Let’s say that your business is a restaurant, and one of the reasons your restaurant is so popular is that you have a secret recipe that every customer loves. This leads to word-of-mouth popularity that brings in more customers. Eventually things snowball, and your restaurant has an incredible reputation.
But then one of your chefs leaves the restaurant, and he or she moves to a different restaurant. All of a sudden, that establishment is serving a remarkably similar dish to your signature (and secret) dish. Suddenly, the popularity of your restaurant begins to wane.
This is an example of someone having a trade secret, but failing to fully protect it. And as a result, a former employee passes that critical information on to a competitor, ruining the inherent value to the information’s formerly secret status.
Now, this is just a hypothetical situation. But you could replace this restaurant with a software company, or a car manufacturer, or a tech start-up. Any business that has a trade secret or critical information that has value purely because it is known by only a few people can be threatened when this information leaks out to the public. Protecting your trade secret is an important part of running a successful business.
Protecting your trade secret requires you to identify the critical pieces of information you want to protect, and then securing the systems that store that information. Make sure your information is stored in a secure location, and if people leak your trade secret or try to devalue the information by giving it or taking it to another company, you need to take legal action to protect yourself and your company.