Technology And Communications: What Are The Risks For Your Business?

The Technology and Communications sector can be particularly tricky, with an evolving landscape and broad range of complex, bespoke risks.

What exactly are these hazards, though?  At Black and White we are here to highlight some of the leading risks involved for technology focused companies and self-employed contractors.

Intellectual Property Disputes

Intellectual property is extremely important to businesses and individuals in the technology sector, and can become an extremely frustrating sticking point if a dispute arises. An IP strategy should be an essential part of a business plan.

Risks that technology companies and professionals could experience include:

  • The use of elements from a previous client project in a new assignment for a separate client;
  • A new employee inadvertently utilising elements they used for a project in a previous job for one of your clients;
  • Outright developing a product similar to another already available on the market at the request of a developer.

In order to avoid such disputes, you should first ensure that you have the correct cover in place – with IP infringement included. Producing a plan for handling any IP issues or disputes, simply as a precautionary measure, is also advised, along with establishing your rights with all personnel involved in the project.

Finally, if you are at the point of inception for a project, you should develop extensive market research in order to determine whether or not another organisation has, or is, working on something similar.

Professional Negligence

Professional negligence claims can emerge when a client does not consider your service to meet the level of standards expected of them.

Risks that technology companies and professionals could experience include:

  • Failing to complete a project as agreed or on time
  • Breaching copyright or confidentiality
  • Unintentional loss of documents/data
  • Deficient recommendations for business strategy

Claims of professional negligence can emerge despite a business or individual providing a service to the best of their ability, simply due to the subjective nature – even if that business or individual feel that they have done nothing wrong. Any claim would generate legal costs to defend.

Cyber/Data Risks

The aforementioned unintentional loss of documents and/or data falls under this section, but there is a broader range of risks when we look at aspects of cyber/data in more depth.

Companies and self-employed individuals can be targeted by cyber criminals, with any organisation or individual being potentially vulnerable to risks if they possess any data or are simply connected to the Internet. Hacking and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks can have an immense impact on companies relying on the Internet for business, whether it be potential financial loss or reputational damage.

Adding to this, the amount of data being transferred is constantly growing, meaning it is becoming less practical and more complicated to store and track in our digital age. Risks have also been increased through the growing portability of our technology, as many company employees or self-employed individuals often work on the move through a laptop or mobile device.

With this, staff and self-employed individuals should train to both understand and handle cyber and data risks efficiently, with the best possible protection also in place for hardware and software.

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