Is it time to secure your research and development department?

For any company that develops products, security is essential.

There are many reasons for this. In terms of profitability, you want to know that your product is unique at the time of going to market. As development can take a long time, you need to be able to keep your product under wraps. If a competitor finds out about it, they might be able to develop their own version before you, and you will lose your competitive edge.

Any leak about your product could also harm its launch. While it is in development, it isn’t a sure thing. You might find there isn’t really a need for it in the market. Or maybe you simply can’t make it work. If nothing else, your product will surely undergo several fundamental changes during the development phase. An early leak could lead to disappointment or confusion at the launch.

So how can you keep your company secrets safe? Setting up a team of researchers and product developers takes skill and coordination. This is usually completed by someone with qualifications and experience in project management. The team are likely to work together in the same work space. This area can then be secured by using secure entry systems and high-end surveillance tech.

The data that your teams collate will also need to be protected. An internal server could be a good idea. It means all of your data is effectively offline, reducing any chance of leaks or hacks. You might need an end-to-end IT service provider here, like ATB Technologies to ensure you have the setup in-house to support what you are doing. There will undoubtedly be a need to research and even post documentation online so choose an IT company that can help keep you secure. If you’ve ever set up an online store, you might already have some experience of keeping data secure and protected within the law.

Allocating the space necessary to facilitate this sort of setup isn’t always easy. However, most companies already have a room dedicated to a server or IT hub. If this can be safely expanded to suit your research and development lab, your company will benefit. You might need a full time IT expert on site, depending on your provision and requirements. This might add to the budget for your research and development.

Many large corporations provide a different security clearance level to employees working in the research and development department.

The contract of employment will undoubtedly include a non-disclosure clause. If you don’t have this set up yet, speak to your HR department.

They might recommend that you seek legal support in drafting this kind of document. Changing an employee’s terms might also cause you a few headaches. Speak to a lawyer before you submit any drafts.

Your research is valuable. Even if you don’t use on a new product, there is every chance you could release it to support your marketing strategy or sell it on to another business.

Don’t let it slip through your fingers! As for your product development? You might benefit from a legal representative that specializes in patent law and other copyrights. This can help you to keep your designs and ideas safe and sound.