Are you covering all the bases to keep commercially sensitive information secret?

Your IT systems will likely have anti-virus, firewalls, two-factor identification and various policies to keep your data safe.

And when it comes to the risk of employees or former employees disclosing information, there will usually be provisions restricting them from doing so in their contracts of employment or settlement agreements.

But are there other avenues in your business through which confidential and sensitive information could be disclosed to competitors or others?

There are various circumstances in which third parties who are not employed by you could have a legitimate reason to see or use your sensitive or confidential information.

You might have consultants advising on equipment to manufacture new products or services, you might be bringing IT contractors to carry out particular tasks or you might be disclosing financial data to investors in or prospective buyers of your business.

In all these circumstances, it is important to ensure you have non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements in place, whether as provisions within wider contractual documentation or as standalone agreements.

Crucially, that means being alert to the situations when people might come into contact with your sensitive or confidential information and ensuring appropriate agreements are in place even in non-obvious situations.

As with any contract, it is important to seek legal advice to ensure that any non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements you ask people to sign are fit for purpose and enforceable if the information is disclosed. Speak to us for assistance.

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