LEGAL: Cyber liability a top risk facing businesses

It’s a fact of life in the age of information – nearly every company today uses computers, laptops, Wi-Fi, or smartphones in its day-to-day business operations. The prevalence of electronic operations, particularly with regard to data storage, explains why cyber liability law has become so relevant.

Even though the term “cyber liability” encompasses an enormous amount of information, it can be defined as the risk posed by conducting business over the internet, over other networks, or using electronic storage technology.

This risk can come in a number of different mediums or data forms. Further, the type of data exposure will directly correlate to the type of business or industry in which a company operates. The types of data that can potentially be exposed are:

Personally identifiable information (which can include biometric data such as fingerprints or DNA information);

  • Private health information;
  • Credit or debit card information;
  • Financial data;
  • Proprietary business information (billing records);
  • Trade secrets; and
  • Copyright infringements.

According to one 2015 survey, cyber liability is one of the top five risks facing businesses. The same survey reported that cyber liability is the No. 1 risk when looking into the next five years. Companies should take steps to protect themselves.