Immediate Justification

September 17, 2009 — Leave a comment

When your technical department comes back with an assessment, whether complementary or paid, it should produce immediate opportunity!  If someone from the outside has installed secret code on your client’s PC and is able to access that system surreptitiously, will your client see it as critical?  Not if you simply tell them they have a virus or a port is open.  The message must be translated into an impact statement – “People have access to your finances and are using your computer to send out Trojans that give hackers access to all of your systems, as well as your client’s systems (a liability for your client)!”  This is urgent.

Understanding how spam works, and just how many computers are infected, will help you create a more powerful message.  Bursts of spam touting videos of Michael Jackson, IRS forms, and other hot news are used to propagate infections (bots).  Once infected, a system then becomes a relay, resending this infection to its contact lists.  Spam is not just annoying, it’s dangerous.  A recent post on my blog from ABC News claims 40% of all systems are infected. 

While systems may be protected by antivirus programs, bots are constantly changed to avoid detection (called polymorphic).  Tens of thousands of messages are sent at a time to infect systems while security vendors are working hard to catch up.  By the time they do, it’s too late.

In a today’s USAToday, the author of an article on spam states that systems, once infected, often must be rebuilt in order to completely resolve the issue. 

Change the way you message this to communicate high impact, urgency, and liability – this creates justification.  Read more in today’s USAToday:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2009-09-16-hackers-email-spam_N.htm

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