In business, the confidentiality of any personal information or information relating to clients is of the utmost importance. In the field of law or medicine, particularly, these files should be protected with the most care in place. All businesses must be well versed in all the laws that go alongside this matter, and should seek to invest in the best software and systems that will keep all clients safe at all times. In this case, they could consider matter management software for example. Within the confidential files, you will find the most sensitive matter relating to clients, including any agreements.
What is a confidentiality agreement and why is it so important? Almost always without exception, they must be equipped with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA agreement) and keep it signed before any contract (even potential) with a third party exposed to any information. If a business is seen to not take the client’s information seriously and leaves in the hands of the wrong people, this could diminish or demolish credibility within the industry. Hefty fines and even legal proceedings could be undertaken if you fail to maintain the client’s safety at all times. If you work within the medical field, you must be HIPAA compliant. If you work in law, you must be sure that you are using appropriate systems for safety. We are all aware of the cyber threats that constantly target businesses. It is known that there has been a 30% increase in cyber attacks over the past year on law and medicine firms. These industries are at the highest risk for an invasion. Without good security in place, this information could be taken within a matter of seconds, leaving a trail of devastation.
What types of information must be protected?
This is not an easy question, as there are many grey areas and many things depend on the case itself. However, as standard, this information should always be protected:
- Name, date of birth, age, sex and address.
- Current contact details of family, guardian etc.
- Bank details.
- Medical history or records.
- Personal care issues.
- Service records and file progress notes.
To sum it all up
Everyone understands that in the business world, and certainly for the purpose of leveraging the capabilities in negotiations etc, there is no choice but to remain safe. Confidentiality also adds major benefits to your business, which includes trust and faith. When you can assure all people relating to your business that their information and personal data is safe, they will trust you and are likely to put further faith into your services. Employees will also feel reassured and they will be in a better position to work to their fullest potential. All businesses should lead by example and to be a leader in a chosen industry, you must be sure that you can offer all of the above, with care and diligence. To lose clients and credibility because you have not invested the time or money into safe features, is a terrible mistake to make.
For any new entrepreneurs, these are the things to consider. For existing CEOs or those who are branching into new fields, this also must be of utmost priority. Privacy provides respect and respect is most certainly earned in business.