Virtually every business relies on some form of intellectual property. It should be a service or product that sets your company apart from the competition, and you need to know how to adequately define, identify and protect your IP.

When your company’s profits rely on your intellectual property, you need to take several measures to ensure it stays safe. There are numerous steps to take to attain greater peace of mind that your trade secrets will remain secret.

Send out strong non-disclosure agreements

If you will have teams of people who will have access to your intellectual property, then you want to be certain those individuals do not go out and talk about it. Having employees sign non-disclosure agreements will help your IP remain fully in your possession. Even if your team goes to work at other companies, you can be confident they will not share secrets with their new employers.

Consider whether you should file a patent

Although some people will benefit from filing a patent on an invention, certain businesses may benefit more by keeping the IP a trade secret. When you file a patent, you have to reveal how to make the product to the public. At this point, other businesses can create similar products that are just different enough to avoid infringing on your patent. Some inventors will decide it is best to simply keep their innovation a trade secret to avoid divulging too much information to the public at large.

Store information in a system with strong access control

Keeping the details of your IP in a computer system that only requires a password to access is not enough. It is extremely simple for hackers to break into the system, even if you own a huge company with numerous resources. Instead, you want to store this information in a system that utilizes adaptive authentication that comes with risk analysis.