Confidential Information is non-public information that contains sensitive and valuable data and that are protected by the company against unauthorized access or disclosure. Every company protects its confidential information and shares it only when the situation absolutely requires it, for example, it is necessary to share some confidential information with the company’s legal counsel or during confidential business meetings. In such cases, however, the other party has to undertake to disclose that information. Similarly, the company’s employees who have access to this kind of data have to undertake to disclose the confidential information.
Why businesses protect their confidential information?
Confidential information is the most valuable information assets of an organization. Its loss or disclosure may result in major financial damage, loss of business position in the market, and, in the extreme situation, the existence of the company as such may be threatened.
Which information is usually classified as confidential?
A company keeping a competitive edge will necessarily have high value information that its competitors don’t. Sensitive commercial information is part of the competitive advantage. Apart from sensitive commercial information, there are also other sensitive or personal information that belong to the category of confidential information.
- Business or marketing plans or strategies
- Strategic plans in general
- Pricelists, calculation formulas
- Technological or working procedures
- Source computer codes
- Information protected by intellectual property rights (copyright, patents, etc.)
- Methodology, know-how
- Personal information
Such information can be in any form - electronic, paper, or simply in people’s heads.
In what ways can we protect confidential information?
The protection of confidential information must cover the full scale, i.e. the protection must be ensured by technological, organizational and legal means.
- organizational means - limit the number of people who can access and process the confidential information
- technical (technological) means - control access to information, use encryption of stored and transmitted data
- legal means - protect intellectual property, make a non-disclosure agreement, etc.
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