BEN FRANKLIN: Cyber visionary

July 11, 2022

A Lesson from Ben Franklin on Cyber-Protection

Ben Franklin is famous for pithy wisdom, and one of his most famous sayings is: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

In colonial America, the biggest threat to life and property, aside from disease, was the risk of fire, which could spread quickly due to dense building of wood structures. Franklin developed a five-pronged approach to prevent and combat the destructive menace of fires. 

Of course the internet and email were not around in Franklin’s Day, but TEKRiSQ has crafted a parallel to Franklin’s approach in dealing with cyber-intrusions in today’s world.

Franklin’s approach to fire security

Prevention. Since lightning is a peril that often leads to fires, Franklin experimented with ways to neutralize lightning. He invented the lightning rod and promoted it use.

Mitigation. In 1736, Franklin co-founded the Union Fire Company in Philadelphia, the first volunteer fire department. Each of the 30 members had to bring six leather buckets whenever a fire was reported.

Insurance. Realizing that the financial consequences of fires are catastrophic, Franklin co-founded the first insurance company in America ― the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire. This helped shift the financial consequences from the damages caused by fires.

Knowledge. Franklin helped establish the first library in the U.S. to help the common person to have access to history, science and other subjects. Most of the books were in English, not Latin, to allow for wide readership.

He anonymously authored an editorial, “On Protection of Towns from Fire,” which was addressed to himself and published in The Pennsylvania Gazette in 1735.

Diplomacy. As a diplomat, Franklin was one of the original drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. He also negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War.6 His diplomatic efforts allowed him to create a culture of collaboration in whatever he did.

The TEKRiSQ parallel for cybersecurity

Consider that despite the explosive growth of cyber-threats, many companies feel paralyzed in their approach to implementing preventative measures. At TEKRiSQ we embrace Franklin’s lessons to help clients in the following ways:

Prevention. The first preventive step is a meaningful assessment of the readiness of an organization to prevent and deal with a cyber-intrusion. The assessment is easy to perform and not time consuming. For ease of implementation, the findings are presented using a one-on-one video call that eschews technical jargon.

Mitigation. We deliver heightened security with simple low cost tools to protect your passwords and your access to data. We monitor the frequency that your data is being backed up to the cloud. We also focus on cyber-security areas such as vulnerability to ransomware and EFT fraud.

Insurance. Even with the best measures in place it is always prudent to have cyber-insurance to transfer risk. Our work can result in lower insurance premiums through premium credits with higher available insurance limits.

Knowledge. A critical component of creating a culture of cyber-prevention is training. Successful training can convert workforce liabilities into allied assets that constitute a human firewall. To accomplish this goal, the staff must understand how the assessment’s recommendations fit within the organization’s operations, the relevance, and of course, how to implement them. “Boilerplate” materials must be avoided.

Diplomacy. It takes finesse to engender faithful compliance with cyber-safety protocol. Training must be diplomatic, emphasizing progress not punishment. Ongoing monitoring, also conducted diplomatically, can assess whether existing and new employees are embracing a mindset of prudent practices.

As Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said.” Let TEKRiSQ help you protect your company so that you can achieve peace of mind. We look forward to being of service.