Insider Risk

Can you keep a secret?

By Veriato Team

Do you know what secrets your company has? Where they are stored? If they are protected?

I’m not referring to the affair going on between the sales rep and the graphic designer. We’re talking about Trade Secrets here.

According to, trade secrets consist of information and can include formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques or processes. To meet the most common definition of a trade secret, it must be used in the course of business, and it must provide at least an opportunity to obtain an economic advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.

Do you have any trade secrets? For some companies, the entirety of their success may be attributable to a trade secret. Think about the formula for Coca-Cola. Never patented. Never revealed. They’ve done a pretty good job of keeping the formula to themselves, and built a nice little business around it.

Now, not every company has a secret formula locked away. Every company does have a customer list, though. Is your customer list a trade secret? It might be.

Most court rulings on this seem to fall along the lines that a mere list of company names is not a trade secret, but a customer list that contains information about your customers that is not readily available to the public (for example, an insurance company that has information about the amount and type of insurance customers purchased, along with policy information) and / or that required significant investment to assemble is likely protectable under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

Customer information is typically pretty accessible within an organization. More often than not, the need for productivity overrules attempts to lock the CRM down tight. Sales, Marketing, Support, and Finance – at minimum – all have access. With access comes opportunity – if someone wants to take CRM data and get it off network, it’s just not that hard anymore in most places.

From a common sense perspective, if you believe it would harm your business if a sales rep resigned, and took your detailed customer information with them to a competitor, you should (a) protect your customer list and (b) look into injunctive relief from a court if you think this has happened to your business.

An important first step is to identify your trade secrets. A quick Google search for “identifying your trade secrets” will return a wealth of advice on this topic. Once you have your trade secrets identified, you can move on to protecting them. And if your goal is too secure without locking things down so tightly that productivity is hampered, we’ll be here to help.

2023 Preparedness Checklist: Ensure Your Workforce Is Productive and Secure

This guide will help you understand where there are opportunities and risks in your workforce, and what you can do to make sure 2023 is as secure and productive as possible with workforce behavior analytics.

About the author

Veriato Team
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida.

Productivity & Insider Risk Resources

A More Insightful, Proactive Approach to Employee Monitoring

A More Insightful, Proactive Approach to Employee Monitoring

Also known as “bossware” and even “employee surveillance”, employee monitoring has been placed in the bucket of technologies that companies force on their employees. Whatever you call it, its use is on the rise and it looks like it’s here to stay. As of 2022, 60% of...

Bossware and the Future of Work

Bossware and the Future of Work

Recently, there has been considerable coverage of “bossware” and a focus on draconian types of “surveillance” some companies are using to stay on top of remote and flexible workforces. Articles claim companies are accessing the camera on laptops and tracking every...

The Myths and Truths of Employee Monitoring

The Myths and Truths of Employee Monitoring

Early in the pandemic, searches related to “how to monitor employees working from home” increased by 1,705%. Without the oversight of managers in an office setting, many companies are concerned that their employees are less productive, and that there is an increase...