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What if Vu Built the Death Star?

Forget turkey, tinsel and the final of Strictly, the most exciting* thing on our horizon is the new Star Wars movie. It got us thinking about what would happen if a light-sabre wielding maniac stormed into our offices and said: “Your web building expertise has travelled across the galaxy…build me a super-weapon worthy of the Empire…”

Of course we would refuse on ethical grounds, but if they got all heavy with the Force we might agree to give them a few tips on how to avoid another epic fail.

Don’t Rush the Build

Now I’m not sure who decided to start beta-testing the Death Star 2 but not only did it look a right mess, it also had some pretty serious vulnerabilities and ended its life as the most expensive firework display in galactic history.

There are plenty of web developers out there who will similarly throw up a website for you in a few days. While we’re certainly not slow, we do follow a robust process that starts with finding out exactly what our clients need from a build before we start developing the code and designing the look of the site. Only after all parties are happy will we put the site live at which stage our clients can be sure it will be fully operational!

Take Security Seriously

If there’s anyone who knows how disruptive a hack can be it’s the bad guys from the Star Wars movies. If they had invested as much time and resource into defence as they did into attack they might still have a couple of planet-destroying space stations to be proud of.

Hackers – and rebel fighters – are always on the hunt for vulnerabilities and security providers are constantly closing them up with software updates. We suspect that it was a failure to update the latest security patch that allowed Luke Skywalker to fly his X-Wing right through that exhaust vent and take out Death Star 1.

Similarly, a decent anti-malware program would have surely spotted what Han and Chewie were up to in the depths of Starkiller Base.

In terms of a client’s website, we ensure that robust security certificates are in place, giving end users confidence that their data is not being compromised by criminals or Sith overlords.

Beware Outsourcing

Outsourcing can be a great strategy for saving time and money but any time a third-party is involved in a website it introduces a potential security weakness. Therefore, all third-party apps or services need to be vetted carefully to ensure they are as secure as the rest of the website. This is going to be increasingly important as Google and co. continue to push for tighter security measures.

The need for secure third-party services was clearly overlooked by the designers of Death Star 2 who were seriously let down by whoever was in charge of their shield generator on Endor. Being hacked is one thing but being taken apart by a bunch of spear-wielding teddy bears is a bit on the embarrassing side.

Respond Quickly to Threats

On top of building our clients high spec websites we can help them with their digital marketing and social media presence. Social media is a powerful force in today’s marketplace and shouldn’t be ignored. The biggest brands on the planet have their ears to the ground and can react quickly at the first sign of trouble.

A lack of responsiveness was just as much to blame for the destruction of Death Star 1 as the poorly protected exhaust vent. Unlike its much more efficient replacement, it took about a day to charge up its weapons systems – far too sluggish to survive even a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

Stop Repeating Old Mistakes

Einstein’s definition of insanity was as follows: ‘Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

Now let’s look at the progression of super-weapons from Star Wars IV up to Star Wars VII. First we had a big spaceship with a massive gun disguised as a big planet but with a fatal security flaw. Then we had an even bigger spaceship with a massive gun disguised as a big planet but still with a fatal security flaw. Then the First Order, in a twist on the theme brought us an even bigger spaceship that actually was a planet – yet still had a fatal security flaw.

The message is clear: if something is fundamentally wrong with your strategy, throwing more resources at it won’t help. Perhaps it’s time to go back to basics and perhaps consider a rebrand.

Build Productive Relationships

Perhaps our biggest piece of advice for an evil Star Wars empire would be to reign in on the competition and try cultivating some positive relationships with other forces in the galaxy.

The days where big monopolies ruled the world from the top down with massive marketing budgets and star-powered super-weapons is passing away and being replaced by a future of equal access to resources and social collaboration.

Building productive relationships with all life forms should be the goal of every organisation from the smallest start-up to the largest galactic empire.

 

* if you are massive Star Wars geeks like us

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