Businesses all across America can learn from last year’s cyber attack on Sony Pictures. Whether a business is large, small or would classify itself as “medium-sized,” chances are that it now has an online presence. Most businesses have websites and most business owners use email and other online programs to order supplies, reach out to consumers, advertise, conduct financial transactions and/or keep business records. One of the great business challenges that owners and managerial staff now face is protecting this online presence from being manipulated, harmed, breached and otherwise hacked.

One of the most significant lessons that businesses can learn from the Sony hack is that sensitive material can be breached, even when numerous protections are put in place to protect it. A large company like Sony almost certainly has set up any number of protections designed to ensure the privacy of its employees, its art, its finances and its intellectual property. If Sony can be hacked, so can other businesses.

So, if sensitive material is vulnerable online, what is a business to do? First, do put numerous protections in place. While they may be hacked, protections will keep most unwanted “visitors” away from your business’s private information. Second, encourage your employees to speak in-person or via phone about sensitive matters that do not need to be recorded online. Finally, speak with your business and commercial law attorney about other steps you should take to protect your business’s interests, your financial assets and your employees’ privacy. These steps may not guarantee that your online presence remains safe, but they can certainly help you to attain this goal.

Source: Findlaw Free Enterprise, “After Sony Hack, 3 Things Businesses Are Doing Differently,” Daniel Taylor, Jan. 26, 2015