Having recently written a book about online reputation issues, I spend a lot of time thinking about online risk, and I am increasingly interested in cybersecurity. Online reputation and cybersecurity are both interconnected and of critical importance for most businesses. Yet while I believe every business needs to understand these risks, some are more susceptible than others.
Hackers prefer some industries while online reputation problems can have greater impact with other types of businesses.
While thinking this through, I boiled it down to three key factors for dealing with online risk. Answer these three questions and you will have a better understanding of your business’ level of risk for online problems.
Do your employees touch private data?
Hackers want private information that they can exploit quickly or sell on the black market. If your employees touch the private data of your customers, then you have risk. Do you accept applications for financing, for example, where private information like social security numbers or driver’s license numbers are exchanged? Does this information get e-mailed? Do you coordinate wire transfers? Do you send or receive wire instructions via e-mail? Do you handle medical records of your clients? Do you allow customers to pay by credit card over the phone?