How to Protect Your Company’s Sensitive Information & Intellectual Property

By George Otte

Intangible though it may be, it’s impossible to overstate the value of intellectual property. For many technology-driven companies, intellectual property is the most valuable asset on the books.

Your company’s intellectual property faces a variety of evolving, multi-directional threats. So does the sensitive personal and financial data it collects on employees, clients, and third-parties.

It’s crucial to do everything you can to keep this information safe.

Here’s what you can do to increase your information and data security.

Only Collect Data You Absolutely Need

First, only collect data that you absolutely need for your essential business operations. It’s common for firms to collect sensitive data, such as Social Security numbers, when they don’t really need to do so.

Keep Financial and Personal Records Under Lock and Key

Keep your most sensitive financial and personal records, such as bank account data and Social Security numbers, in highly secure conditions.


“Limit the number of people who have access to these sensitive records, and place tight restrictions on their removal.” — George Otte


Be especially careful with electronic files and to put firewalls and security measures in place to keep information encrypted, safe and secured at all times.

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The Top 6 Risk Factors for New Businesses & How to Avoid

By George Otte


Not all of the challenges that you’re likely to face as an entrepreneur are avoidable. However, most can be contained or surmounted with foresight, planning, and resolution.

Here’s how to mitigate or avoid six of the most common risk factors for startups.

1. Lack of Understanding of the Market

Before you formally set your business idea in motion, you need to make sure you’re pursuing the right idea at the right time.

One of the most common causes of early-stage business failure is a lack of due diligence: market testing, product research, and especially competitor analysis. Your due diligence may reveal that you’re entering a crowded, fiercely competitive marketplace — or that you have a tailor-made niche practically to yourself. This alone could be the difference between success and failure.

2. Nonexistent or Unclear Growth Strategy

Once you have a clear understanding of your market, you need a clear understanding of how you’ll grow into that market.

“Growth strategy” sounds intimidating, but developing one is actually a straightforward proposition. Start with a pre-made template and fill in with specific, relevant information based on your understanding of your business and your market research activities.

3. Unclear Value Proposition


“Your company’s value proposition is the clearest possible distillation of its mission, values, and objectives.” — George Otte


The value proposition is a compelling message that answers the question posed by every prospect who considers giving you their business: “What can you do for me?”

If you can’t answer that question clearly, concisely, and persuasively, you may struggle to gain traction with your target audience.

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