated Crazy Maisy’s Ice Cream Truck together.