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Law firms targeted for client's information

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When we first started WiKID, back in the days of Nextel J2ME phones and Mobitex Blackberries, the concept of using a software token on a wireless device faced one crucial issue:  very few companies had broad, company-wide deployments of wireless devices.  We spoke to Bellsouth and Cingular, but met a lot of resistance.  The info sec people there didn't want to risk choosing a start-up with a new two-factor authentication technology.  The other failing effort we made was targeting law firms, where each partner carried a Blackberry.  We made the argument that law firms should adopt two-factor authentication because they would be targeted for their client's information and maintaining security would help keep customers.  At the same time, lawyers needed access to information.  Did they bite? Not so much.

A mere 10 years later, comes a BusinessWeek article about Chinese attackers targeting law firms to get information on mergers. Of course, this type of attack has been going on for a good while now. It is just interesting to see it in the main street media.  While I doubt that this article will make law firms rush out and deploy two-factor authentication, I bet it forces law firms to up their game.  I suspect that clients will want a review of their law firm's security capabilities.

My take-away as an entrepreneur is that growing through cash-flow allowed WiKID to survive these market timing mis-calculations.  If we had raised capital to attack these markets, we would have failed and lost control of the company to the investors or have just shut down.  This is exactly what happened to some other Atlanta-based security start-ups during this same period. It has proven to me the adage that mis-managed growth is what most frequently kills start-ups.

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