Emerging Markets Law

Cyber Protection for Growth

According to a new survey by insurer Nationwide, almost half of all businesses have been the victim of a cyberattack without knowing it. 

Most of the headlines about cyber exposure and planning focus on the need to avoid exposure to consumer claims. This neglects the real purpose of cyber planning for most companies, however: protecting your revenue and securing your growth. 

Many businesses don’t have a lot of “personally identifiable information” on file, and the penalties associated with losing control over that information are generally not large (outside healthcare, financial services, and similar industries).  With those facts in front of you, it can be hard to justify spending scarce resources on a defensive plan. 

However, your own business assets and your own growth/succession are at risk no matter what kinds of records you hold in your company.  The time and money you spend on developing and practicing good cyber habits is priceless when you think about your IP, your trade secrets, your pricing, your “secret sauce” getting out via a hacker. Bad guys troll for valuable information all the time, and often sell batches of information via online black markets. This has nothing to do with the headline grabbing consumer suits that garner all the attention. 

How would you value your business in a sale if you knew you’d been the victim of a cyberattack and couldn’t demonstrate that your core assets remained secure?  How would you talk to your investors or your board following an attack?  What would you want to know about a target’s cyber habits before buying its business? 

These are the questions that should be driving our discussion of cybersecurity planning.  #cyberforgrowth – not cybersecurity as a means to fend off rare (and rarely successful) consumer claims.  

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