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Jacksonville Legal Blog

One of the many reoccurring concerns Jacksonville businesses contend with is the protection of intellectual properties from being stolen, shared, downloaded, or transferred to unreliable sources many work-from-home employees have access to. The new Covid-19 processes being adopted by many companies may have more far-reaching implications than currently realized.  Present are the new security risks many small to medium size businesses didn’t plan for. In many cases these businesses lack the digital system protections most enterprise businesses have in place to protect their assets. Often times, a substantial amount of company information is available to employees such as client databases, inventory, electronic correspondences, pricing strategies, and even business plans that represent a significant portion of a company’s intellectual property and business value. Business employees have access to this confidential information and this in turn presents a security dilemma if an employee were to steal assets due to discontent, unhappy working conditions, or wanting a competitive advantage if they were to join or start their own business. The most common form of digital theft takes place by employees who have access to sensitive materials. These small to medium-size businesses are more likely to be targeted due to the lack of sophisticated security measures implemented to protect important material. Many company assets can be compromised at every level. So how do these small businesses protect themselves from theft and intellectual property loss? Heekin Litigation Group, a commercial and business law firm committed to protecting the interest of business clients throughout Florida believes businesses have a fiduciary responsibility to their owners and investors to protect all aspects of their intellectual resources. Our lead general counsel, Geoff Heekin believes that during the initial planning and implementation phase of a business, best practice methods need to be developed to launch a small business successfully. Developing HR policies, practices, and procedures as they relate to the handling of business data is essential to protecting it. Hiring policies need to include vetting of potential employees with background checks to reveal previous employment and reasons for separation. Past results usually determine future actions on the part of most employees. Employees need to be thoroughly trained on policies regarding the handling of all company information. Most effectively, HR policies concerning the handling of sensitive material should be provided to all current and future employees, and employees should be required to sign and date their understanding and acknowledgment. Additionally, there should be procedures implemented for the protection of passwords, sharing of confidential information, downloading, emailing sensitive data, and the reporting of security breaches of any kind. Resignations and terminations should be handled in an expeditious manner and businesses must take precautionary action to protect all company data. Security plans are only as good as their weakest point of entry. While these are common sense practices every small business should implement to limit their exposure, having an experienced legal advisor such as Heekin Litigation Group could be paramount to your business’s success.

Why Choose Heekin Litigation Group as Your Business Law Attorneys  

The practice of commercial law and business litigation is a specialized field not commonly performed by most attorneys. Since 1981, our managing partner Geoff Heekin has represented individuals and businesses involved in commercial disputes, construction disputes, homeowner association representation, and general commercial work. He has been instrumental in many business formations, drafting business plans, documents and general agreements, partnerships, employee non-disclosure agreements, and protecting intellectual property rights. Mr. Heekin and attorneys Hunter Malin and Ariel Spires also specialize in all facets of construction law, including construction disputes, liens, defects, and licensing. Heekin Litigation also represents homeowner associations, giving legal guidance, formation, and maintenance of an association, disputes, and enforcement of covenant violations. With over 75 years of shared experience, the attorneys at Heekin Litigation Group provide individualized legal counsel to any business entity facing a dispute. We have successfully defended clients in over 150 trials seeking just compensation and durable outcomes. Serving the needs of our business clients makes up the volume of our legal practice in all of North and North Central Florida including Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, St. Augustine, Clay County, The Beaches, Nocatee, Palm Coast, The Villages and beyond. Give us a call for a free, no-obligation consultation at 904-355-7000.

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