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Proprietary information

(also confidential information)

Proprietary information definition

Proprietary information refers to personal or exclusive knowledge, data, or intellectual property owned by a specific individual, organization, or company. It includes trade secrets, formulas, processes, designs, algorithms, customer lists, and marketing strategies, among other valuable information that gives a competitive advantage.

”Proprietary” means someone owns this information, and it is not accessible to the public. The proprietary information owner can control how they use or share data, usually using NDAs and other legally binding agreements.

Safeguarding proprietary information helps prevent unauthorized access, potential data breaches, or espionage that could harm business continuity and reputation. This protection often involves deploying robust security measures, including encryption, access controls, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems, complemented by practices like non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and employee awareness training.

See also: proprietary software, data hiding

Proprietary information benefits

  • Grants a competitive advantage in the market.
  • Fuels innovation and business growth.
  • Enhances brand value and reputation.
  • Attracts potential investors or partners.
  • Supports patent applications and intellectual property rights.

Protecting proprietary information

  • Implement robust data encryption methods, such as AES.
  • Employ automated cloud or off-site data backup solutions.
  • Implement role-based access control (RBAC) for data access.
  • Offer regular phishing and general cybersecurity awareness programs to staff.
  • Implement SSL/TLS for secure data transmission.
  • Ensure all stakeholders sign NDAs before data access.
  • Use automated update systems to patch security vulnerabilities.
  • Enforce complex passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA).
  • Use reputable antivirus and firewall protection.