Jacob Maslow
Fiat justitia ruat caelum

What I Learned About Business From Israeli Hacks

Anti-Semitism is still alive and well. I have noticed a growing trend of anti-Semitism lately, and while I am not happy about it, I have learned a lot from the recent hatred. A recent event in Arizona taught me a lot about business.

An electronic road sign – you know, the ones that warn you of construction dates or accidents ahead – was hacked.

The event led to the hacker changing the sign to say “Hail Hitler.” And when police officers attempted to shut the sign off, they found that they couldn’t because it was password protected. Owned by a private company, officers had no other option but to cover the sign until the unnamed company could be reached.

You may also remember that this very website, Times of Israel, was hacked by a group of Turkish hackers. The hack was on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Times of Israel responded quickly with a tweet that claimed: “The Times of Israel is under hacker attack. We’re working to restore normal service as soon as possible.”

I’m sure that the host or manager for the site’s servers were contacted and assisted in finally getting the site back up and running.

As a business man, I have learned a lot from these two incidents, and I believe that through all of the hatred and negativity, we can all learn a lot here.

First, I learned that you have to expect the unexpected. The incident in Arizona had password protected features that didn’t allow officers to shut the unit down. Sometimes, you have control over these situations, but most people don’t know you can even hack road signs. The company, which went unnamed, suffered from embarrassment thanks to their name not being disclosed.

This unexpected occurrence may, and I am just speculating here, result in a partnership with local law enforcement wherein they can override a road sign or shut it off. An emergency contact may be created to assist in these unexpected cases.

Prompt customer service would have corrected the issue quickly, but as many of us know, customer service is waning. I believe establishing a hotline with 24-hour responsiveness for emergency situations may be the best solution for businesses.

Partnerships can also help correct issues that happen in business. Close cooperation with your hosting provider can help restore a site and even pinpoint the source of a hack.

Backups are important, we all know that, but there are several items I have failed to backup properly. Times of Israel could detect the flaw that led to the hack and restore their site to the most recent backup. But if the company didn’t have a backup and data was destroyed, the site’s reputation would have been ruined in the process.

I also learned that when something bad happens to your business – whether it be a hack, defacement or scandal – it’s best to alert customers. Times of Israel addressed the problem on social media, and they did a great job commenting on the matter. Readers had an outlet to express their concerns and even praised the publication for acting swiftly to restore the hacked website.


About the Author
 Jacob Maslow is passionate about writing and has started numerous blogs and news sites. Jacob is originally from Brooklyn. He packed up his five children and made Aliyah in 2014. Jacob's experience and varied interests lend themselves to a diverse palette of topics ranging from technology, marketing, politics, social media, ethics, current affairs, family matters and more. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys being an active member of social media including groups on Facebook and taking in the latest movies. 
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