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False Security

September 23, 2015

Macbook and Surface ProRecently I got into one of those discussions that I knew just wasn’t going to go anywhere. It would have been easier to discuss deviant sex, racial profiling, politics or religion. But no, I had to step into the thing that will surely create the basis for world war three. I suggested that Apple products were not immune to Malware. Yikes!

I don’t want to go there again, just let me say that even Apple Support Blogs discuss that one should not be too sanguine as to think there is nothing to worry about simply because you are using a Macbook. Especially because most users have no clue how the operating system “works,” and what the difference is between Viruses, Trojans and other Malware. And why would Apple want to be proud that their market penetration is so small that the hackers don’t care to “waste time on them?” [According to Apple’s own numbers they have 7.8% of the WW 2Q15 PC shipments and only 13.5% of US Shipments.]

I maintain that there are only two kinds of computer users in the world — those who know they’ve been hacked and those who haven’t yet discovered that they’ve been hacked (or otherwise infected). Of course, this got me thinking about security or, more importantly, lack thereof.

Similarly, I live in a community that has an automated gate at the entrance. It is a “senior” community; that is one that requires at least one of the partners be 55 or older. No one younger is allowed to live in the community unless they are a family caregiver. I’m guessing that the average age is well above 55 and so mostly baby boomer or traditional generations. And to them, these gates provide some sort of security. They of course do not. There is no guard at the gate, so people simply follow a resident in when they open the gate. And, even more annoying are the folks who stop in front of the gate and wait for a resident to come up behind them and open the gate. Idiots. They are blocking the card reader that many residents use to open the gates!

I don’t have any easy solutions to this issue. The gates are not providing security. I’ve been told that the State has told folks that they cannot call these gates security gates unless there is a guard posted twenty four hours. Instead, they must be referred to as automated gates when discussing the benefits of the community. Since they don’t provide security, I wonder why we incur the expense of maintenance and the inconvenience of waiting for them to operate. One might suggest that we are a rich community because we have those gates and thus invite break-ins because of them. Likewise, Apple fans might consider that they are inviting black-hat-hackers to spend time proving that they can indeed break into the iOS X system by being so confident that they can’t be hacked.

I believe that sometimes we make the same “mistake” in our businesses. We get overconfident in our position, product, service or brand. Then — bang, we are disrupted by some new way of doing things. We wake up and realize that the moat has been crossed, the draw-bridge compromised, the crossbow replaced by some noisy, smokey thing that can launch a lead ball more accurately and farther than the arrow. I think Andy Grove was right — “Only the Paranoid Survive.”

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