NDAs: How can they protect business privacy and growth?

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It’s probably not something you give much thought to, but securing your business’ growth and protecting its data privacy go hand in hand. Aside from the obvious security benefit that data privacy bestows upon a business by protecting its trade secrets, research, clients, plans, etc., there are also less tangible benefits. For example, strong data privacy has been shown to confer a competitive edge upon a business, promote brand loyalty, and enhance its reputation.

Competitive edge
When a business protects its trade secrets and its research or even its customer base, for example, it is maintaining its competitive edge. New knowledge, inventions or proprietary data provide a competitive edge to a business only if other businesses don’t have the same information.

Brand loyalty
Furthermore, when a business makes a commitment to data privacy, it distinguishes itself from other businesses that take a less proactive approach to their data privacy. This commitment encourages brand loyalty, and brand loyalty helps ensure a business’ continued success because it drives sales of its products and services.

Business Reputation
In addition, strong data privacy can boost a company’s reputation. When a business places the needs and privacy of its customers first, it demonstrates that it values its customers, which enhances its reputation and ultimately contributes to its growth. On the flip side, when a business experiences a data leak due to bad data security practices, the consequences to its reputation and growth can be devastating. Customers whose data has been exposed due to the leak are now subject to identify fraud and all the anxiety that accompanies that experience. This can dramatically reduce customer confidence in the business, negatively affect the brand, and potentially cause irrevocable reputational damage. According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 85% of consumers won’t do business with a company if they’re worried about its security practices. What’s more, according to a Verizon report, 69% of its survey respondents said they would avoid a business that had suffered a data breach and 29% said they would never visit that business again.

So just how do you protect data privacy?
If you’re feeling a bit like you only have a 4th-grade education, but actually need a Ph.D. to digest all of this information, no worries. We’re here to clear up a few things. The fact is a business’ data privacy can be protected in a variety of ways. For example, there are the more widely used and obvious methods such as installing a powerful endpoint antivirus that will protect your business’ data privacy by detecting and removing malware and preventing data breaches. There are also virtual private networks (VPNs), which are widely used too, particularly by businesses. VPNs secure your business’ privacy by encrypting the connection between your business computers to your server. Whether you connect to a website or another device, that connection is private and secure. No one can eavesdrop on your business’ browsing activity or know its IP address.

Non-disclosure agreements
And then there are the less well-known ways to protect your data privacy and secure your business growth. Take for example, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). An NDA is a legal agreement that creates a legally binding confidential relationship, between at least two parties, regarding the use and disclosure of confidential and proprietary information or trade secrets. When someone signs an NDA with a company, that person has agreed to not disclose or disseminate certain confidential information without proper authorization. The NDA, therefore, protects and keeps non-public, business information private. But NDAs actually go one step further because they not only protect business privacy, but can also promote growth. Because an NDA enforces a legally binding atmosphere of trust between parties, the parties that signed that NDA can feel free to open up more and speak more candidly about issues and opportunities without fear of disclosure. This is exactly the type of atmosphere that creates powerful opportunities for learning, partnering, and growth.

No Ph.D. needed
No Ph.D. is needed to understand that data privacy has emerged as a potential asset in today’s digital economy. In a world where the value and volume of data are growing exponentially, businesses have come to understand that data privacy, not just the data itself, can be an asset and a path to growth. It’s all about how that data is handled. While every business needs to take its own holistic, customized approach to data privacy, one thing is abundantly clear: a business that commits to data privacy can help boost its growth and better position itself for future success.