The most successful California businesses are those that innovate, are always learning, and are always creating new products or services. Maintaining the competitive edge is of the utmost importance and is what can keep some companies afloat and thriving while others fall by the wayside. If you have a business and you have developed your own successful trade secrets there is no doubt how much you want to preserve them and keep them away from your opposition. It isn’t just other competitors that are vying for your information and confidential materials that you should be worried about. You must also keep an eye on your own employees. There are numerous examples of employees understanding the value of their employer’s operations and stealing that information to enrich themselves.
Because employees are closer to your trade secrets than your competitors are, they may be the number one threat your business faces when it comes to preserving that valuable information. Employers want to trust their people but it just makes sound business sense for owners to be proactive in defense of their trade secrets and take specific steps towards protecting them.
What Steps Should Businesses Take To Protect Their Trade Secrets from Internal Threats?
Businesses intent on protecting their valuable information should consider the following:
- Look through your information and anything that you consider a trade secret should be separated from all other forms of business. Isolating valuable information from other business operations keeps it from being unintentionally circulated throughout your company where it is vulnerable. Mark the files that you deem trade secrets clearly so there is no doubt what information is in those files. This will help you keep those files out of hands they don’t belong. You will be able to better keep an eye on your precious information and be better equipped on their security as well as who you allow to access them.
- Anything of importance that you have on computers is password protected with a complex combination of letters, numbers, and symbols so that it is much harder to figure out. Again, only allow those you trust to have knowledge of the password you choose.
- Put a trade secret policy in place. When you bring on an employee or for employees currently working, make sure to discuss your policy so they have a distinct understanding of what the policy means and what the repercussions are. When an employee violates the policy, there will be consequences and your employees need to know this.
- Invest in a strong cybersecurity system. With the hacks of the large retailers that have taken place in recent years, no one system is impenetrable. But identifying measures that will best keep your information secure is critical to your business’s effectiveness.
Speak with a California Business Attorney Today
If you have put in place guidelines and safeguards to protect your trade secrets and you experienced internal theft or external theft, you have rights and can take action. Marlene Leiva is a California business attorney that can help you see justice. Call the Los Angeles business attorneys at Leiva Law today at (818) 519-4465 to schedule your free consultation.