Protecting your company from 21st-century threats

October 18, 2019
Taryn Lee-Johnston

There is really nothing new about the concept of companies needing to protect themselves against the threat of being targeted by malicious actors.  It is, however, fair to say, that the nature of these threats changes over the course of time.  With that in mind, here are some points to consider regarding protecting your company from 21st-century threats.

Physical threats

Never underestimate the importance of good physical security, in particular, good access controls.  Not only can this help prevent unauthorised people gaining access to your building, but they can also make it easier to investigate any incidents which occur within it.  Basically, the fewer people who have access to a specific area within your building, the fewer people could be involved with anything which occurs in it.  This goes as much for your own employees as for members of the public.

Companies may also want to think seriously about protecting themselves from legal claims by investing in public liability insurance.

Digital threats

  • When looking at digital threats, companies may wish to ask themselves two questions.
  • What training do my employees need to keep themselves and the company safe online?
  • What support does my IT team need to keep the company safe in cyberspace?

Each of these questions will need to be answered on an individual basis, however, it is strongly recommended to give them both serious consideration, especially since missteps here could have serious legal consequences.  GDPR, for example, does allow for prison sentences.

In short, if companies need to take a cold, hard look at their ability to safeguard their data and their brand against cyberthreats and decide if they have the necessary expertise to do so themselves or if they need to get external help.  Companies may also want to think about investing in insurance against the consequences of cyberattacks.

Reputational threats

Companies may wish to give guidance to their staff regarding referencing the company in any way on social media.  They may also wish to set policies regarding the use of social media in company time and/or from company equipment and these policies may need to be split between staff who use social media for work purposes and those who do not.  In fact, the category of staff who use social media for work purposes may then need to be split between those who use it for research only and those who use it to communicate on behalf of the company.  There is no insurance policy in the world can protect a company from the reputation consequences of poor social media management.  It is therefore absolutely imperative that companies think about everything they post and avoid any temptation to give knee-jerk responses to any issue raised with them, not even if it seems minor and especially not if it appears to be serious.

The threat of losing key staff

Admittedly this threat is not unique to the 21st century, but it remains a very real threat in the modern age and hence deserves to be treated as such.  In addition to doing whatever you reasonably can to keep staff happy in their posts, you may wish to give serious consideration to the question of how your company would manage if a key staff member were to die in service.  If their unexpected departure would cause serious issues for the company, then it might be worth purchasing Key Person insurance for them.  Companies might also wish to look at buying Shareholder Protection Insurance to assist them with buying shares from the estate of a deceased shareholder.  This could both provide funds for their loved ones and ensure that control of a company remains where the company would like it to be.

 

For public liability insurance we act as introducers only.

 

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