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LinuxSecurity.com: Security is Not a Luxury Anymore for Small Business

Jul 07, 2000, 20:25 (0 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Dave Wreski for this link. ]

"Many young, cash-strapped online companies mistakenly consider the security of their e-business a luxury they cannot yet afford, a to-do item for later down the road. This shortsighted thinking is precisely what destroyed one very promising e-business I know in San Francisco. Out of respect for the privacy of this otherwise well-run company, I would like to protect their identity. But their sad tale contains a useful lesson for small businesses everywhere. By telling their story I hope to help other small businesses to avoid making the same mistakes.

"This company seemed to have everything going for it. Their merchandise was of the highest quality. Their website looked sharp. The online order process was efficient and speedy. Their excellent customer service was the frequent subject of news articles and customer testimonials. In short, this e-business, it appeared, was doing everything right."

"When this company was on the verge of a big expansion, they experienced a security breach. A criminal hacker broke into the company's web site and stole several hundred credit card numbers and other vital customer information. ... Consistent with its reputation for good customer service, the online e-tailor offered formal apologies as well as partial re-imbursements to all of the affected customers. The management of the company also assured its other customers that such a breach would never happen again. These assurances, however appreciated by some of the customers, were not enough to assuage the concerns of several venture capitalists that were interested in investing in the company. ... the e-business in question is chugging along today as a minor player in a regional market that they were once poised to dominate.

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