Trade secrets can include anything from client lists to financial data, and it’s essential to protect them from unauthorized use or disclosure. They could be the very lifeblood of your company’s success.
A business must take reasonable steps to safeguard its trade secrets. Otherwise, if the information is readily accessible by all, it cannot be considered a trade secret. Thus, it’s not protected by law. Below are some of the measures you can take to keep your trade secrets safe.
Use confidentiality agreements
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) can help protect your trade secrets. These legally enforceable agreements outline the terms under which the recipient can use confidential information and prohibit them from sharing it with anyone else. Ensuring that everyone with access to your trade secrets is bound by an NDA can help prevent unauthorized use or access.
Restrict access and implement security measures
You should also restrict physical and electronic access to trade secrets. Implement physical security systems such as surveillance cameras and access control systems alongside cybersecurity measures like firewalls and encryption. Only employees who need to know should have access to the confidential information.
Conduct employee training
Your employees are the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your trade secrets. It’s essential to provide them with training on identifying and protecting sensitive information. You should also include provisions in your employee handbook outlining your organization’s trade secrets policies.
Monitor for breaches
You should regularly monitor your trade secrets for any breaches. You can do this by conducting audits and tracking access to sensitive information. Ensure that the security measures you have in place are still effective, given that technology is fast evolving.
Take timely action
If you suspect a breach, you should take immediate action to investigate and mitigate the damage. Lastly, strongly consider having a response plan within your organization to help address data breaches.