In recent years, data security and privacy vulnerabilities predominantly shaped organizations’ data management approach due to the significant fines and reputational risks involved. This, inevitably, outweighed the focus on trade secrets management, despite the severity and likelihood of the risks being equally crucial and compliance comparably challenging.
While working-from-home is not a novel concept, the fact that countless businesses have made the transition to remote-working in a few days and are now two months into a new way of working pose significant risks.
Businesses now need to find a way to make certain information and know-how accessible from any location while trusting their employees to comply with protection mechanisms. Before COVID, insider threats accounted for over 34% of all data breaches (2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report); how many more intentional or unintentional breaches occur now that digital has become the default medium?
Most of the vulnerabilities that lead to potential trade secrets violations must be addressed jointly by legal, IT and HR functions. Employee satisfaction, staff churn-rate and third-party supplier engagements (consultants/contractors) are variables significantly affecting a business’ trade secret integrity. HR has a vital role in raising awareness about trade secrets and in training staff and contractors on the protection mechanisms and inherent responsibilities.
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Author: John Pryor Exalt IP