Protect Your Business from Internal and External Cyberattacks: 3 Practices to Implement Today - Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC

Protect Your Business from Internal and External Cyberattacks: 3 Practices to Implement Today

Protect Your Business from Internal and External Cyberattacks No matter what kind of Colorado business you own, you have valuable information you need to protect whether you realize it or not. Frequently referred to as intellectual property (IP), this information could be anything from customer lists to the secret formula for your cleaning products or anything in between. If another person or party were to get ahold of your IP, it could mean bad news for your business or even quite possibly the end of your business.  

However, if you don’t take steps to protect it, state and federal courts aren’t likely to show mercy. When you instill necessary measures to keep your IP secret, it substantially increases the likelihood that the courts will side in your favor if your trade secrets are illegally compromised.  

One area that’s often overlooked in trade secret protection is cyberattacks. A mobile workforce has many benefits, as most businesses have experienced first-hand over the past year. However, it’s not without its risks and drawbacks, including leaving IP more vulnerable. Here are three practices every business leader should use to protect their company’s data and trade secrets.  

Use Encryption for Sensitive Business Information 

Modern businesses store and access much of their confidential information online in a cloud with an uninterrupted connection to the internet. While highly convenient, this makes it next to impossible to conduct business in a manner that protects your company’s private information from falling into the wrong hands. However, companies should not and do not have to compromise convenience for security with encryption. 

Encryption encodes data so that it isn’t visible or accessible to individuals who aren’t authorized to use the data. It is one of the most valuable methods for protecting your network data. You lock the doors to the critical spaces in your business to keep any possible intruders out; encryption allows you to do the same with your network. Instead of locking, monitoring, or guarding a physical door at your business, encryption relies on rules-based algorithms as heavy-duty guards that secure your data to protect it from hackers. 

All company computers, tablets, and smartphones should have full-disk encryption. Never allow anyone access to encrypted information along with the password or key. Be sure to save a copy of your encryption password or key somewhere secure other than with your store backups. If you are emailing an encrypted document, find another way to get the recipient the key or password. Using encryption is a simple yet highly effective way to protect business information. 

Install and Activate Software and Hardware Firewalls 

Although firewalls exist and work in a digital space, company owners must understand how they work. Think of your firewall as your front desk security guard. The security guard verifies every coming in or out of the building, no matter who they are. The guard can and will refuse entry to suspicious individuals. A firewall analyzes all traffic and blocks any that appearing to be suspicious based on a defined set of security rules. 

Every network device, including computers and smartphones, should have a firewall system installed and kept up to date. These secure systems can stop employees from viewing certain websites and keep hackers from accessing your IP. All off-site employees should also be protected with the same type of firewall system, which can be used with a cloud service provider (CSP) or a virtual private network (VPN). For an increased level of protection, consider installing an intrusion detection/prevention system (IDPS). 

Train Employees on the Importance and Required Policies for Handling Sensitive Information 

Last but not least, don’t forget to train your employees on handling your company’s sensitive information. They need to know what information is important, why it’s important, your expectations for how they will handle such information. Have written policies and procedures accessible to your employees at all times, whether they work at home or on-site. By taking these steps, you will have evidence proving that you were proactive in helping to prevent any internal attacks exposing your sensitive and confidential information. 

Need Help Protecting Your IP? Look No Further than Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC 

When it comes to protecting your IP, what you don’t know can hurt you. However, as a business owner, you have a lengthy to-do list and many things you want to pursue. It’s nearly impossible for most business owners to run their business in the way they need and independently ensure they keep their trade secret info safe and secure. They need a highly knowledgeable professional who is well-versed in trade secret law and knows how to stay up to date with IP protection strategies 

If you know you need help protecting your IP or want to learn more about why doing so is crucial to your business, reach out to Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC today. We can work with business owners to shore up trade secret protection and use. Our Colorado business attorneys can assist you in developing policies and advise you on the use and storage of trade secret information.