A trade secret can make or break your business, giving you a distinct edge over you competition in the marketplace. But those trade secrets are only valuable to you if you can keep them out of the hands of your competitors. That’s why many businesses utilize non-disclosure and non-compete agreements, but there are other steps that you can take to protect your trade secrets.
- Access control: Make sure that you know where protected information is stored and who has access to that location. Monitor that area and keep detailed records of when people access that area, when they leave, and what their purpose was for visiting it.
- Cyber security: Computers are hacked all the time. This means that your trade secrets could be at an increased risk of theft if you have inadequate security on your cyber systems. So, make sure that your security in this regard is holistic and up-to-date.
- Be careful with outside contractors: When you must contract out work, it might be wise to give different parts of the project to different vendors so that no one company has access to the entirety of your trade secret. Also, make sure that any contracts that you negotiate with those outside entities include some sort of confidentiality agreement.
- Implement proper policies: Even employees who sign non-disclosure and non-compete agreements can get lax when it comes to protecting trade secrets. That’s why it’s probably a good idea for your business to have specific policies that speak to how trade secrets are to be handled and secured, and frequent training on those procedures should be provided.
Thorough preparation may protect you from litigation
In a lot of cases, litigation can be avoided by sound employment law planning. This requires a certain amount of foresight, of course, and it’s hard to anticipate everything that could wind up being litigious. So, regardless of where your business is at with your trade secrets, you may find it worthwhile to speak with an experienced business law attorney to determine how best to protect your interests.