Privacy: Social Cause or Business Imperative?

Does your company have NDAs or Confidentiality Agreements? If you do, then your company understands privacy is a business imperative.

For most of us, privacy is a social cause; a way of life that protects a basic civic liberty. But online privacy isn’t just a social cause. It’s also a business imperative. And encryption is one of the easiest ways to protect our livelihood. But first back to business imperatives…

Does your company lock the front door at night? Does it have locks on personnel files? Does your company have non-disclosure agreements? Does it have confidentiality agreements for vendors and employees? Does it secure the WiFi network with a password? Do you need a password to login to email?

If you answered “Yes” to any (and I bet you answered “Yes” to all) of these questions, your workplace understands the business imperative of privacy. You don’t have to be Silicon Valley startup or Apple to be paranoid about the future of your business. These privacy policies are designed to protect the company, its assets, your stockholders, and frankly your own job and livelihood.

Let’s be honest, most businesses shouldn’t be that worried about hackers, foreign operatives, and compromised credit card records. It’s the other very real things that will more likely kill your business or/and ruin your career, things like theft, corporate espionage, ransomware, litigation from former employees, and workplace morale. Also don’t forget information leakage from BYOD, mobile, and the informality of most electronic conversations. The volumes and volumes and volumes of plain text information shared, discoverable, and hosted in the cloud will be the next gold rush for litigators. Just ask Sony or Gawker .

Yes, corporate privacy is more than IT security. It is everything the company does after it secures the network with taller walls and wider moats. Encryption of business information is the simplest and best method of protection. And many argue if your data is encrypted and unreadable by any actor, either inside or outside your network, you can always sleep at night knowing you are safe again.

Privacy is a 7x24 business imperative. We need to move away from “Do you care about privacy?” and move toward “What are you going to do today to better protect your business?”