Article by Ainsley Lawrence
As an entrepreneur, are you doing everything possible to protect your tech-centric business from all potential legal liabilities? If you want your company to last the test of time, then this should not be a difficult question to answer. To be covered, however, you must understand the many factors that could negatively impact your business.
A company that revolves around technology or operates with the assistance of technology is especially vulnerable because threats can come from anywhere around the world. The last thing you need is for your business to take a hit from a hacker or an error in your latest software package. Damage from these events could lead to a loss of customers and an impact on your bottom line. Luckily, there are many protections already in existence that can assist, and your business should take full advantage.
The Right Type of Insurance
Every company needs to be insured just in case the unforeseeable occurs, and your business takes a hit financially or otherwise. At a minimum, liability insurance is necessary because it covers the cost of bodily injury, property damage, and harm to your reputation. Having proof of insurance is a good sign for customers or potential business partners.
Liability is only one type of insurance, however. There are other forms that can be crucial for a tech-based business. For instance, all software development companies should have Technology Errors and Omissions insurance, which protects them if a client was to find fault with their software. So, if your software prevented a company from being able to accept orders for 24 hours or a back-up system you created breaks down, this insurance could mitigate the costs to your organization.
Every business, technical or otherwise, should also have data breach insurance. According to recent studies, a single instance of cybercrime resulting in a data breach can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlement fees. This is exceptionally damaging, especially to a small business. There can be many reasons for a data breach, including system malfunctions, hackers, or even employee mistakes. Data breach insurance can help with these costs, and more advanced products also offer services that notify customers and create crisis-management teams to help clean up the mess.
Safeguarding Your Website
If your business has a website or provides network access to customers and clients, then these portals must be protected at all costs. Cybercrime is a major liability to tech-centric companies, and it is essential that your customers can trust that you will keep their information secure. To maintain that trust, general protections must be enforced, including firewall security and antivirus protection.
The best antivirus software can monitor your system for new threats and eliminate them upon contact. If the software detects holes in your protection, it can provide an alternative plan of action, so the incident does not happen again. Antivirus software also protects your employees from going to malicious sites where spyware traps may lie. Since hackers can easily take advantage of tech companies, you don’t want to make it easier by allowing unrestricted uploads onto your site. If you must allow users to upload data, then antivirus software is especially critical.
Even though technology has advanced by leaps and bounds when it comes to securing websites, customers are still skittish about providing their payment information. While any leaked information can be dangerous, allowing the leakage of credit card information is especially damaging to a business. So, leave your payment processing to the professionals with third-party processors like PayPal or Amazon Payments that make it a priority to create a secure checkout experience.
Protect Your Data
Your business data and the information of your customers must be protected at all costs. Out of all the industries in the world, tech companies should be the most up to date on data protection measures because of the unending amount of information that flows through their systems. To ensure that data is protected, a risk management strategy must be implemented from day one.
A risk management plan should take into account every possible problem that your company could face, from employee error to a full-blown cyberattack. Rank the likeliness of each scenario and then put carefully thought out plans in place for how your company will patch the holes in your security and reduce the potential costs, lack of production, and harm to your brand. The main component of any data security plan is a dependable back-up system that is located either in the cloud or stored separately from your main computer network, so an attack there will not result in the loss of your back-up as well.
Tech companies should also be able to properly dispose of unneeded documents and out of date computer systems. In either case, this information should not be thrown into the trash without taking proper precautions. Paperwork should be shredded so it cannot be stolen and read. Before getting rid of old equipment, all data must be deleted, and the hard drives formatted. As an extra precaution in both of these instances, you can use a professional shredding company that will ensure that everything is done correctly, and your company is not at risk.
As a tech company, you are a leader for the future, but as your technology advances, so do the risks. Avoid the potential for lawsuits and damage to your corporate reputation with these essential tools.