The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt across all business sectors. The pandemic has also left a big impact on the protection of intellectual property, making it a top priority for today’s businesses.
Intellectual property (IP) is the driving force for many businesses. It is now more crucial than ever before for businesses to protect and secure IP, as it is a target that is placed relatively in the center by several kinds of cyber-attacks.
According to Jamie Holcombe, CIO for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “Make sure you monitor correctly, especially your network access points, and respond to the threats. Also, you need to have good protection in place, including security awareness, a strong password, and a PIV card.”
If the IP gets stolen, catching sluggards can be challenging but prosecuting them can be even more arduous. And in many cases, getting back the stolen data is highly unlikely. Hence, it is crucial for the CISO, CSO, and the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) to be committed to protecting IP. The following steps will help them keep their IP safe and secure in today’s high-risk world.
Know what intellectual property is in place
Employees can better understand how to protect intellectual property and from whom to protect it if they know what needs to be protected in the first place. And for that to happen, CSOs must constantly communicate with the executives who are in charge of intellectual capital. Moreover, the CEO, the COO, and representatives from sales, HR, legal services, marketing, production, and R&D should hold a meeting at least once a quarter. Furthermore, corporate leadership must function in harmony to protect IP appropriately.
Intellectual property needs to be the top priority
CSOs recommend doing a risk and cost-benefit analysis as they have in-depth knowledge from protecting IP for years now. Businesses can sketch their assets and determine what information would damage their business the most if it ever gets lost. Accordingly, companies should analyze which of those assets are at significant risk of being stolen. This will help analyze where companies need to spend maximum effort and money.
Jamie says, “We have relied upon our infrastructure and network. So, if you don’t have the bandwidth to do the work you need to do, you can be at a huge disadvantage in performance and the quality of work”.
Label valuable intellectual property
It is advisable for businesses always to put a label or banner on confidential information. If the data is proprietary, companies must be habitual in putting a note to every log-in screen effect. This may look like a minor thing, but it is always good to have evidence if in the future someone steals the information, it may come in handy.
Protect physical and digital intellectual property
Securing physical and digital intellectual property is crucial for all businesses. Therefore, they need to add extra layers of protection where sensitive data is stored. Be it the server farm or the fusty paper archive room, it should be well protected. Companies should regularly track the list of people who have the keys and limit employee access to essential databases.
Understand tools fully to safeguard intellectual property
According to a survey by Egress in 2019, 79% of businesses share PII/sensitive business data internally without encryption, whereas 64% of companies share it externally without encryption.
A host of software tools are available for tracking documents and other IP stores. Besides, Data loss prevention (DLP) tools have become a core element of many security suites because they are capable of locating sensitive documents and keeping track of how they are being utilized and by whom. Encrypting IP can also help businesses to mitigate the risk of loss of sensitive and confidential data.