Ensuring Trade Secret Safety With Remote Workers

A trade secret can take many forms, including formulas, drawings, patterns, and compilations, including customer lists, programs, devices, methods, and techniques. All of these things are unique to your business, an identity for your company. As a result, such information is easily exploitable by malicious parties and could spell doom for any business to have them exploited.

In the face of a growing trend of businesses allowing workers to remain at home, companies are increasingly concerned with protecting trade secrets and confidential information. The law requires that a company take “reasonable measures” to protect its trade secrets. But what exactly are “reasonable measures” when most of a company’s human resources are working remotely?

Your Trade Secret And Intellectual Property

A trade secret is a type of intellectual property owned by your business. It is protected under law, and you can require people working for you to keep the information confidential. However, in order to protect yourself from competitors, ensure you have a strict policy in place for all employees to follow regarding the protection and disclosure of trade secrets.

According to legal definitions, a trade secret is information that gives your business a competitive edge and is not generally known to others. To defend your trade secrets with legal backing, you must also ensure their confidentiality, maintaining your techniques within the house. Similar definitions exist under the laws of most states.

What Are Reasonable Measures?

“Reasonable measures,” according to the legal system, can be several things. Nevertheless, we advise you to take certain precautions when transmitting sensitive information, such as informing employees, vendors, and others that the information is proprietary, notifying them of this in business documents and employee handbooks, and transmitting the information only in secure ways.

When your employees work from a common location, it is easier to control their access and how they share protected data. However, when workers telecommute, data protection becomes more difficult to control.

Employee Exit Strategy

Protecting your trade secrets is another step for security – ensuring that employees who no longer work beneath your business cannot become a security breach. To ensure that the morale of the remaining team members is not damaged, and to protect the company’s reputation and information, take the following actions upon an employee’s departure. When employees leave a business, you should promptly remove their company property from them. In addition, confidential information should be deleted from any personal devices with confirmation from the ex-employee that this has been done.

Furthermore, if they have access to restricted documents, ensure they sign an NDA to prevent them from leaking your company’s intellectual property. This will protect your assets from future dangers.

Take Proactive Measures to Protect Trade Secrets.

Instead of mitigating risks after issues arise, be proactive and implement new protocols today. Business owners can save time by developing and implementing procedures rather than waiting until a breach occurs. In fact, businesses should regularly review their policies to protect confidential information to minimize the risk of unauthorized access. Thus, ensuring that their intellectual property is appropriately protected. Contact Thompson Law today if you want a legal expert to examine your current protocols.