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CounterTack’s Mike Davis on the Top 5 Ways Customers Get Hacked

Hacker with money

In a world of rapidly evolving technologies and devices, it’s easy to get hacked.

CounterTack's Mike DavisMike Davis, chief technology officer at CounterTack, knows a thing or two about the threats channel partners and their customers face. He will delve into the topic at Channel Partners Evolution, Aug. 14-17, in Washington, D.C. He’ll lead a concurrent education session dubbed “The Top 5 Ways Customers Get Hacked.

Davis took time to answer several questions from Channel Partners about his upcoming keynote.{ad}

Channel Partners: There seems to be an ongoing stream of speeches and articles about security in the channel nowadays. Do you think partners and their customers have been taking the warnings seriously?

Mike Davis: Sadly, it seems that most companies don’t take it really seriously until they are hacked. Many like to do lip service, or if they are in an industry that is regulated, the minimum required to be compliant. I think the biggest impact is when a channel partner decides to “bake in” the security into their offering. This approach is a “rising tide lifts all boats” technique that actually works. By not giving the end user an option, they are more secure by default.

CP: I know you don’t want to give away all of your presentation, but indulge us a little. What is the No. 1 way customers get hacked?

MD: Psychology. Either via phishing emails, fake websites or even fake ads being displayed on legitimate websites. Attackers have moved from trying to break technology to simply convincing or asking the user to make a mistake and it is very effective. In my [session] I will talk about why employees make these risky decisions and how to help reduce their impact.

CP: How do you hope partners will interact differently with customers after hearing your talk? What’s the big takeaway?

MD: Security is a process, not a technology or single event and they need to start that process internally first, and then with customers second. As the interconnected web of partners, vendors, and customers is weaved by customer outsourcing, leveraging cloud services, etc., more and more we are reliant upon each other. The partner with the weakest link in the web may bring the entire thing down for a customer.

CP: You’ve spent a long time in the security field. What’s the biggest change, whether that be in threats or the way threats are handled?

MD: The single biggest change has been awareness. Folks like myself were considered spooks, or even conspiracy theorists for many years. Now CEOs, boards and the public realize there is a threat, but they don’t fully understand the impact or how to address it. Now that people agree there is a problem, we can work together to find a solution that scales and is actually implementable by partners and customers alike.


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