When building a business, there are certain things that one must consider. The product/service is, of course, the most important to consider, followed very closely by the funding. However, managing a business goes much further than that. Oftentimes, up-and-coming businesspeople fail to consider things like propriety information, leading to less unique and unoriginal product.
In terms of the iGaming industry, this propriety information can refer to a unique piece of code that makes your website unique, a game mechanic that helps your games distinguish themselves from the competition, or maybe even a website layout that allows said games to run a whole lot smoother. The point we are making here is this: If you have put forth the effort into creating something original, you should also be aware of how to protect it.
So, if you are an up-and-comer in the world of iGaming, this article will help you understand the importance of protecting propriety information and trade secrets and offer some helpful tips and advice on how to do so.
Overview of Relevant Laws and Regulations
The first thing you must understand is the relevant laws and regulations to protect your company’s proprietary information. And to do that, we must define precisely what proprietary information and trade secrets mean. According to US federal law, trade secrets encompass a company’s finance, business, science, economy, and engineering information. In the case of an iGaming company, relevant trade secrets include stuff like codes, methods for creating the games, techniques used to create the games, any programs that might have been made, etc.
Now, some might confuse trade secrets with trademarks or patents. A trademark is a product or service that is inevitably associated with a particular company. Patents, on the other hand, protect technical inventions. Trade secrets have a much broader and hard-to-pin definition, as by design, they are meant to be kept secret from the public.
The difference between these three can also be seen in the laws that protect them. For example, it wasn’t until 2016 that the United States government passed a federal law protecting trade secrets. The Defend Trade Secrets Act, passed in 2016, makes trade secrets protectable under federal law. However, it is essential to note that a business owner must take measures to protect the information in order for it to fall under the moniker of a trade secret and therefore protected under the law.
So, what should a proprietor of an online casino or sportsbook pay special attention to regarding trade secrets? The underlying codes that make games run on your website are the most significant thing to pay attention to. If these codes were to fall into the wrong hands, then any website could use these games, and fewer people would have an incentive to come to your specific site. The exact same thing applies to cryptocurrency casinos, live-dealer casinos, or any other form of online gambling.
Other things to consider are the codes that make up your website layout. A good-looking website is the cornerstone of an online business. If you have found the perfect blend between unique and functional, you will want to protect that secret. Otherwise, your website will get imitated and lost in the shuffle of countless websites that feel unoriginal.
Now that you know what problems you might face when dealing with trade secrets and propriety information protection, you must be curious about what the best practices are for protecting your propriety information. In this second section of the article, we will go through some of the best practices used by businesses today.
Employee Training and Education
One of the things that every business must pay special care to is the training and education of its employees when it comes to handling sensitive information. Obviously, employees should be aware that there is a policy regarding information security. However, it isn’t enough to stop there. Employers have to provide their workers with a thorough explanation and training in regard to information and data protection.
So, what steps do you need to take to educate your employees regarding trade secrets and proprietary information? The following is a brief list of some of the most important things to consider:
· What is your business’ information security policy? Before you explain it to others, you must understand it thoroughly yourself.
· How you, or your employees can secure your company’s digital and proprietary information.
· How you, or your employees can secure physical records that may hold some proprietary information.
· How you, or your employees should securely handle, keep, and archive information and records, both digital and physical.
· What the company’s cybersecurity measures are, and how you or your employees can improve their own personal cybersecurity.
Technical Measures and Controls
The 21st century is often called the Digital Age. And for a good reason. Most businesses nowadays maintain a digital database of all of their information. While this makes doing business a lot easier, it also, unfortunately, means that data is much more likely to leak. In other words, it is imperative that a company, especially an online casino, emphasizes digital data protection.
The best way to improve your business’s digital data security is to use encryption technology and bolster it with firewalls. Another great way to strengthen your digital security is to hire white-hat hackers to test your system and counter any malicious hackers. Of course, anti-viruses are another helpful tool, though you should not rely solely on them.
Contractual Measures and Agreements
Sometimes, educating your employees on the proper handling of data may not be enough. Sometimes, you want to go the extra mile to protect your trade secrets and proprietary information. It is at these times that the law comes in handy. Non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and confidentiality agreements are excellent ways for employers to ensure that their trade secrets are safe.
However, if you choose to take the contractual measure route, it is essential to remember that there are certain employment laws that you must follow. Frequently, employers don’t set out to break these laws but do so without the knowledge that they are doing it. So, be aware of the employment laws of your country. After all, satisfied employees are a lot more productive, and a lot less likely to share any proprietary information.
The most well-known contractual measure for protecting trade secrets is an NDA. It is a simple contract, which both employer and employee sign, agreeing that the employee will not share any of the company’s secrets should they choose to pursue work elsewhere. The usual clauses of a non-disclosure agreement tend to be something along the lines of:
· Information regarding the company’s trade secrets will not be disclosed in writing.
· Information regarding the company’s trade secrets will not be disclosed verbally.
· Both parties will do their utmost to ensure that information regarding the opposite party is not disclosed in any way.
Remember, NDAs don’t exist only to protect you as the employer. They also exist to protect the employee. So, a lot of NDAs will feature clauses that ensure that the personal information that the employees share with you as a job provider is not going to be disclosed to the world at large.
The iGaming industry is booming in the 2020s. More and more people are moving over to online gambling and betting, so naturally, many new businesses are opening their doors. Suppose you are the proprietor of a newly formed online casino or sportsbook. In that case, we hope this article can help you better understand the importance of keeping trade secrets and how you can best protect your company’s information. Use the tools we’ve suggested, such as encryption technology, NDAs, and employee training, to create a vibrant business that may be the next big thing.