We are a civilization built on trust. We MUST trust, to survive. That trust is intrinsically being challenged. Here are three examples of under-the-radar sorts of trust that we build on.
- We trust the directions we get at a gas station.
- We trust that our sports teams will one day succeed. Even if they don’t make the playoffs this year, they will one day.
- We trust that when we dial 911, an emergency operator, trained in how to handle emergency moments, will answer the phone.
We have other institutions that society used to trust but no longer trusts.
- We no longer trust the media and individual journalist’s ability to let us know what is really happening. We were told how the presidential election would play out by countless pundits only to discover that they were off base.
- We don’t trust our leaders' ability to ascertain what is really important to us. We hear of what they are doing during the day and can’t fathom why they aren’t working on the problems that oftentimes, most people perceive they should be working on.
At the core of all the trust references above is the art of communication. Those who clearly hear and see what is happening can get a head start with the formulation of their message. Those who get their messages intercepted or hijacked are often irreparably damaged. To that end, I make this hypothesis.
Without making cyber security a priority, an event will occur and people will not trust you anymore.
Once you have shown to be compromised at least one time, people will, by their nature, conclude that you may be compromised again, in the future. In football, once a player has a torn ACL, that person is considered to be at a high risk for another ACL injury. The same is true of a company that has their network hacked, and they lose control or access to confidential information. Once they get hacked, intrinsic trust both from current customers and prospective customers is jeopardized.
Once people don’t trust you, you go out of business.
Despite the volume of people who innately agree with this, it remains an item of intrigue that most small and medium sized business won’t address cyber security with the focus that it deserves. A seemingly endless stream of front page stories with details of how a company or government gets hacked are consumed by readers, but there isn’t enough thoughtful introspection happening.
TNT has enacted a series of cyber security mandates. We won’t take on anyone as a managed service customer if they don’t comply with our best practices (or they sign a waiver). We live in a hospital of sick people, yet a lot of folks still won’t wear gloves and masks when they enter the ER. TNT is establishing baseline protocols to ensure that our customers are not only protected but also trained in cyber security proactive behavior.
Want to learn more about the cyber security threats facing small businesses?