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Hacking trade secrets: a common and damaging problem

Advancements in technology have created a formidable and evolving enemy for California businesses: the cybercriminal. Data breaches have made cyber security a hot button issue. For companies, a breach might possibly result in the theft of corporate confidential information. And, the size of a business does not always matter. The risk of having trade secrets stolen is a real possibility for many. As such, organizations should not only understand cybertheft risks, but also take certain steps for prevention.

Perpetrators of cybercrime are not always strangers to the company they are attacking, as reported by Forensicon. In many situations, it is an internal attack that may cause the loss of trade secrets. For instance, an employee may take a position at a competing firm and decide to smuggle confidential information via a thumb drive or file hosting service. Other examples may include a person who gathers information from a coworker’s unlocked computer or an external hacker who develops relationships with employees for the purpose of gaining access to company systems. Forensicon estimates that people operating inside companies are responsible for 85 percent of all trade secret theft.

So, what can a company do to protect itself against trade secret breaches? Business News Daily provides preventative strategies. Businesses should make sure that they have a breach response plan in place. This plan should be updated and practiced intermittently. Also, a password policy should be developed and include stipulations on when passwords are changed and how strong they should be. Additionally, employees should be trained on acceptable computer and network usage and be able to understand and identify cybercrime risks. And, a company should always update its security software when prompted.

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