When starting your small company, the biggest fear is the fear of failure due to some unforeseen mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the business but one should endeavor to avoid making any fatal mistake. Small businesses usually make the most mistakes in business due to inexperience but it does not mean that large companies are immune to making mistakes as we have often witnessed with several mega-companies. There are many lessons that one can learn from the mistakes of larger companies and below we will look at some of the outstanding lessons.
Always be prepared and guarded for misfortune
Huge companies are at times guilty of being too comfortable and they tend to become careless. For example, the security attack on the Apple iCloud where private celebrities’ photos were hacked and leaked on the internet is an example of a company that had very likely become too confident in its security system and it was caught napping. Another good example is the famous November 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment hack where some North Korea hacker groups known as the Guardians of Peace were able to hold Sony at Ransom after exfiltrating terabytes of sensitive data belonging to Sony executives and Sony customers.
These two companies did not have the best security measures in place and they were only able to identify the breach in their systems after much damage had been done. A good business will be able to put measures in place to prevent such infiltration and make sure that when the inevitable attack penetrates their defenses, they will be able to detect the attack early and mitigate the damage.
Be very careful of the content in any communication, especially email and social media
In the Sony Pictures Entertainment saga, the Guardians of Peace were able to expose some embarrassing communication from some top-level executives, especially the famous racist email that discussed President Obama’s movie watching preferences. The North Korea hackers were also able to expose communication that was belittling some of Sony’s actors and it even exposed intricate private information about Sony employees.
Expert, motivated, and fully focused hackers will eventually find a way to get into any company’s data vaults. Apart from setting up the best defenses to derail them as much as possible, it is wise not to have any incriminating data that can be used against the business. Old unnecessary emails should be erased and employees should be sensitized as to what they include in their emails and social media communication.
Be ready to take responsibility for the sake of your customers
In October 2014, the app company, Buffer, experienced a serious breach in their security. This breach resulted in thousands of spam messages being sent all over Facebook. The company did a brilliant thing by quickly owning up to the breach and apologizing to its customers through multiple means of communication. They also set up a blog where they continually updated the customers on the progress of the breach resolution process.
This move was very important to win the confidence of the customer. Instead of playing the blame game, and pointing fingers to people who Buffer customers did not know and did not care about, the company took full responsibility leading to the customers rallying behind the company, sending well wishes, and thanking the company for the way that they handled the entire incident.