The Information Age is over. We are now in what is known as the Networked Age, which features personal and professional social media profiles. Lightning fast connection speeds allow us to explore an infinite number of sites and applications through our desktops and (increasingly so) our cellphones.
But that blessing of instant communication comes with the curse of potential hackers. A variety of software feeds through the internet, grabs emails from some of the most popular web-based companies and allows hackers to selectively mine your data.
As a Franchisor, your data is sacred. In one recent lawsuit, the court stated that if intercepted emails had been sent without any form of protection (i.e. encryption), the secrecy and confidentiality of the information was forfeited and could not be maintained – a sad state for a Franchisor maintaining Trade Secrets!
If you think your Franchise Company does not need to worry about cyber security, you may be setting yourself for a not-so-pleasant attack.
So how can you protect communications over the internet?
1. Encryption: With the proper use of modern encryption, powerful cryptographic products enable individuals to securely exchange messages automatically and also secure files.
2. Intranet sites: Intranet sites allow Franchisors to create a limited-access internet network that cannot be viewed by the public, allowing you, your staff and your Franchisees to send and receive items such as software upgrades, vendor lists, training policies and other valuable Franchise information.
And why should you invest in these two processes?
1. More frequent and more secure communications with your Franchisees: No matter the amount of Franchisees your company has, keeping up with all of them can be difficult at times. A Franchisor Intranet allows for seamless communication to take place between the Franchisor and Franchisees at any time and in a way that keeps crucial and sensitive information inside the boundaries of the company.
2. A central location for uploading new training policies, company documents, and marketing materials: Trying to implement changes across an entire Franchise System can be cumbersome at times, especially if you have Franchisees spread out across the country. A Franchisor Intranet provides a convenient place for announcing new policies as well as keeping a secure archive of all the documents the Franchisees will need at any given point. Encouraging your Franchisees to use the resources uploaded to the intranet saves not only time and money, but keeps them engaged with the corporate headquarters and other Franchisees.
3. A launching pad for Franchisee compliance, increased productivity and new business: An ability to securely access your Company documents, reports, policies, Franchise Disclosure Document and Franchise Agreement allows you and your Franchisees to be fully aware and confident in ensuring compliance with your Franchise and franchise laws and regulations. The intranet can also be used for providing templates and checklists of important tasks, which can help speed up the productivity of Franchisees from month to month. Finally, a Franchise Intranet allows Franchisors to safely create strategies and timelines for developing and obtaining new business.
TODAY is the day to evaluate the security of your Franchise’s internal communications. As you launch into the New Year, join our annual compliance program designed to review your systems, and let us help you implement a plan to secure your Franchise Company’s valuable assets. Contact us now.