Proprietary information makes your business special, whether you’re a tech startup with a smart algorithm or a food manufacturer with a secret sauce. Regardless of industry, business gains competitive advantage from distinct practices or unique data. The last thing you want is someone with ill intent getting their hands on your differentiators. Here’s how to protect your proprietary information.

We all know cybercriminals are trying to gain unauthorized access to your computers. Most attention is on hackers stealing personal data, or malware attacks that render computers useless unless a ransom is paid. Other prime reasons bad actors seek out technology vulnerabilities are for corporate espionage or to make a buck selling your proprietary information to the highest bidder.

Trade secrets, business strategies, or product designs could all be at risk. The very future of your business could be at stake if you don’t control and protect your proprietary data. These strategies can help.

#1 Limit Access on a Need-to-Know Basis

It sounds very cloak and dagger: “you don’t have clearance for that.” Still, limiting access based on roles builds a stronger perimeter around proprietary data.

The front receptionist doesn’t need the same level of access to technology or data as the founder. Keep accountants and product development team members on their own systems, too.

This cuts the risk of inadvertent exposure or insider threat, plus, it contains possible damage. If one person’s access credentials are compromised, a hacker will only get so far.

#2 Educate and Audit

Check your control over proprietary data, and regularly audit what critical information you have and who has access to that data.

Also, vet employees to prevent bad actors from getting inside your security perimeter. Ongoing education can also help, as it will keep best practices top of mind with your employees.

#3 Limit Personal Device Usage

Many employees have powerful computers they can’t live without, or they may prefer to use their smartphones, laptops, or tablets. If you’re going to allow Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), you need to establish strict guidelines.

The business should:

  • ask employees to register any personal devices used for work;
  • segregate personal devices from the business network;
  • install remote monitoring to allow you to audit device access and ensure best practices;
  • require up-to-date software and vulnerability patching;
  • create a separate, encrypted drive on those personal devices for work data.

Also, ban the installation of hardware or software on office computers without involving IT. This can avoid someone downloading and installing a program that provides third-party access. The employee or department didn’t mean to cause a security breach, but you want to be safe.

#4 Protect Multifunction Devices, Too

Even with businesses doing more in the cloud, we still use printers, scanners, and copiers. Any of these could have internal storage that stores the data your users send to them. These devices are also attached to your network, and you may never have even changed the default password from the manufacturer.

Shore up security. Give these devices their own network separate from the main system.

#5 Destroy Any Hardware Properly

When you upgrade to new hardware, what do you do with the old technology? In many instances, it will sit unattended in a closet somewhere, or get boxed up and sent to an auctioneer without first clearing the hard drive. Work with a certified data destruction company. They can wipe your technology clean before resale or destroy them effectively.

Plus, keep in mind that paper remains a threat, too. Your employees need to be aware that a messy desk can mean documents go missing or get mixed up, and it is that much easier for a visitor to see and take an important document.

The ways to handle your proprietary information will evolve. Control and protection are key. Our IT experts can help you keep up with the threats and cut your risks. Contact us today at 570-243-9205 about securing your business’s lifeblood information.

We found it very easy to work with Underdog. He gave a very clear and professional quote, he has been promptly responsive in all communications, and the network is working great. I feel very good about using his company for any future IT needs for our business.
Pam Watkins, Forks Bistro
Barton Heights had a very successful computer upgrade due to Underdog.  I met with him 2-3 months before the project and he gave us an estimate of the entire upgrade process involving 31 computers and a server.  He advised us and placed the order.  He also worked with us and ended up revising the estimate twice to completely satisfy our computer upgrade needs.  He added true value to his service as he was willing to perform the upgrade in the evening when we were closed to minimize our down time as we are a paperless business and rely 100% on our computers.  Carmine stepped up and took care of those problems as well, even though that was not his responsibility.  He always responds quickly to any issue that occurs.  I would highly recommend him to anyone!
Dr. Jeremy Wentz., Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital

I HAVE WORKED WITH CARMINE FOR MANY YEARS.  HE HAS DONE EVERYTHING FROM NETWORK SERVER INSTALLATION TO PROGRAM TROUBLESHOOTING.  HIS QUALITY OF WORK AND KNOWLEDGE ARE OUTSTANDING.   YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON Underdog TO WORK HARD FOR YOU.

Tim Stump, Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
Underdog makes you feel that you are his first concern if you have a Server down or you have a small printing question.  We have been with Carmine for 16 years and have only received quality service.
Dee McConnel, Straub Metal International
Thank you Underdog.  Will recommend you from the rooftops.
Law Office of Maria T. Candelaria, Maria Candelaria

12 years in business and I have been there and done that with other IT / Computer biz, and finally found one that listens, asks questions, and comes up with a plan.

If you are having issues or just want to see if there are options for and avenues of improvement for your computer / networking needs, checkout Underdog Computer and Network Support LLC.

There are some others that are good, but I cannot express the difference enough – they actually get it! Every business IS different with different needs and processes, and they take the time to find what is best for you instead of what they think is best for you!

Thank you, Carmine J. Corridore, for allowing me to have a stress free vacation this year! I look forward to working with you in the near future for some serious upgrades!

Carollee Streeter Kidd, CLK Transcription

“Underdog Computer and Network Support are amazing. They go over and above to help the small business owner Thank you Carmine for all you do”

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Underdog Came out to install our Phone System. They made a complicated process easy. Brian Davis, Full Circle Removal.

Brian Davis, Full Circle Removal

We have used Underdog Computer and Networking for business and personal use.  We have found them easy to schedule an appointment, very responsive, professional, and quick to isolate the problem and/or identify our real need.  We highly recommend Underdog.

Denise Flietman, Spread Eagle Realty

Jill Reeder, Pearl S Buck International

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