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More Small Businesses Ditching PCs for Tablets Despite Cyber Liability Risks

Monday, March 24, 2014/Categories: cyber-liability

Entrepreneur magazine reports that more and more small businesses are shifting away from desktop and laptop computers, opting instead for tablets and smartphones to conduct most or all of their business. Business owners who have made the switch rave about the agility and efficiency an all-mobile business affords them, and love the affordability of outfitting their companies with tablets.

But with the move to mobile comes an increased risk of data breaches and cyber liability. Here’s an overview of the risks mobile businesses face and how forward-thinking business owners can protect themselves.

What Cyber Liability Issues Do You Face?

If you own a small technology company, chances are your cyber liability risks fall under the “third-party” classification. This means you could be held liable for…

  • Maintaining the security of data you host for your clients.
  • Failing to prevent a data breach.
  • Failing to prevent the transmission of a virus.
  • Improper use of data (including theft and improper disclosure of confidential information).
  • Libel or slander.

Each of these issues has the potential to have significant ripple effects: a single virus or data breach can affect hundreds or thousands of people, putting their information at risk. Exposed information means thieves have easy access to it and can use the information to cause significant financial losses.

Affected parties might, naturally, bring a lawsuit against you or your company in an effort to recover the losses. If you’re found liable, the costs can be tremendous, but even if you’re not, you’ll have to mount a legal defense, which can be costly in and of itself.

How Can You Minimize Your Cyber Liability Risks?

Avoiding the costs associated with a data breach or virus is essential for any technology business owner interested in maintaining the financial viability of his or her firm. Managing your risks – especially if you rely heavily on mobile computing – is an ongoing, multi-faceted operation that should include…

  • Using anti-virus software as appropriate. Keeping your software up-to-date may never protect you from every virus out there, but it will shield you from a significant portion.
  • Enabling remote wiping capabilities. If a business-use mobile device is stolen or lost, having the ability to remotely delete data can serve as a last-ditch effort in keeping information out of the wrong hands.
  • Implementing a BYOD (Bring your own device) policy. If your employees are using their own mobile devices to conduct business, be sure to have a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in place. This will make clear what their responsibilities are and establish expectations for what happens in case something goes awry.
  • Investing in Cyber Liability Insurance.In the event that a data breach or virus transmission does occur, you can prevent the associated costs from decimating your business by investing in Cyber Liability Insurance. This type of coverage funds your legal defense in the event of data breach-related lawsuits and pays any damages for which you are found liable.

 

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