Incorporating cloud computing, including online file sharing, at your small business can be justified on many accounts. But it also comes with risks that may not make the convenience of online file sharing worth it. According to a recent survey done by Symantec, 71% of small businesses that suffer from a cyber attack never recover from it. This means that the risks of online file sharing for your small business go beyond just the loss in itself, but can actually diminish your entire business. The following risks should be considered before you attempt to share files online and open up your small business to these types of attacks and loss.
Involuntary Sharing of Confidential or Proprietary Information
When you share files online, you open up a variety of risks, including the sharing of confidential or proprietary information. Most of the time, this is completely involuntary but it can pose severe damage and credibility to your company. With online file sharing, there can be a number of reasons you accidentally share confidential information, from general computer or Internet issues to spyware that you didn’t know was on your computer.
Online file sharing poses a slew of security risks, and malware is one of the most dangerous and important to remember. No matter how secure and safe you think your computer and Internet connection are, there is always the chance you will fall into the preys malware. Malware infects your computer, and can actually cause talented hackers to get into your system and access your private and confidential information. Malware in itself can destroy or capture your shared files, which can be severely detrimental to a small business.
Violating Regulatory Rules
You may not be aware of the many regulations and rules in place in regards to the legalities of file sharing. When sharing files online, even when your small business allows it, you may not realize that this may be in violation of copyright laws and other regulations. By sharing certain types of files online, you may be violating many of these regulations that are in place for privacy and security reasons.
Damage to Brand or Company Reputation
In relation to other associated risks of online file sharing, when something happens during the sharing process — like confidential information being leaked — your company’s reputation can be destroyed. If during the online file sharing process, your system was hacked and private or confidential information was found out, your brand and company not only suffer a huge loss, but so does your company’s reputation. This risk may be just enough to avoid online file sharing and the many risks involved.
The risks of online file sharing for your small business are many, and go far beyond just basic spyware issues. You can actually lose your business due to the potential loss and damage to your company’s reputation which may not make it worth the risk. If you still want to engage in online file sharing, you should protect your business and assets with cyber liability insurance which can step in should something happen.