Column: Discourage would-be hackers

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Commentary by J. Douglas Kouns

Skilled hackers, with enough time and resources, will find a way to get into just about any system, no matter how well fortified, if they believe the reward is great enough.

Marriott is the latest victim, but Equifax, Facebook, Under Armor and several other major companies also were compromised this year. All are giants, and one would assume each has robust and expensive IT security programs.

So, what are the medium- and small-sized companies to do? Just hope it doesn’t happen and wait? No.

The goal is to identify and deploy a risk-appropriate defense, secure enough to discourage would-be hackers.

The internet is a like a bad neighborhood with burglars lurking everywhere. Imagine Dave and Bob are neighbors. Dave has good door locks and deadbolts, a monitored alarm system, a rottweiler roaming the fenced-in yard and a sign that reads, “Protected by Smith & Wesson.”

Bob has none of this. He also leaves his doors unlocked sometimes and the upstairs windows cracked. As burglars stroll by, which target will they choose?

Don’t be like Bob.

J. Douglas Kouns is the chief executive officer of Carmel-based Veracity IIR, a global intelligence, investigation and research firm. For more, email him at doug@veracityiir.com.

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