Projects often involve sensitive information, such as collaborations that haven’t yet been made public, or budgets that hinge on not-yet-released market data. How can you keep your team (and your company) out of hot water with all that confidential information floating around?
1 – Know the regulations. Depending on the type of information you’re handling, you may need to adhere to federal or other laws that govern the storage and destruction of your data. Documentation related to health, financial, and immigration records are just a few examples that are commonly covered by state and/or federal laws.
2 – Know the internal rules. Many companies have put rules in place that address the handling of sensitive information. Check with your legal or human resources groups to be sure you have the latest information on your company’s code of conduct, corporate governance, or other applicable guidelines.
3 – Maintain your paperwork. If confidentiality forms or non-disclosure agreements are needed for individual team members, confirm now that you have everything on record. When new people join the team, immediately obtain the necessary forms for them, too. Determine if external consultants and vendors should also sign NDA or other agreements.
4 – Limit access. Review each team member’s role, and identify who does and doesn’t need access to sensitive information. The wide sharing of knowledge generally contributes to a smooth-functioning team, but access to confidential data should be tightly restricted to only those positions that can’t successfully function without it.
5 – Set clear expectations. Instruct employees with access to sensitive information to maintain strict confidentiality. Let those with access know who doesn’t have the same authorization, to prevent unintentional internal leaks, too. Sharing sensitive information with other companies might compromise your competitive advantage, but even sharing confidential information internally could present serious problems.
PODCAST: 5 Tips for Managing Confidential Information. To listen CLICK HERE