Data Protection Strategies

Computer Virus Data Loss

Technology poses a special risk to companies whose businesses depend on such valuable competitive data. With just a couple of mouse clicks or through the use of a thumb drive that can be slipped into a pocket, an employee can easily remove from the workplace what amounts to multiple file cabinets worth of documents. Last year, for example, I represented a client where the data at issue was worth more than $1 billion in business to the company. The employees in that case removed the data from the company by simply downloading it to several compact disks and e-mailing it to their home e-mail addresses. I also represented a company in a case involving the theft of data relating to government contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars where the stolen data was used to divert the business to a major competitor. The data in that case was removed on floppy disks. In addition to traditional lawsuits that can last a year or two through discovery and trial, a major part of my practice is filing emergency court actions for injunctive relief—temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions—to seek the immediate return of competitively sensitive data that is stolen from a company. In those cases, the client suddenly discovers that a trusted employee has taken valuable data to a competitor. In response, I go into action marshalling the evidence, drafting the necessary court papers, and within a day or two find myself appearing before a judge asking for the immediate return of the data. These actions are important to my clients who cannot afford to have their competitive positions in the marketplace undermined by a competitor using their key information.