Hackers give CEO a quick lesson in security

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers

CEOs don’t often busy themselves with IT considerations, until a crisis threatens. So it was for Ted Chung, CEO of South Korea’s largest consumer-finance company, who was told by hackers that if he didn’t pay them $500,000, they’d release confidential information.

Before the experience, says Chung, he viewed the IT department as just one of many units. Now he considers it as essential to everything the company does.

The experience taught him several key lessons:

__Stay open and transparent. Chung decided to update clients right away. Many offered to help.

__ Learn IT. Though a CEO may not understand programming, he or she should understand the basics of hacking.

__ Create a philosophy that drives IT decisions. “For example, if we put in a much stronger security system, then our customers may have to wait a couple of minutes every time they access our website. That’s not an IT issue.

“We have to decide what kind of philosophy or policy direction we are going to take. There is not one right answer for every company.”

-- Adapted from “Executive Learns From Hack,” Evan Ramstad, The Wall Street Journal.

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