Protecting your trade secrets needs to be one of your biggest priorities. Many businesses try to spy on their competitors to learn more about their business model. Protecting your company’s secrets from corporate spies has always been difficult, but it is harder than ever in the digital age. You will need to know what steps you need to take to protect yourself.
There are a number of online security threats that you need to be aware to protect your business’s trade secrets. Here are some things that you will want to keep in mind.
Create a Social Media Policy
Social media has created a number of serious security risks for businesses. One careless employee could reveal far too much about your company’s strategy on Facebook. This can be a serious problem if your competitors are monitoring their posts. You will need to take this threat seriously and protect against it. Here are some tips that you should follow:
- Ask your employees to set their privacy settings very carefully.
- Have strict policies about what information should not be shared on social media.
- Create a social media compliance program that stipulates the penalties for employees that break it.
Your employees need to understand the importance of protecting company data. You will need to be particularly careful about explaining it to younger employees. They often don’t realize the importance of company secrets and tend to be more active social media users.
Create a BYOD Policy
Mobile devices have also created a number of risks for companies. Some of the concerns that you need to be aware of include:
- Devices can be hacked and data can be sold to unscrupulous competitors.
- Mobile device companies may record user activities. You don’t know how that information will be used and it can end up back in the hands of your competitors.
- Third party applications may also record information. You have no way of knowing what they will do with this information, especially if the developers are located in other countries that aren’t subject to FCC laws. Your employers may not read the privacy policies carefully, which creates a serious risk as well.
You will also want to create a mobile device policy that your employees should follow.
Have Strict IT Security
You will need to make sure that all of your devices are carefully protected. They should be equipped with the latest malware protection software. You should also make sure that your IT staff are monitoring the network carefully and screening for network security threats.
You will also need to make sure that all employees take their security responsibilities very seriously. They should set secure passwords to avoid having your data compromised.
Any threats need to be reported and dealt with immediately. Even the smallest security breach can compromise your business’s trade secrets.
This should be one of the most important steps that businesses take, but about 80% don’t have a formal IT security policy.
About the author: Kalen is a former engineer that has worked with several different technology startups. He has a passion for network security and sharing white hat hacking tips.