Corporate espionage is no joking matter. Businesses need a competitive edge if they want to stay in business. This is usually a trade secret, whether it is a secret recipe or a proprietary manufacturing process. Even something as simple as the right suppliers can improve a company’s chances on the market. There are unscrupulous companies out there who won’t hesitate to try to steal these secrets from you. If you do not want to lose this edge or any of your business secrets, you should be more proactive in protecting them. Here are some methods in which you can ensure that your business is safe from corporate spying and thievery.
Improve Physical Security
The first thing you have to change is the actual security in your work locations. If corporate spies can walk into your office and take the files they want, then that is major security failing. Even allowing unauthorized people into places like your warehouse or manufacturing floor can be a security breach.
The obvious solution is to have security guards posted at all the relevant locations. They are the first line of defense. Their main job is to keep unauthorized people out and to keep track of visitors. Security options can be more high-tech. For example, you can hire access control installers to place biometric and bar code scanners in the right places. That would stop intruders from going in without creating a trail. This also prevents visitors from entering restricted areas without being too hard about it. Just give them an access card that will let them move around in the public areas.
You should also install security cameras and motion detectors. These are perfect for after-hours protection of your work areas. Pair them up with alarms, and you can have the police arrest the interlopers.
Upgrade Online Security
With the spread of the internet, data breaches are also common. Protecting your company from an online threat is also for more than corporate spies. Cybercriminals are a significant threat to your company and your customers. Investing in digital security protects you from both.
Hiring professional security experts can help a lot in improving your online defenses. They will be able to identify the weak areas in your security and shore them up. Additionally, they can recommend security programs like firewalls to protect you from a variety of hacking attempts.
However, the most significant digital security problem you have is your employees. You need to train them to be more aware of potential hacks and security holes. For example, you should have them use stronger passwords. Weak passwords are easy to crack. This allows for anyone who wants access to your digital data to reach it easily.
Employee Vetting and NDAs
Employees are also a potential source of information leaks outside of the digital realm. A boasting employee can let slip secrets that you don’t want your competitors to find out. Besides that, a disgruntled one can take revenge on your company by selling your secrets to the highest bidder. If you want to prevent this, you should have employees who learn confidential information to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). A strong NDA would convince employees to keep quiet or face harsh fines.
Additionally, it would be best if you looked closely at your potential employees. It sounds like lousy spy fiction, but undercover corporate spies do exist. What is more likely though is that employees with negative habits and addictions will be more susceptible to selling your secrets for money.
Implementing Information Security
Information security covers several things. The main one is to control how your company shares company secrets. Your company uses them so you can’t hide them from your employees. But you can be more careful about their distribution. For example, security experts recommend that companies don’t print out proprietary information unless necessary and to keep that print out of sight. Once your people finish with it, they should shred the document. It may seem severe, but this ensures that only your trusted people see the information.
Shredding documents is an important part of information security. It might surprise you at how much people can learn from even a simple receipt. You should make it a company policy that once a paper document is not useful anymore, it should end up shredded before they are thrown away. This ensures that even if people retrieve it, they will have a hard time piecing it together.
Corporate espionage can cost you millions in profits if you are not careful. Ensure that your secrets are safe by taking your security seriously.