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Wednesday, 30 December 2015 14:25

Q&A: Q&A: John Hey, COO, Trivalent Group

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The threat of electronic corporate espionage and data theft has become a reality for businesses across all sectors, according to John Hey, COO at Grand Rapids-based tech firm Trivalent Group. While it’s difficult to predict the nature of those attacks, Hey advocates for a commonsense approach to cyber security.


How do businesses combat threats to cyber security when bad actors always seem to be ahead of the game?

You’re a little bit at the mercy of the tool set that’s available to combat or prevent the threats from affecting you. It’s also a knowledge set. We simply do our best. I’m not like a dark-suit-and-sunglasses guy with an earpiece that’s going to come into your company and give you a government-level security lockdown. It’s about common sense and safe practices and using all five senses to make sure something doesn’t happen.


What are some best practices to cyber security that businesses should adopt?

A lot of it can seem obvious, but if you’re not used to living in this world, you’re not really what you’d consider tech-savvy. A lot of what we talk about is making it difficult to gain access with long, complex passwords, non-intuitive credentials and things like that to make it difficult. Security is not convenient. They are mutually exclusive so you have to just get over it.


What do you expect the largest cyber security threats will be in 2016?

I really think you’re going to see a continuation of what we deal with now, because it works. There are phishing and scams because they work, and those aren’t going away until they quit working. In October, a lot of us got new credit cards and those have chips in them and they are going to change the way we conduct transactions with credit cards at our stores. I have to think that someone along the way is going to figure out a way — or at least attempt — to compromise those. I think that’s going to come in the next year.


What types of businesses will be targeted more frequently than in the past?

To me, anything in the financial arena is always going to be a target just because of the nature of the business. When you get outside of that, retail is what we hear about. We hear about the Targets and Home Depots because point of sale is an entry point. Once you get beyond that, whether it’s manufacturers or anything else, I don’t think that there’s one that really leans over the other.

Interview conducted and condensed by John Wiegand.

Read 2478 times Last modified on Monday, 11 January 2016 13:02

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