Paranoid Businesses Win

Everyone likes to think of themselves as a nice person. No one wants to be paranoid. You don’t wake up in the morning and say “let’s see how I can make this world a worse place to live”; aside from the Kim Jong’s of North Korea and Rick Santorum. Most of us prefer to avoid confrontation, have a belief that life is fair, and generally trust people. This sometimes works great in day-to-day life but will quickly destroy you in business.


Paranoia (Photo credit: Christian Heindel)

Paranoid Businesses

In business it’s best to be a little paranoid. When you’re paranoid you tend to automatically assume the worst. A slightly paranoid company is constantly assessing threats in order to protect itself from marauders. A well-organized paranoid company has two important assets:

1) A backup plan

2) A war chest

These paranoid companies know an attack at some point is eminent. It’s not so much a question of when as it is where. Attacks from competitors are expected. However, it’s the attacks from within that often times do the most damage. A single disgruntled employee with access to data can turn a company’s world upside down.

What’s a company to do? They need people to run their business but trusting people requires a little bit of luck and a whole lot of rules. If HR is doing their job right all new employees should have a background check before an offer to hire is even made. The biggest most important thing a company can do is limit access. Large and technology focused companies build infrastructure that can sometimes be an angry employee’s playground. If your file server is accessible to everyone then it’s vulnerable. If your servers are in the basement then you’re vulnerable. If your idea of backups is a nightly tape drive…well then not only are you massively vulnerable you’re also a decade behind.

Companies need to ask themselves what happens when something goes down, or even worse, it goes away forever. The rules you setup for the office also need to apply to the outside world. In fact with today’s Wi-Fi world your data is more at risk than ever before.

wi-fi garbage

Beware Wi-Fi Snoops

Does your sales team travel a lot? Are they prone to hang out in coffee shops with free Wi-Fi? An unsecured Wi-Fi is a snoop’s best friend. That guy with his laptop sitting next to you might just be waiting patiently for you to log into a site that’s unsecure and steal your username and password. If you think that’s never going to happen think again. The most popular snoop app for this kind of hacking has had millions of downloads and some of the most popular websites are the most vulnerable.

Security and paranoia go hand-in-hand. The more paranoid you are the more security you feel you need. However, in today’s world ignorance is dangerous especially when it comes to your business.


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