The importance of privacy/data protection for small businesses

In Business Organizations by Coolidge Wall

While technology can generate many new benefits and opportunities for small businesses, it can also raise challenges. Among these are data and privacy protection challenges. Modern technology has made it easy than ever for small businesses to compile, store, transfer and access data. Given this, many small businesses have a great deal of digital data, with the data sometimes containing a considerable amount of private information.

With so much data, concerns can arise regarding ensuring that this data and private information about customers and companies a business is working with aren’t compromised or improperly accessed. Data/privacy problems can put a business in a real precarious position. Such problems could erode the trust levels customers and other businesses have towards the business, which could jeopardize many things for the business, including possibly its ability to stay up and running. Such problems could also lead to a company facing considerable litigation.

One of the things that can lead to data/private-information-related problems for a business is a business not being careful enough in how it handles data and private information. This is among the reasons why it can be so important for a small business to have good and strong data-handling and privacy policies in place in connection to its operations. Skilled attorneys can assist small businesses with forming data and privacy policies and other key policies related to technology.

Cyber attacks are another thing that could lead to significant data/privacy problems for a company. There are many kinds of malware out there, including ransomware, that, if they were to get into a small business’ systems, could create a cybersecurity and data nightmare for a small business. Malware attacks have become increasingly common and malware is getting more and more sophisticated. Additionally, small businesses are increasingly becoming targets of cyber criminals.

Given this environment, good cybersecurity practices can be vital for a small business. This can include things like: paying appropriate attention to potential cybersecurity risk-points in one’s business, taking appropriate steps to address such points and having policies in place that promote safe computer and online practices among employees.

Source: CNBC, “Warning: A wave of new viruses is targeting small businesses,” Constance Gutske, June 28, 2016