Life Lessons From Ben: Own Up

Ian’s Blog post about Target a couple weeks ago couldn’t help but put a smile on my face, being from Minneapolis where it is headquartered, the post didn’t have much negative to say about the company other than the data breach. The post talks about how Target handled the data breach very well and how the company stepped forward and owned their mistake. Ian raises a very important question at the end of the post however. Why don’t more companies act this way?

There have been countless examples of companies not owning their mistakes as we saw in last week’s blog post. The Nike case we talked about in class is a prime example of this. They would simply say that it wasn’t their responsibility to maintain working conditions because it wasn’t their factories. Not their factories, not their problem. This is not a very healthy way of doing business. Other companies have had data breaches and have not had nearly the positive response that target had.

The PlayStation Network of Sony was hacked several times but the one that I am referring to happened in mid-2010 and they did a terrible job of owning up to it. Forbes tells us the 77 million user network had more than 12 million people with their credit cards attached to those account. Not only was the breach bad enough, Sony didn’t come out with what had actually happened for over a week after the initial breach. The classic apology was then given 11 days after the breach with no advice on what to do when it came to credit cards. According to experts, such as the president of the Information System Security Association, called Sony out for the way that their firewalls and software was set up. They claimed that there were extra measures that they could have taken in order to prevent this from happening.

In my opinion there are so many ways to handle situations such as the ones Target and Sony were in. They can either own their mistakes and deal with the consequences or try to hide behind the scenes and let it blow over. I was always raised as a kid that owning up to your mistakes, makes it easier to recover from them. This can be seen still today between Target and Sony. Target has gained back most of its good will and people don’t think too much into the data breach anymore. However when it comes to Sony’s PlayStation Network, I still have second thoughts about trusting the protection on my information. That is why whenever I buy something from the PSN I never save my credit card information. Companies have two choices, and they are very different from one another. One is right and one is wrong. You decide.

Forbes Article

PCworld article




3 thoughts on “Life Lessons From Ben: Own Up

  1. I like how you compared Target’s breach with that of another company, Sony and contrasted the different ways that they decided to deal with it. Sony waited 11 days before telling the public that the credit card numbers of 12 million people are in the hands of some hackers – I wonder why Sony even thought that hiding that information would be a good idea – surely the truth would come out sooner or later and you’re right, most of the time covering up a mistake is worse than the mistake itself.


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