Protecting intellectual property is essential, but the best method, or combination of methods, is not always clear. Traditional security products frequently offer too little protection. Instead, a holistic approach that incorporates traditional and modern protection is best.
Protecting Intellectual Property
Intellectual property can include everything from departmental projects to sales campaigns and earnings details - anything that gives you a competitive edge. Many companies are focused on security breaches that involve personally identifiable information, but security intended to protect intellectual property is also important. Intellectual property data is different than other types of data - unstructured and legitimately allowed through perimeters. This makes it more vulnerable to security breaches.
There are many examples of intellectual property loss that demonstrates how devastating the experience can be. One such case involved Motorola and a 2005 data breach. The company was working on a project related to R&D and software development and manufacturing that involved 20,000 employees in China. The security set-up utilized a firewall that was designed to share only some information, but when it failed, Motorola's competitor gained access to all of the intellectual property data. They used the data to create products faster and for less money than Motorola had the ability to do at the time.
At the same time the data was stolen, a Motorola employee was simultaneously working with the competitor and turning over to them the information to which she gained access while at Motorola. When all was said and done, the security breaches cost Motorola at least $6 million dollars.
Avoiding the Loss of Intellectual Property Data and Preventing Security Breaches
First and foremost, promote awareness among your employees. Determine if staff are using and sharing intellectual property information within and outside of your company. Put an end to this practice and create a culture of security awareness. Explain to employees, management, board members, and anyone else with access to intellectual property how important security is.
Next, evaluate traditional security measures and ensure they are properly utilized. They alone are not enough to protect unstructured intellectual property data, but these security measures are a jumping off point for better strategy.
Finally, employ new strategies. APT defense and managed file transfer technology are extremely effective for protecting intellectual property. APT security can be supplemented with managed file transfer, providing control over documents, even when they are on partners' networks.
Using a holistic blend of tools that target the specific challenges of managing and protecting intellectual property data is essential to eliminating loss and strengthening your overall security.
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