The role of cybersecurity in business divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2022 | Business Disputes |

When a business partnership comes to an end, the situation can resolve in numerous ways. The partners could sell the business, split the profits and move on to separate endeavors. Most often, however, one partner ventures out, leaving others in charge of the organization. For those who remain, protecting their intellectual property becomes a priority.

Just like personal relationships, a business divorce can take many forms. It is not uncommon for the partners to part amicably with little-to-no hostility. In other situations, however, the partnership dissolution can be filled with acrimony, the ultimate resolution of hulking disputes and crumbling friendships. In either situation, the business should take steps to protect its interests. One method is to strengthen cybersecurity.

What is cybersecurity?

Historically, organizations have focused on physical security. From things as simple as locked doors and secure safes to armed guards and keycard access, physical security methods are often openly visible. Now that the bulk of an organization’s information is stored on computer hard drives, flash drives or a cloud, the company must employ other methods to ensure security. For example:

  • Immediately scrubbing access: When any employee leaves, especially a partner or senior executive, it is crucial that the information security team immediately removes any access that individual had held in the organization. Additionally, digital security and physical security cross over as the team must collect all company property and storage devices.
  • Rotating passwords: If there isn’t already a rotation in place, it might be a best practice to have all employees at all levels reset their passwords. It is possible that employees had shared access with the former partner or the former partner had learned additional access codes. Closing this loop could enhance security.
  • Reviewing protocols: While not a cybersecurity necessity after a business divorce, the organization should review security protocols and any security software for vulnerability. Even leaving on the best of terms, it’s possible the former partner left backdoor access, malware or other potentially damaging software in their stead. By reviewing security protocols, the business could identify risks.

In today’s business environment, it is wise to always operate with an eye toward cybersecurity. A company must protect their intellectual property, any competitive advantage and future interests. When the business partnership ends, it is crucial that the organization secures digital pathways and information storage from all angles.