It's a Secret

So keep it that way--protect your proprietary information.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

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."

What are information thieves looking for? Concepts or sources of innovation that give you a competitive edge. Here are two simple ways to protect yourself: Do background and police checks on new hires and use locks and keys to deter snoops and criminals. Says Boni, "Your competitive information is your crown jewels, and they should be locked up with only owner access."

Ellen Paris is a Washington, DC, writer and former Forbes magazine staff writer.

loading...

More from Entrepreneur

Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Make sure you’re covered if an employee gets injured at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business
Whether you want to learn something new, be more productive, or make more money, the Entrepreneur Store has something for everyone:
  • Software
  • Gadgets
  • Online Courses
  • Travel Essentials
  • Housewares
  • Fitness & Health Devices
  • And More

Latest on Entrepreneur