Dear Clients and Friends;
Cloud services make it easy for an employee who is planning to go to work for a competitor to steal confidential information.
In the past, businesses were often able to catch such employees because they would typically mail a large number of files to a personal e-mail account in the days before they left. But if an employee has routinely synced his or her computer with a home device, it is much harder to prove they did something wrong.
Employees can even set up a script at home so that every time a file is added to Dropbox, it is printed on their home computer.
If you ever bring a lawsuit against a competitor for theft of trade secrets one of the things you will have to prove is that the information was actually “secret” and that you took reasonable steps to keep it confidential. If you don’t have a policy that limits employees’ ability to upload and share data in the cloud, your likelihood of success is materially reduced.
One way to protect yourself is to limit your company to one cloud provider. It’s much easier to maintain security with one cloud provider than it is if you let employees do their own thing with whatever providers they choose – especially if the cloud service you work with can give you reports on employee usage.
It may also be a good idea to have a written cloud storage policy and have employees sign off on it.
Among other things, such a policy could say that employees may not upload or share data using the cloud without approval by management, may not use a cloud service that is not approved by management, may access cloud data only when they have a secure connection, may not download data to home devices or share data with anyone outside the company, and may not share their login credentials with anyone (including co-workers).
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