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Chapter 8. Defending Against Hackers (Posting Guards in the Town and Buildin...

Chapter 8. Defending Against Hackers (Posting Guards in the Town and Building Outposts)


Now that the town was growing and prospering, John had one last concern to address. He needed to ensure its continuing protection. That meant using deputies to help his sheriff keep the peace, and it meant building outposts around the town to provide protection and early warnings of trouble. When John got together with his current sheriff and deputies, they decided more help was needed, so he hired more deputies. Their job wasn’t the day-to-day law enforcement of corralling crooks or protecting the stagecoaches; it was watching what was going on in the town and letting the sheriff know if something unusual or suspicious was happening. The new deputies acted as eyes and ears in town so the sheriff and the senior deputies could do more work.

Next John and the other townspeople built outposts in the surrounding countryside. These also didn’t serve as a direct line of defense so much as an early warning system if something was happening or someone was coming. John knew that an early warning was crucial to good preparation. Knowing who was coming— and how many—meant being prepared to face the challenge rather than guessing or being surprised. The outposts were all manned with two observers, who kept at least one fresh horse for a quick ride back to town. The observers’ orders were simple: If you see something out of the ordinary, one of you ride to town and report it. Then get a fresh horse and ride back to resume the watching. The sheriff or John would send someone out to actually investigate the sighting.

John quickly realized that a lot of information was being gathered, and someone needed to actually review it all to see what was important. John found himself spending much of his time reviewing reports of activity, and he delegated to his sheriff the job of actually investigating. This was something he hadn’t anticipated, so over time he trained others to review the incoming reports so he could have some time to run the town. And they took one more step: They trained the observers in the outposts to filter information better so that unimportant activity was not reported.

After all this was in place, John felt he had achieved a level of security that enabled his town to grow and prosper while remaining protected. He could relax and things would be okay. He never let his guard down, but he didn’t have to work so hard now to keep things secured.


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