The recent security breach of one of the more prominent crowdfunding platforms, among many other prominent social media and commercial platforms breached, are becoming commonplace. So what does it mean for business owners and managers?
Many people seem to gravitate to the “flavor of the month” platforms, whether they are social media, e-commerce, mobile, or messaging. From the misguided perspective of both corporations and users, the more popular the platform, the more secure it is.
The truth, blatant and painful as it is, is that there is absolutely no convergence between a platform’s security and its popularity. And often, the more popular the platform, given the same available security every security-conscious company would employ, the more insecure such a platform may become simply because there is more “incentive” for the evil ones to attempt to breach it. It would be delusional to equate “big” with “secure”.
Enabling platforms such as social media, mobile, messaging or e-commerce, are merely commercial entities that will come and go. Their popularity is often transient, and quickly supplanted by new entrants, as users get bored with the popular platforms. This is especially true for the younger users these days. As soon as a social media platform becomes pervasive and used by parents and grandparents, younger users migrate to other platforms. Loyalty to a platform is fleeting.
So, what would a typical business owner or manager do?
We can still tap on good quality platforms, whether they are social media, messaging, mobile or e-commerce, for our continuing business needs. But we need not become blindly loyal, and must recognize the trends of users and where they gravitate to. It is not wise to also jump ship too fast, too often, as users will not follow us consistently, and we will then bleed users away every time we move platforms.
We should religiously keep track of security trends and lapses, so that we are able to articulate our security needs to our in-house teams, or external consultants. In the instance of lapses that are very worrying, we should responsibly inform our users and move on from certain platforms with alternative platforms as soon as possible, or even preemptively when we can.
The most important, however, is to religiously build on our own content and platforms, such as all other public platforms we tap on are NOT our central enabling platforms, but supplemental ones. Our own web platforms should provide the full-spectrum of native capabilities for social media, messaging, mobile access, and e-commerce. For small business owners and even larger entities, if there are no available or adequate in-house expertise, be wise to seek outside help. Look for real expertise, and not merely those who provide services at low cost, or discuss at length on the technical capabilities. We are responsible and accountable for our own businesses and our own survival, and our own users’ trust in us. Trust is often difficult to build, and too easy to lose.
Have you built your own enabling web platforms for all your needs yet? Perhaps it is time to think about it, do it effectively, and promptly.
PS – I deleted my account at that crowdfunding platform, since I am fully capable of generating publicity and interest as a publicist, and I would rather buy direct from a viable new venture anyway.