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Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 12:57 PM

Hello,

I have recently been contacted by a manufacturing company that would like me to do some after hours design work for them. The plan was to receive preliminary drawings, sketches etc. via email. complete modeling and drawings on my computer (legitimate CAD license/DELL/Windows7/64bit) and return finished files via email.

The legal department is not keen on this as there is no assurance that I removed all of their IP from my computer. The company is to large to simply trust me to do it and I agree with the legal departments assessment.

The company has a PLM system for handling doc rev control.

Is there a type of network/VPN connection that would allow me to work thru their network, but prevent me from saving any files locally?

The company does have an IT department that has been out of the loop. I am dealing with an engineering counter-part at this point and would like to sound smart by offering some potential solutions.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

JJ

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#1

Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 1:11 PM

Yes, a PC or laptop can be configured to lock down the local hard disk and media devices. You can also connect via a VPN that permits you access to shared drives on the customer's server(s). Our PC's on the classified networks are configured exactly that way thanks to the actions of a couple of traitors. The company you are working for should have people who know exactly how to do this. You can also set up a thin client if the software you need to use is compatible with it.

I won't say it is easy or you won't have issues, but it can be done.

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#2

Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 1:44 PM

The company is to large to simply

Hang on, don't they have a NDA system in place you could work under? This is common in the industry (in my experience), can't you just work under that?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-disclosure_agreement

A (common) condition is the agreement to delete all local files relating to the project once work is completed or discontinued.

Remote network access isn't really going to work unless the company is specifically set up for it, especially for technical programs like CAD, and even then the company may run afoul of their OWN licence agreements for their software that you are using remotely. If they have this capability they should have the capability for setting up an NDA.

The legal department is not keen

The legal department sounds like it is populated by a bunch of morons. Without an NDA what's stopping you from screen-shoting your work or any of the other methods of copying they data if you so wish. Remote access alone WONT protect their IP.

Suggest signing an 'NDA' with them instead, if they ask what this legal acronym stands for.....RUN AWAY VERY FAST!!!! consider alternative employment.

Please lets us know how this story proceeds.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 2:56 PM

I agree an NDA is called for....

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#5
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Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 5:04 PM

NDAs are as worthless as patents.

Their IT geeks can do this if the company wants it done. There are ways to keep your machine compartmented to protect them.

Your protection, and your software, may not be as important to them, so lock down some type of binding agreement before proceeding. Realizing that this agreement is also only useful if you are willing to retain legal counsel to pursue a remedy if a disagreement occurs.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 5:51 PM

The NDA is really only for the company's piece of mind.

Remote computer access alone as a deterrent to intellectual theft is pointless as it is easily bypassed and as such is even more worthless as it gives the company less protection in the event of intellectual property theft (compared to an NDA).

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#3

Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 2:00 PM

It's their problem not yours... If they want you to do the work then they need to solve the problem.
They can always ship you a computer and collect it when you are done. Get their legal department to actually earn their doubtless inflated salaries.

The more I think about this the more it annoys me! It's a non problem, or a problem creation exercise. They trust you to work for them but not to remove files from a computer, yet they are happy for you to E-mail stuff back and forth?
They are BIG and have loads of money, but want you.. or US to solve their non problem for free!
Basically there is some idiot overpaid bean-counter, lawyer or quality wonk who has been promoted to their level of incompetence at the top of this nonsense.
And if they are so damn BIG how come they can't do the work in house?
Ah I know, they fired all the engineers and employed bean counters and lawyers instead.
I wouldn't trust 'em to pay you at the end of it further than I can fling a grand piano!

Del

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 8:45 PM

I'll bet you have a bow to fling that piano though.

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#8

Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 8:59 PM

Thanks for the input guys.

A little more back story. I was previously employed by the company before leaving on good terms for a opportunity that suited my need for more creative endeavor's.

That company is owned by a larger company, who is in turn owned by a large multinational.

My former company recently purchased a few job shops...needs models for Cam/cnc operations, drawings for sourcing etc. etc.

So i am dealing with a rep from a small company with big fish they have to answer to.

We had already discussed an NDA so i was after the technical aspect of securing the info as indicated in a few of the posts received. But all info is much appreciated.

thanks again and ill be sure to post on how it all turns out....most likely me enjoying my freedom on nights and weekends!

JJ

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/02/2016 10:35 PM

Condolences.

I worked for a small company making wet process equipment for PWBs that was owned by Total® who had another sub that made the juice.

They couldn't fit us into any of their strategic models so they shut us down just as we had finished building our first new model machine.

We had spent months coming in an hour early every day to design and develop it.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Protecting IP While Working Remotely

02/03/2016 3:19 AM

Yeah, that sounds about right... us old cynics have generally got the experience to back up the cynicism.
I hope you sent 'em a shipment of dog turds to fit into their strategic model

Del

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