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ABCs of a Non-Disclosure Agreement: What to Expect when you Sign

March 11, 2016 / Reinsurance

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Have you ever been asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement or NDA? If you are in the insurance world, you’e likely had some degree of exposure to NDAs.  But are you fully aware of what you are signing when it comes to these legal contracts? Or the impact it might have on you or your company?   Regardless we’re breaking down the ABC’s of an NDA to ensure you know exactly what is expected when you sign an NDA.   

If your first thought after reading the title was to Google what the heck an NDA is, you might have found something along the lines of: a legal contract, also known as a Confidentiality Agreement (CA), between at least two parties, outlining confidential material, knowledge, or information the parties wish to share with one another, but also wish to restrict access to or by third parties. The parties involved in NDAs essentially agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement.  It creates a confidential relationship between them to protect any type of confidential and proprietary information. 

If protecting confidential and proprietary client data and dealing with sensitive information is pertinent to your business (like us) then you need to know exactly what you are responsible for when getting involved in NDAs.  Let’s say you are asked to sign an NDA to access a client’s system during an on-site audit or even do your daily work.  Whether the scope of an NDA is general or specific, the function is the same. For companies to protect confidential and proprietary information related to their business against unauthorized disclosure.  Make no mistake; an NDA is a “Contractual Agreement” that you are signing and are obligated to adhere to.

Have you considered how NDAs can impact your daily work and behavior in the office? Try to detect the breaches below! They may just have you rethink the way you go about your daily business.

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Yes. Most NDAs state that any confidential information should not be discussed or disclosed in public places or in common areas of private property without the proper written consent of the other party. Furthermore, it should only be disclosed to those representatives who need to know the information. Therefore, even though Administrative Adam was having lunch with a co-worker, he breached his NDA.


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No. Underwriting Ursula did the right thing by locking her computer when leaving her desk. Most non-disclosure agreements state that anytime you leave your workstation, including short breaks, lunch and meetings – you should sign off/lock your computer.

 

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DOUBLE BREACH. Both Consulting Connor and Cathy breached their NDAs with Client X as you are not to share passwords, tokens or access codes with anyone or use another person’s identification. This is critical for security purposes but also, if errors are identified you can be held personally accountable.

  

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Yes. Most NDAs outline that individuals cannot access any accounts, information, or data outside the scope of what you are required to access in your role. While it’s great Randy wanted to connect with the CEO, he should save this for personal time. Taking this a step further, downloading any tools to a clients’ environment without specific agreement from them is a major NO NO. 

While all of these examples may not explicitly be stated in your NDA, they are usually covered under the corporate security policies of companies that deal with secure information. So even if it is not included in your contract, it is best practice that you adhere to them when dealing with confidential data. 

Did you detect all the breaches?

Regardless of the industry you are in, when it comes to signing non-disclosure agreements, it’s important to be aware of your responsibility for protecting secure information on a daily basis. As a solutions provider to the insurance industry, keeping our client data safe and private is a number one priority. Every one of our team members is held highly accountable for keeping confidential information confidential. Over the past ten years, it has been, and continues to be, paramount to our success in building strong relationships with clients and serving the world of life and re/insurance.

 

Co Written By:

Kelly Priest        &                 Lisa Clarke
Assistant Vice                           Manager,
President            Reinsurance Operations

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Written by
Kelly Priest