Perhaps the most integral part of any company’s success is its intellectual property. This information, often classified, has many uses including to strategize, create unique products and services, and maintain relevance and competitiveness in the ever-changing world of business.

Companies that neglect taking steps to protect their intellectual property and guarantee its safety may suffer the costly effects of information loss or abuse when the wrong hands get a hold of important data.

The implementation of a non-disclosure agreement

Non-disclosure agreements or NDAs, according to Forbes are an agreement not to share confidential information with sources that may utilize critical data for their benefit. A well-written non-disclosure agreement includes the following elements:

  • A clear definition of confidential information and its components.
  • Identification of the parties involved in the agreement and their expectations.
  • A description of information that is exempt from the confidentiality agreement.
  • How long the agreement will last and any conditions for termination.

Protecting classified information

While there are a host of ways in which intellectual property may stay confidential, Forbes suggests that the use of a non-disclosure agreement is one of the more effective methods. Other considerations companies may use include encouraging creativity and innovation, limiting the exposure of secrets and strategies, and monitoring the accessibility of classified information to only those whose jobs require it.

With adequate controls in place and training about how to properly disseminate and use intellectual information, companies may more effectively protect the resources and knowledge that set them apart from their competitors. Any suspicions of improperly shared or used information require prompt investigation to reduce the loss of critical techniques and methods.