What role does the internet play in business? How can managers protect the proprietary technology of their firms?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Although the internet has given businesses many new ways to reach out to customers and communicate with suppliers, it also poses unprecedented security risks for businesses that rely on maintaining proprietary information. 

One major role the internet plays in business is its ability to connect businesses to their customers. A...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Although the internet has given businesses many new ways to reach out to customers and communicate with suppliers, it also poses unprecedented security risks for businesses that rely on maintaining proprietary information. 

One major role the internet plays in business is its ability to connect businesses to their customers. A company's website and social media presence can serve as marketing tools and sales portals. Unfortunately, these are vulnerable to various forms of hacking, including phishing schemes which lead customers to fake websites and DDOS attacks. Even worse, hackers who breach business security can download customers' information.

For companies that rely on proprietary data, internet connections designed to let employees work remotely or designed for communication of information to outside customers or suppliers become vulnerable to hacking by hostile entities. The only way to keep proprietary information fully secure is to house it in a system with no external communications; even intranets can be hacked if any of the systems on them have an outside connection. If a company were to isolate all systems containing proprietary information, they would lose the business advantage of efficient internal and external communications. Most companies accept this trade off and invest in a high level of internet security to reduce threats to proprietary data. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team