How to Protect Your Company’s Trade Secrets

By  //  April 19, 2021

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Most large and small companies will have trade secrets they will want to protect, as the information could be key to their revenue, reputation, and growth.

However, unscrupulous people or organizations may attempt to gain access to this information for their own financial or corporate gain.

For your business to flourish throughout the years, you must safeguard its most sensitive information. Don’t make a mistake you may live to regret and read the following advice on how to protect your company’s trade secrets.

Two-Factor Authentication

Ensure users are who they say they are by introducing two-factor authentication onto your devices and platforms. As a user will need to submit two pieces of evidence to gain access to an account, you will provide access to the appropriate person and not a cybercriminal.

For example, they may need to input:

■ A password

■ Fingerprint

■ Retina scan

■ Passcode sent to another device

Reduce and Track Access

Companies must limit access to trade secrets across the business, which will ensure a disgruntled employee doesn’t hand the information to a competitor.

There are various ways to limit access, such as:

■ Data encryption

■ Data segregation

■ Password protect files

■ Admin controls

The above options will ensure only trusted and authorized staff members will receive access to your company’s trade secret information.

Don’t Overlook Internal Communications

Eavesdroppers could monitor your internal communications without your knowledge. As your team may discuss projects, tasks, and strategies via email, instant messaging, and video, you must look for ways to protect all communications.

For example, you could protect your trade secrets by introducing an open source Slack alternative, such as Mattermost. It is a must-have team collaboration solution for a privacy-conscious organization. It offers core access controls, private cloud deployment to Azure or AWS, and it is available as SaaS in a private, dedicated infrastructure, to name only a few benefits.

Upgrade Digital Security

In addition to ensuring your internal communications remain private, you must upgrade your digital security to protect your trade secrets.

For example, you must:

■ Encrypt documents

■ Use a firewall

■ Password protect all devices

■ Introduce an automated intrusion detection and prevention system

Monitor Confidential Data

An entrepreneur must monitor who has access to the company’s confidential information. It will ensure they can immediately identify if an unauthorized employee has gained access to the information. Plus, they will know who is at fault if a trade secret is leaked.

To monitor confidential information, you must:

■ Understand where all trade secret data is stored

■ Establish owners for the confidential information

■ Monitor and review access to trade secret files

Conclusion

A trade secret can help your company fill a gap in the market and enjoy a superb profit margin, which is why many people would want to gain access to confidential information. Therefore, it is vital to protect sensitive data in various ways, from monitoring access to protecting internal messaging. Also, if you take the steps to protect your trade secrets, a court will be more likely to support a claim if the information is leaked.