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Protect Your Start-up – Business Asset Risk Management

Posted In Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Monday, June 3rd, 2013 With No Comments »

Business owners, especially new ones that are just starting out, who don’t spend the time or have the staff to watch employees, risk much more than lost productivity. Consider what would happen if you had an employee visiting porn websites or downloading illegal material. If your employees are breaking the law, and internet use laws are very strict, you could have police officers at your door with a warrant. Visitors to illegal sites are not anonymous, your location can be tracked by IP address and there are programs that match IP address to physical address. One employee’s online activity could also expose other employees to offensive material, and that could lead to lawsuits and discrimination complaints by offended employees. Employers are responsible for providing a safe discrimination free workplace so it would all come back to you.

Protect Your Start-up - Business Asset Risk ManagementAnother significant risk for businesses is loss of your intellectual property (IP). Your business IP assets are extremely valuable to your competitors and a competitor could beat you to market on a groundbreaking idea and steal the revenue that should have been yours. Employees who are carelessness with your IP assets can result in the same lost revenue as an employee selling your IP to your competitors. 

Here are some strategies to manage your employees and protect your IP assets. An informational piece from itbusinessedge.com has some great ideas.

– Monitor your employees and make sure they know that you are watching them.
– Prepare a company policy statement have them sign it and refresh at each performance review.
– Enforce your policy and make that enforcement public.
– Get computer programs to monitor your employee’s computer activity.
Restrict access to files an employee doesn’t need. Block inappropriate sites, including Facebook, Twitter, porn sites, shopping sites and other unnecessary sites.
– Track files that each employee downloads, especially those that are IP assets. If something falls into the wrong hands you will know where to look for the security breach.
– Restrict copying access for confidential files including sending them via email.
– Restrict access to sensitive files to a need to know basis.
– Make an inventory of PC and laptop files on a regular basis. Spot check without notice so you can find out who is squirreling away sensitive files, which is an extremely risky behavior. – If a laptop or Smartphone is lost or stolen it can result in a much bigger loss of IP assets.

Based on a survey by the American Management Association, employee monitoring has grown from 35% to 80% in the last 4 years.  If you are not monitoring your workforce consider starting sooner than later.

Author Bio:

This article was written by Warren Wilson, who is a tech blogger covering business security issues for Retina X Studios a leading spy software provider, maker of Sniper Spy an app that helps you monitor your employees.

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