The recent events at TalkTalk have indeed had everybody talking. This significant cyber attack on the company serves as a timely reminder of the importance of keeping your business safe from online threats.
The internet of course brings huge business opportunities and benefits, but it also brings risks. It is increasingly important to manage these risks to take advantage of the internet whilst protecting your business.
A single successful cyber attack could seriously damage your business or even prove fatal.
Failure to manage data, computer and communication systems and networks properly can put organisations in breach of their contractual duties, duties of confidentiality and duties of care to third parties.
An organisation may be legally required to carry out detailed, costly and lengthy investigations, or to notify regulators, law enforcement agencies, business partners and people affected; or to implement major changes to their business systems and operations; or may even be dragged into litigation. Of course there are other issues to consider such as bad publicity and reputational damage.
Ultimately organisations that get things right do not face these impediments on performance and growth and instead can maximise the value of their digital assets and their use of the cyber world.
In the commercial environment this can deliver considerable competitive advantages. Consumer trust, data protection and security go hand in hand.
Top tips for keeping cyber-safe
- Constantly review and update any systems to make sure they are as secure as possible.
- Use anti-virus software and firewalls and always download software updates.
- Use strong unique passwords and keep them safe.
- Always check URLs (An easy way for hackers is to harvest usernames and passwords using fake webpages designed to look like ones you use, such as a bank or Facebook. When you click a link you should always check the URL is the one you would expect before you enter any personal details. A secure way to open sites is using https:// at the beginning of the web address, which encrypts your data. If a green padlock is next to the address, the website is secure).
- Beware of phishing websites and downloading malicious software.
- Delete suspicious emails.
- Use antivirus software.
- Train and educate your staff!
If you have any queries about this, or any aspect of Corporate Law, please contact a member of our Commercial Team today.