Protecting Trade Secrets: A Crucial Part of Mergers and Acquisitions
Under normal circumstances, you might hide trade secrets behind hardened firewalls under heavy coded locks. But what about when you’re amid a mega merger or acquisition? You need to share intimate details with a prospective buyer or learn about what a target has to offer. But you also need to protect the integrity of sensitive digital data – ensuring any trade secrets which leave point A arrive intact at point B.
To make this work, you need encryption. But you also need an encryption platform which offers the flexibility to accommodate different business situations while featuring effective risk mitigating security measures. This can be easier said than done.
Here’s how our OneWorld encryption platform can help:
- Definable message policies for automatic encryption
Mergers and acquisitions are delicate processes involving a lot of back-and-forth correspondence between various concerned parties. Depending how many parties, or people, are involved, things can get confusing fast. Malicious actors prey on this confusion to get what they want – valuable confidential information about your company, like trade secrets.
With our OneWorld email encryption platform, you can set definable policies to ensure encryption is automatically applied to sensitive emails or attachments. Based on a predetermined set of triggers, like keywords or attachment types or something as simple as a specific recipient, emails and their content, including your trade secrets, remain uncompromised.
- Multi-branding prevents M&A confusion
If you’re a large international company, chances are you operate under multiple brands, out of multiple offices or in multiple languages. This can be problematic when executing delicate mergers and acquisitions, where message authenticity is crucial. From trade secrets to secrets regarding the actual M&A process itself, a confusing encryption experience can open doors to thieves.
With support for multiple brands in up to 22 languages, our OneWorld encryption platform ensures all your encrypted communications look like they come from you. And an easy configurable drop-down menu allows your recipients to interact with your encrypted message in all offered languages. This reduces the potential for confusing, misleading or fraudulent communication.
- Only intended recipients can read your messages
When negotiating mergers and acquisitions, at some point you are going to be sending confidential trade secrets and other sensitive information to a prospective buyer or partner. While providing these details over the phone, via snail mail or in-person might seem more secure – these methods simply don’t cut it in our fast-paced digital age. But sending them via email can be risky (and even illegal) without protecting the message with adequate encryption.
But how do you retain control over a message once you’ve hit ‘send?’ How do you ensure only an intended recipient sees the sensitive information in your message?
In addition to other password options, our OneWorld encryption platform allows senders to both set their own secure passwords, communicated via password hints or out-of-band to their recipient, or they can defer to a system-generated password system. Both methods ensure that even if an encrypted email is sent to an incorrect recipient, or if a recipient’s email system is compromised, access is not granted without proper password authentication.
- Detailed reporting to dot your i’s and cross your t’s
Picture this: You sent a confidential encrypted email containing trade secrets to someone crucial to your M&A process. But somehow that email has been misplaced, they’ve forgotten their password for access, or you are not sure they have received it and time is of the essence.
Instead of just resending sensitive information, further muddying the waters, you need to make sure your original message is not compromised, sent to an incorrect recipient or has even been sent. To help you check up on sent messages, and even recall them or change permissions, OneWorld offers a comprehensive set of reporting tools. As the saying goes: Better safe than sorry.
- Keep sensitive information safe in transit
At the end of the day, any trade secrets, or other sensitive information you might send throughout an M&A process, are only as secure as the delivery method used to send them. With six flexible secure delivery methods, to fit any business case, the OneWorld email encryption platform ensures no sensitive message goes out in the clear, no secure message is undeliverable and that your prospective partners, M&A targets or buyers can learn more about your company’s details in a safe and controlled manner.
By: Michael Roberts, VP of Technology, Echoworx