These days, the kind of theft that many businesses are worried about isn’t armed robbery, shoplifting or even employees stealing office supplies. Instead, it’s the theft of a company’s intellectual property. Perhaps there is no intellectual property more valuable than trade secrets. These are what give a business an edge in a competitive market. Below are five strategies that can be used to keep your trade secrets safe.
1. Accurately Identify Your Trade Secrets
Before you can take action to protect your trade secrets, you must first identify them. For example, if you run an Italian restaurant, your pizza sauce recipe could be a trade secret. However, trade secrets don’t have to be secret formulas. They could also be information you have amassed such as customer lists, supplier information, product profit margins and more.
2. Hire An Intellectual Property Lawyer
Second, you should learn about the laws that were put in place to protect trade secrets. On the federal level, this is the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. State laws also exist as well. In certain instances, the federal government can prosecute individuals who steal trade secrets. Launching a lawsuit is another avenue to pursue if trade secrets are stolen and utilized. These laws can be complex, so hire a lawyer with plenty of experience with intellectual property law, such as one from Carter West.
3. Make Your Trade Secrets Classified
Now that you know more about your trade secrets and the law, it’s time to try and lock them down and restrict access. Make them classified information within your organization. Store them in a specific spot like a locked file cabinet or a restricted computer folder in your company network. Make sure only certain trusted personnel have the credentials to access that information.
4. Use Encryption
One surefire way to protect information when stored or transferred through digital mediums is to use encryption. You must use an encryption key to unlock the data. However, if you at some point lose the encryption key and can’t remember the pass code, the information may be lost permanently. Encryption is a great strategy, however, for protecting information backed up by third parties.
5. Train Your Employees to Protect Trade Secrets
In most cases, confidential information is leaked by negligent employees. This is why a strong training program to teach employees how to protect company data and trade secrets is required. If they know what to do to avoid leaks and stop corporate espionage, trade secret theft is much less likely to happen. Overall, you have to take preemptive action to protect your trade secrets. If you don’t, they could end up stolen. If that’s the case, you may lose your advantages over your competitors as well as your market share.
I hope you enjoyed this article on ways to keep your trade secrets safe and protect company property.
Interested in more articles on business management?
Read My Posts:
- How To Secure Your Online Business
- 6 Security Tech Trainings To Help Your Employees
Best Of Luck In Business To You All!
Michael J. Schiemer of Schiemer Consulting
Digital Marketing Manager & Social Media Professional
HootSuite, HubSpot, AdWords, & Google Analytics Certified
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