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Out with the Old, in with the New: A New Year’s Approach to Protecting your IP

Happy New Year!

Bonne année et bonne santé!

It’s already that time of year again –January.

Perhaps you’ve set some ambitious goals like running a marathon or eating less or more of something.  Good luck to those who have!

January is also a time of significant change for some.  Change in diet or intention, but also in careers.  People change jobs within their own sector, or they leave the workforce all together.  The choice of where to work is more or less hard coded into [relatively] free society.  When people decide to move on, it’s usually with congratulations and understanding, but of course not all departures are seen equally.

The risk to employers –generally the incumbents –can be felt straight away when an employee leaves under suspicious or heated circumstances.  Perhaps a review did not go well, or if they are upper management, perhaps board expectations were not met.

Risk to Employer

“Are our client lists leaving with people?”, “What about other staff?”

“Do we have any idea whatsoever what Jane and John may have accessed and taken with them?”

“We have those designs for the new product and the sales, marketing and engineers are all going across; this could cause us significant losses”.

Risk to New Employer

“Are John and Jane bringing across trade secret information that we should not have?”

“This is a tightly competitive space we’re in, did John or Jane bring across pricing information or other information that should cause us concern?”

How do you eat an elephant?

Well you don’t –that’s not nice, but proverbially speaking, ‘one bite at a time’.  It starts with conversations.  Ask yourself what you know about the situation to be factually accurate, if anything.  Do not overthink it:  grab a yellow A4 pad and draw three columns with: 1. Date of an item, 2. What you know happened to date and 3. What you suspect may have happened or risks that jump out in your mind.

Preserve

Part of this approach should also be to preserve potentially relevant documentary evidence (data).  This can be one of the quickest and least expensive parts of the whole process.  This will ensure a ‘snapshot in time’ is maintained for specific devices should an investigation need to progress.  This is incredible important for mobile devices and computers, both of which suffer from volatility and their precious artefacts being disrupted.

Assess

One does not necessarily need to dive in headfirst.  There are lighter touch ways to report on behavioural data points on phones and computers.  These can be done on a flat fee basis usually so that stakeholders can be better informed whether they need to act or wind down the investigation.

Engage Experts

Speak on the phone to experts who understand electronic investigations and how to target information and data to answer the: ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘when’. –the ‘why’ will be up to someone else usually.  Differing type of computers and systems have their own quirks and expected results, so let an expert help guide you and set expectations.

Timothy LaTulippe, iDS Director, UK/EEA, litigation, data privacy, risk identification, info security

Timothy LaTulippe, MSc Director, UK/EEA

+44 7733 311858
tlatulippe@idsinc.com
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iDS are an international consultancy in eDiscovery, Data Forensics, Managed Review, Cyber Security, Structured Data Analysis and provide expert evidence as well.  Get in touch with our team if you want to learn more or need a chat.

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