Why People Want You To Not Care About Your IT Security
You’re bombarded by ads from anti-virus companies and IT firms asking you to take care of your IT security to prevent the next big disaster.
You always hear mentions of big companies talking about the doom and gloom that will hit the IT world. The next bug, virus or programming flaw will bring everything to its knees.
Yet you’re sitting at your desk thinking “What kind of idiot do you take me for?”
Your company is thriving. You’re in a business that is wildly successful and untouchable. You don’t use computers a lot. You’re making a lot of money and you’re feeling invulnerable.
Best of all, you think you’re safe and quiet enough that no one wants to pry into your data and ruin you. You just don’t do that in this industry. Even then, you can bounce back from any disaster.
So when an IT representative comes to you and asks you to “upgrade your IT security”, you say “Thanks, but no thanks, I’m safe enough as it is.”
No matter what you are told, you know these things:
“People won’t touch your IT, you’re not important enough yet.”
“Why would anyone hack into my company? There’s nothing important here.”
“IT security costs money, and I’m just spending money to have people make sure nothing happens. What a great use of money.”
“My IT team is good enough to fix problems when they happen. Actually, I don’t even have a team, it’s just someone with good enough computer skills who became our de facto IT person.”
So you are unconcerned. After all, why would you care about security when you’ve got absolutely nothing to offer?
And many people agree with you.
The funny thing? Many people agree with you for different reasons.
Let’s take a look at who agrees with you, and their reasons for agreeing with you:
There is no industry in the world that has no competition.
Someone, somewhere is trying to get into the same business as you, or is already in the same business you are.
Competition is also more local than you think. You may not be aware of it, but you’re not likely to be the only one in the country who thought of the “next big idea”.
It might not even be the country. You might have competition in your local city, town, even your residential district!
Competition is everywhere, and there is nothing each competitor wants more than being on top of everyone else.
So when your competitors hear that you’re not pouring your time into making sure your IT security is solid, they’re happy.
They’re very happy.
It’s a sign of carelessness. That’s an advantage they can capitalize on. Once your competitors know you’re not protecting your IT securely, they’ll jump right on that advantage like a group of hungry hyenas on a dead animal corpse.
Competitors now emphasize that you don’t care about customers enough to protect their data, while they do.
And in a world of trust, customers don’t want to hear that you’re not caring.
We want people we can trust, and we certainly can’t trust people who aren’t willing to take care of our data.
Now you might be thinking: “Would customers actually believe that? I can just say that I do, and they’ll trust me!”
And customers will.
But your competitors know all it takes is one IT disaster to wipe out your customer’s trust in you.
You might think your competitors would never stoop to corporate espionage. After all, it’s an honourable industry where no one is trying to backstab each other. We fight fair and square.
Honestly, that’s true in many cases.
The bigger you are, the more likely you are to be a target for companies trying to pull data from your company. It happens more often than you think.
Let’s go back to the idea that none of your competitors would actually try to deliberately hurt you.
They don’t have to.
All they need to wait for is one IT disaster, and you’ve lost the trust of your customers completely.
IT disasters happen to everyone, and it’s not exclusive to a certain few. At some point in your company’s life, you will encounter it.
Your competitors are also doing well enough that they can play the waiting game. They just need to make sure they stay alive long enough for you to never recover.
Then they’ll take your business, or at least divide it among the other competitors.
So your competition is waiting for you to have a weak point, especially in IT. It can’t hurt them, only you.
Hackers have to start somewhere. After they work on creating programs and messing around with their friend’s computers, they will start to look for bigger challenges. Ways to improve their skills.
What better place to do it than a small-to-medium size business?
Knowing that at least one person in a company is liable to click on anything, it’s an easy way for hackers to know that they have a way of getting in.
They’ve got the skills to find out where your employees go and what their emails will be.
It’s also not hard for hackers to find out more about your computer systems.
They just need a way to get in and they’ll be set for a while. They can come and go, whenever they please.
For a company that doesn’t take care of their IT security, they’re a great catch.
Untraceable and undetectable, hackers will come and go without a problem.
They will look for a network, and if the doors are wide open, they’ll go in.
If the doors are shut and the walls are high, they’ll come through with a virus.
Hackers know you think no one cares about you. They WANT you to think no one cares about you.
That’s what makes it easier for them to go in and hack your company information.
After all, if you think you’re invulnerable, you never do think about risks to your safety.
If you think no one cares about you, you won’t believe people will come to visit you.
You’re the perfect target. It’s like posting a “Kick Me” sign on your back, only you’ve pasted it on your company building and people will “kick” you in ways you didn’t imagine.
You might think your IT person can easily step up to the plate and protect you.
But if your IT person is an employee with another job, just also really good with computers, that’s another red flag.
They will be too busy working on other duties to take care of your IT properly.
It’s not their fault. You didn’t hire them because they had computer skills. You hired them for a different position, as you should have.
Their skills will fit the position you hired them for, not IT.
So it stands to reason that they don’t know how to properly watch over your IT. They don’t know all the areas to protect.
Hackers are waiting for that too. They love that you put some inexperienced guard dog to watch over your IT.
It’s just another challenge to them.
Now you might be thinking “Well, I’ve got nothing valuable for hackers to steal. Why would they care?”
For the same reason many people go skydiving or bungee jumping.
For the thrill and the excitement.
They actually don’t care too much about you or the company.
They just want to get in, do what they want, and get out with no hassle.
In real life, they probably wouldn’t be doing anything remotely close to malicious intent.
Very few people actually have serious goals of sabotaging your company, or any company for that matter.
They’re just interested in doing something they think is fun.
However, leaving an open door also means that if someone wants to do something nasty, they can.
Hackers are notorious for causing large events that have caused companies to fail and secrets to be exposed.
And if you think you’re safe, then you’re just leaving your back door wide open.
Yes, your customers also want you to not care about IT security.
They want to know who they DON’T want to leave their information with.
Because if they know you don’t care, they will look for people who do care. Customers are able to do their own research now, and they are fickle.
If they have any reason to leave you because they don’t trust you, they will.
When people know you’re not taking good care of their valuables, they are less likely to trust you with those valuables.
Customer data is one such valuable. You’ve got addresses, phone numbers, credit card information that can be used to do dangerous things.
It’s one thing to be hit by an unexpected hack that you couldn’t prepare for, but it’s another to be hit by a hack that you could have prevented, but chose not to.
Customers will obviously take their data, and money, somewhere else if they know you’re not safe. So it’s one of the top things they are looking for when picking a company.
You don’t have a company without customers. Not focusing on them can be a disastrous result.
It’s Your Choice
You can always think that this is just nonsense, ignore the whole article and keep it out of your mind.
After all, it’s true that an attack is not likely to happen to you.
But it’s not being constantly attacked that is the problem. It’s not being careful about a single incident that will compromise your entire company.
Then, everyone will be watching and everyone will be acting.
You can either live without a care in the world, or you can act now and shore up your security so that you can give yourself, and your customers the peace of mind they deserve.
It’s your choice.
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