Your business likely has a variety of assets ranging from real estate to inventory. You business may own equipment, furniture and even vehicles. But have you considered your digital and electronic assets? These can include everything from smartphones to software and customer data. These assets have real value and are well worth protecting. Here are some basic steps your business should take in securing its digital and electronic assets.
Asset protection begins with creating a complete inventory. When it comes to electronic assets be sure to include computers, laptops, smartphones and any other physical electronic devices like printers, copiers, video monitors and more. Digital assets your company may have could include a website, blogs, images, videos, apps and business processes your company may have developed, digital subscriptions and any intellectual property your business owns. Be sure to inventory assets on your own servers as well as those in “the cloud”. Include email lists and customer data.
This includes a record of receipts and history of use. If your company owns intellectual property developed by employees, include this documentation as well. This is a good time to make sure all of the software your company is being used legally and you have documentation to prove ownership or user rights.
Consider Non-Disclosure Agreements
If your business has significant digital assets that include intellectual property or proprietary procedures and processes, consider having consultants and employees sign a non-disclosure agreement protecting your information.
Place a Value on These Assets
This can be challenging but important. Digital assets are worth far more than just the initial costs of the software. It may take years to build data bases and mailing and customer lists. These can have significant value.
Talk with Your Business Insurance Agent
Once you have compiled a list of your digital and electronic assets, it is time to make sure they are adequately insured under your business insurance plan. This should include a discussion about business interruption insurance should a loss of digital assets cause you to cease operations for a period of time.
Don’t forget that protecting digital assets also includes regularly backing up your valuable data. Backups should be kept in the cloud or in some other off-site location.
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