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It's a Secret

So keep it that way--protect your proprietary information.

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This story appears in the May 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Thanks to technology, information theft is a growth industry these days-and companies are losing money. A survey jointly conducted by the American Society for Industrial Security and Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, found that proprietary information theft cost Fortune 1,000 companies more than $45 billion in 1999.

Even if you're not a major corporation, you still have proprietary information to protect, and smaller companies often have a tougher job protecting themselves than larger corporations with dedicated security staffs. According to Bill Boni, a former director at Pricewaterhouse-Coopers' investigation group in Los Angeles and co-author of the survey, "Even though legal safeguards do exist for information theft, they're after the fact, so if you don't have a large war chest to spend on attorney's fees, safeguarding your information is the best thing to do."

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