As we look forward to 2022, don’t overlook legal. Legal is a powerful tool to help your business gain an advantage. Businesses that incorporate legal tactics into their strategies often can proactively address challenges and leverage legal to gain an edge over their competition. Three areas that can help you gain an advantage over the competition (and hinder those who do not) are insurance, lessons learned from COVID-19, and data privacy.
Many people overlook the importance of insurance, but it is a critical and powerful tool. As you plan for 2022, think about how your business changed in the past year. Many businesses accelerated their move to be online. Do you have cybersecurity coverage? Cyberattacks, such as the Colonial Pipeline attack, made big news this past year. Even if you are not a “tech” business, your business likely uses technology for some critical functions of your business, including banking and accounting. Simple attacks like spear-phishing, emails designed to get information from key people, such as the CFO or CEO, can devastate a business. More generally, now is a good time to take stock of changes to your business and ask your broker if your coverage is still right for you.
Lessons learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 has caused many business challenges and changes, including how people work and the importance of disaster planning. Employment, masking, vaccination, and remote working are all suddenly major issues for many employers. If you are a healthcare employer in Washington, you are likely required to comply with Washington’s vaccination requirement. Even if you are not a healthcare employer, you may be thinking about mandating or incentivizing employees to get vaccinated. If you are an employer with more than 100 employees, you likely will be subject to forthcoming OSHA rules, and many federal contractors and subcontractors will need to be vaccinated by December 8. Finally, with many companies shelving plans to return to the office, permanent policies on working remotely are a good idea.
When it comes to disaster planning, many businesses were not ready when COVID-19 hit. Businesses had either put off planning or did not think it would be relevant. However, the pandemic has shown the importance of disaster planning. Now is the time to be proactive and avoid catastrophe the next time a large disruption occurs. Create a disaster recovery plan and a business continuity plan for 2022 as one of your legal tactics.
Data Privacy as a Legal Tactic
Data privacy is another area where many people yawn. But those who pay attention to it will have an advantage over those who do not when it comes to securing contracts and generally doing business throughout the country and the world. Across the globe, significant laws regarding privacy are coming into play. The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), a sequel to the California Consumer Privacy Act, comes into effect on January 1, 2023, so 2022 is the year to get ready. Additionally, European law was recently revised to require new Standard Contractual Clauses, effective September 27, 2021. Many states are also passing their own data privacy laws, creating a patchwork that causes headaches for those trying to do business. Even contracts are affected by data privacy. Many standard contracts now contain data processing agreements that make up almost a third of the document. Now is a good time to talk to counsel experienced in data privacy and add it as one of your legal tactics.
In your planning for 2022, you should be thinking about insurance, lessons learned from COVID-19, and data privacy. Reach out to Equinox today to schedule your free Business Health Assessment and see how our General Counsel Services can help you plan for these aspects of your business and gain an advantage in 2022.
Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general information. Do not view this article as legal advice. Talk with counsel familiar with your unique business needs before taking or refraining from an