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Cyber Attacks in Fire and Life Safety

Billy Marshall
April 17, 2019

In 2019, there’s a fresh wave of ransomware hackers targeting US-based fire and life safety contractors that have legacy server systems. Several have been either forced to pay a bounty or face devastating disruptions when the cyber attack is unleashed.  If you believe you are safe because no one is going to notice or care about your business, you are wrong. And the weakest link on your network that hosts your legacy server systems is no match for the professional criminals that are extorting you.


Now is the time to move all of your critical customer operations data to a modern cloud architecture.  It is no longer a matter of being competitive in customer operations in your market. It is now about a choice to remain an ongoing business concern or be wiped out by a cyber criminal.  The idea that you want to connect all of your technicians and all of your customers to a server on your network for them to collaborate in delivering your service value opens up innumerable vulnerabilities.  It is just a crazy idea. If instead, they are all connecting to Amazon’s network (all ServiceTrade applications are protected by Amazon’s security) or Google’s network or Microsoft’s network, you are largely insulated from attack.  

No one keeps their financial assets in a safe on their property any longer – they trust a commercial financial institution to be a good steward and use computers to deliver interesting applications to protect those assets while growing their value.  It is time to take the same approach with what is arguably the most valuable asset of your business – your customer operations data. Who do you serve? What is the schedule? What equipment do they have? How do they pay you? What is your contract with them?  What new opportunities for revenue are at their locations? If this information is protected by Amazon or Google or Microsoft, your business can continue to deliver value everyday. If it is vulnerable because of a legacy server on your network, that value can slip away pretty quickly.  Don’t lose what you have worked so hard to build simply because you did not take the time to transition to a modern customer management platform.


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