The first few years in a start-up that’s trying to break into the sharing economy can be a whirlwind of securing investors, building a user base, and finding ways to stand out from competitors. What many sharing and on-demand companies don’t consider are the cyber risks they can be exposed to, even in the early stages of growth, and how these risks can put the brakes on that growth.
“For sharing economy companies, the collection of data is essential to their operations. The volume and scope of data they collect, both from providers and users on the platform, is significant. They might collect driver’s licenses, social security and credit card numbers or even passwords, bank account information and geolocations,” said Wendy Dowd, director of the cyber and technology division at Y-Risk, a managing general underwriter that creates insurance solutions for innovative businesses. “All the information they collect to enable the platform is at risk of breach, hacking or even improper access or use by employees. Not only do they have a responsibility to protect this data, but the growth and even survival of their business relies on their reputation, which could be destroyed due to an event threatening the privacy of their users’ information.”
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