How start-ups can stay safe
Medrobotics, a medical devices company
WHY IT’S A TARGET
After a decade and $200 million in fundraising, in 2015 Medrobotics got FDA approval for a flexible robot that gives surgeons less invasive options for several surgical procedures.
WHY IT MIGHT RING A BELL
Last year, CEO Samuel Straface was leaving the office one night and noticed an unfamiliar face in his conference room, sitting with a bunch of electronic devices. Straface asked the man who he was there to see. The man said the CEO. Straface said, ‘I’m the CEO,’ and phoned the police. Charges against the intruder – Dong Liu, a dual Chinese and Canadian citizen – of attempting to steal trade secrets were later dropped. The Justice Department has not said why.
WHAT TO DO
• Divide your offices into physical zones that each require clearance – that’s what confined Liu to the conference room. Straface has instituted 24/7 security guards.
• The company has a dedicated IT security team and monitors its network with software. Remote employees must use a VPN.
• It’s easier to implement security measures when you’re small. Educating early employees encourages subsequent hires to buy in.