7. Security Breaches
Liability. There are only two types of companies doing business on the internet. There are those with security breaches and those that lie about it. Many companies cover up or bury their heads in the sand when it comes to internet security issues. Whether it is corporate espionage, theft of customer information or virtual vandalism security breaches are stealing money from your bottom line.
Often, lapses in internet security translate into damages many times the value of your entire company. Security breaches may arise from hackers, who do it for fun or profit. The most common security breaches, however, result internally from disgruntled or careless employees. Damages associated with information technology security breaches total over $1.5 trillion annually.
Solution. Obviously an online security policy suitable for a wholesale mattress manufacturer is not appropriate for an internet dating business. As the types of security breaches are as varied as the types of companies, you must carefully tailor your internet security policy to the particular type of company and website you own. Even if not legally required, a strict online security policy is essential for keeping your company online, in business and out of court. The scope and depth of your policy will also depend on the type of business you run.
Depending upon the relationship you have with your competition, it may be worth collaborating on security issues and keeping an open door policy with regard to breaches. If you notice unusual internet activity indicating an attempted security breach, it might be worth discussing the issue with your competitor to determine if they have experienced a similar problem and what they did to resolve the issue. Although the temptation may be great to use your competitor’s security issues inappropriately, the long term rewards you will reap from keeping the line of communication open will likely far outweigh any short term gain the security issue might provide.
The best advice, as always, is to seek out the advice of an experienced ecommerce attorney to assist you in drafting and implement an online security policy, tailored specifically to your business.