Patrick Keating

Texas Trade Secrets

Category: Best Practices (page 1 of 2)

Exit Interviews

Employee exit interviews are a useful tool for protecting businesses trade secrets.  Many businesses use exit interviews for a different purpose – eliciting candid answers from a former insider about what the business is doing right and wrong.  It is also a time to talk to the employee about trade secrets that may be at risk due to the employee’s departure.

Trade secrets may be at risk in two different ways.  The first risk is knowledge loss.  The second risk is inadvertent or intentional disclosure of trade secrets to a competitor. Continue reading

A Better Encryption Mousetrap?

Some businesses object to the use of cloud storage of electronic data because of a fear that employees of the storage provider (or others) could access the businesses’ data stored in the cloud.  Even if the data is encrypted, this fear can still exist if the cloud storage service holds the key necessary to decrypt the data.  Continue reading

Update on Astros Hacking Story

January 31, 2017 Update: ABC News reports that Major League Baseball completed its investigation of the hacking incident and (i) ordered the St. Louis Cardinals to pay $2 million to the Houston Astros within 30 days and (ii) transferred the Cardinals’ top two draft picks in the 2017 draft to the Astros.

July 25, 2016 Update: On July 18, 2016 the court sentenced Chris Correa to 46 months imprisonment and to pay $279,038 in restitution.

In a prior post, I discussed the FBI investigation into whether the St. Louis Cardinals hacked into the Houston Astros’ computer network.  At that time, the FBI believed that a Cardinals’ employee was able to do so because the Astros’ General Manager previously worked for the Cardinals and re-used Cardinals’ computer passwords in the Astros’ computer system.

On January 8, 2016, the Cardinals’ former scouting director, Chris Correa, pled guilty to five counts of Unauthorized Access of a Protected Computer.  The maximum penalty is a $250,000 fine for each count and five years in prison. Continue reading

Astros Strikeout on Data Security

Yes, we hate it when the window pops up on our computer telling us that it is time to change our password.  We have to pause to think of a new string of characters that complies with the password rules (use at least one capital letter, use a special character such as punctuation, etc…).  For several days, we may have difficulty remembering the new password.

IT administrators across the country are now using the Houston Astros as a poster child for why this password security process is necessary. Continue reading

When Security Backfires

People who design security measures to protect the confidentiality of business information often face a tension between security and ease of use.  When employees view a security measure as an annoying obstacle to getting the job done, they often find a work around to avoid the annoyance.  This can create a new risk of disclosing the information that the security measure was designed to protect.

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