December 23, 2014

I’m Not Supposed To Write Political Commentary. So This Is About The Glass Industry

By Paul Bieber

Let’s say that you are working on a new design for a customer’s curtain wall. All of a sudden, your computer is hacked, your design stolen and you get a threat, via email, not to bid on this job or your company will be in trouble.

This is a job that would have kept your crew busy for two months along with a very good gross margin for the company.  Two days later some of your personal information is put up on the web, including a copy of last year’s tax return.  Now you know the hacker is serious.

What should you do?

Call the police or FBI?  Go to your customer; tell them what happened and ask them not to buy the job from anyone else?  Publish a note to the hacker saying you agree and won’t go after this job?  Curl up with a bottle of Southern Comfort(tm) and hope this goes away on its own?

(This blog, by the way, has no relation to the recent hacking of Sony Pictures.  If it did then “they” might want to hack my computer.  They would be bored.)

Again, what should you do?  Now, since I don’t own a glass installer and have a crew of outside glaziers, then I should be the last person giving advice here.  But, if I did own or manage this shop, then I would immediately call the police, the FBI and Mrs. Hastings’ fifth grade class at the local elementary school.  Her class will surely have a handful of computer geniuses who can both trace the hack and give me the right ways to protect my data.  I would go to my customer and tell them what happened, asking them if they get other bids on this job, with my design, to call the FBI and let them track down how this new player got the design and priced the bid.

I would call the local newspapers and TV stations, telling them about this hack, so when they receive personal information about my company they would know it was obtained illegally.

If I didn’t get the curtain wall, I know my company would get other work from customers who wanted to support me.  Sure my business would be totally interrupted, but sometimes when you are an entrepreneur, things do go bump in the night and you have to react, investing time and resources.

And then, I would still curl up with my Southern Comfort.

One last thought to my loyal readers…Elaine and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, safe and happy 2015.