When it comes to protecting a company from economic espionage or data theft, business owners don't need to hire James Bond for protection, nor Ian Flemming for ideas. Generally, just having the right policies and security measures in place is all a company can do without making significant sacrifices to the movement of information and exchange of ideas.
However, when a company's process or data is so confidential that disclosure to a competitor could cause disruption, significant sacrifices may actually be worthwhile to safeguard the information. Here are three tips on how to protect against corporate espionage.
1. Cyber Security Is Number 1
If you got something worth protecting, then protect it in real life and online! Just like individual consumers, with each passing day, businesses are becoming more reliant on technology and internet connected devices. As such, ensuring that sensitive data is secured against online attacks is critical.
Additionally, it may be necessary to have specific procedures or software for your own employees that would prevent your own employees from stealing the data, or even accessing the data on a non-company owned device. Finding the right balance is different for every business.
2. No Nonsense NDA
Having a strong Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) might have a few inhibiting factors, or potentially drive up costs. However, when it comes to protecting intellectual property, strong, enforceable NDAs are essential.
Additionally, it may even be worthwhile to require a background check in addition to a NDA depending on the level of sensitivity of the information, and your company's prior relationship with whomever will benefit from signing the NDA. After all, if there's information worth protecting, an NDA can only do so much to remedy harm, and can't prevent it.
3. Crisis Management Planning and Training
If you've planned and trained for security threats, or data breaches, then you may be able to stop a security breach from leading to any real damages. For instance, if a work computer with sensitive data is stolen, with the right planning, you may be able to remotely delete or disabled it. Having a plan in place and training employees on what to do if a security breach is detected can make a big difference in stopping and preventing corporate espionage and data theft.