The Test

Everyone who has read The Educated Franchisee knows how I feel about keeping things positive, aggressively dealing with negatives, taking ownership and learning.  Well, two weeks ago I was tested.

On March 19th, a hacker accessed our system and sent out a malicious email to everyone in our database.  I learned about this within 15 minutes and actually felt a hot flash of anger and indignation flow through my body.  It was like waking up to find an intruder standing in your living room.  Within 30 minutes we kicked out the intruder, secured the system and sent out an email letting everyone know what was going on.

However, I was still worried.  How bad was the hacker’s email?  Would my friends be damaged?  Would everyone be angry with me for letting this happen?  In the end, there were no reports of damage but more amazingly were the emails of support and understanding.  I received hundreds of emails from folks thanking my team for addressing the issue so quickly.  Not one email was angry or abusive.   Amazing.

So, where do we go from here?   What did we learn?  Not sure if I have all the lessons figured out yet but here are a few thoughts –

  1. If an admin user is not active in the system, delete their user ID.  Nothing good comes from leaving these doors unattended.
  2. We all need to update our passwords more often.
  3. I am the only one expecting perfection from myself.  Everyone else is amazingly understanding.
  4. My first reaction is not always my best reaction.  I need to stop, take a breath and calm myself before responding.
  5. My team is awesome.  They all ran toward the fire with competence and purpose.  Could not ask for more.
  6. More Lessons?   What am I missing?

It always takes time to fully understand the lessons and I am sure there are many I am missing.   Over time they will come to light and I will grow as a result.

As you face challenges in your life and business, remember to keep things positive, aggressively deal with the negatives, take ownership, and dig to find the lessons.