Business is often about coming up with that new idea: a process that gives rise to a startup, a dream and a bright future. The countless, long hours put into innovative designs and product development comprises the essence of the hard work that forms the basis of an entrepreneur’s intellectual property. Once achieved, there is always a possibility that someone might rob an entrepreneur of this work that gives rise to the profit-generating power driving their brand. For this reason, a savvy entrepreneur needs to consider the following four ways to protect their work.
Copyrights and Patents
Having an incredible design for a product is not safe on its own. Without the correct copyrights and patents in place, virtually anyone can steal an entrepreneur’s unprotected idea and make it their own. In some cases, the entrepreneur who came up with the idea may even be sued by the person who stole the idea from them. It may be necessary to work closely with Intellectual property protection attorneys to properly build a defense against these kinds of attacks.
Often business-owners leave their intellectual property (blueprints, sensitive documents, and more) on easily hackable servers. Anyone with Internet access – especially employees working for the business owner – will have access to these sensitive materials. This is why it is critical to protect intellectual property with a secure VPN as well as using high-level encryption techniques to obscure documents and data that may reveal to the wrong parties what this intellectual property is all about.
To prevent employees from stealing company secrets and intellectual property, it is essential to properly vet employees before trusting them with access to anything of a sensitive nature within the business. Trusting the wrong employee can do more damage to a business than most entrepreneurs take the time to truly consider. It is always a good idea to check into an employee’s background and even regularly test to determine how much honesty and integrity they have in subtle ways. If they will steal or misuse company property or lower-level information, then how much more will they deal treacherously with important company secrets? Remember, most security breaches in a company are carried out by current and former employees.
Have a Security System in Place
One way to keep the innovative designs and intellectual property that an entrepreneur has created safe is to install the correct security measures. Cameras, lights, and sensors will help to protect the perimeter of a building to keep intruders out. Likewise, reducing access to sensitive data down to a single heavily monitored computer with security permissions in place can go a long way in tightly controlling access to sensitive company information and intellectual property. At the same time, the monitoring approach should be able to easily identify who is engaged in any nefarious activity.
Even though considerable measures have been taken to protect the work which defines a company’s direction and purpose in the marketplace, this is never a good reason for an entrepreneur to let their guard down. They should always assume and anticipate that a threat is lurking somewhere and is waiting for the most opportune time to strike. It is in this respect as an entrepreneur that a little healthy professional distrust of others is a smart attribute to possess.