Data breaches, social media gaffes among top tech and legal business risks for 2015: BLG

As much as tech can present a lot of business opportunities, it can also create a lot of pitfalls for organizations.

That’s according to Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) LLP, a Canadian law firm with offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. Based on current trends, it looked ahead at what it perceives to be the top 10 risks to businesses in 2015.

While its full report hasn’t been released yet, BLG predicts a slew of legal challenges to arise from how businesses are using tech in the coming year. One of its biggest predicted risks for 2015?

Unsurprisingly, data security, as data breaches continue to be a problem for any organization storing information that hackers and attackers might want, BLG says.

For one thing, businesses may feel safe, but they shouldn’t. Cybersecurity has been a hot-button issue for years, but with high-profile data breaches at Target in December 2013 and Home Depot in September 2013, consumers are paying attention – and they want to know businesses are serious about safeguarding their data.

To that end, every business should prepare itself for the possibility of a breach, either from external hackers or from employees inside their own organization, BLS says, as accidentally disclosing confidential data, compromising intellectual property rights, and failing to protect customers’ privacy can ruin a business’ reputation.

Protecting corporate data is difficult enough, but in 2015, businesses will also need to be active on social media. That’s partially because customers are using it to reach out, and they’ll expect businesses to be responsive over social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and so on.

But businesses also need to be on social as a pre-emptive strike against people who would slander them, BLG says. It’s not as though businesses can prevent their employees from using social media, nor can they stop anyone writing about them on social networks if they have an axe to grind. So businesses should be on social to be able to promote themselves – and they should also be prepared to ensure their official channels are in compliance with human resources policies while ensuring they don’t run afoul of copyright laws.

Aside from the legal ramifications of tech where it intersects with business, BLG also listed a slew of other potential hazards with areas like untested infrastructure deals, trade agreements, and even mental health issues in the workplace. Its full report is slated to come out sometime in the early part of the New Year.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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