Intellectual property is a type of company asset that can take many forms. From patents to trade secrets and even specialized internal processes, your company’s intellectual property is very valuable. Unfortunately, that also means it is a prime target for theft both from external sources as well as insider threats. Learning how to properly manage the risk of intellectual property theft needs to be a prime concern for your organization and a cornerstone for your insider risk management program. Here are some key strategies to ponder as you assess your current capabilities.
Knowing Your Assets
Communication is key in helping all stakeholders understand the ins and outs of your organization’s IP. Not only should there be clarity on what your intellectual property is, but also where it is in the context of your processes. Intellectual property can be stored on servers, printed out on copiers, transferred to cloud architecture, accessed on employee personal devices, and shared with business partners. Knowing the ins and outs of your IP assets will allow everyone to better focus on key areas where there is a risk of theft. In turn, this leads to areas of focus for your risk management program.
Raising awareness can play a big role in helping to protect your intellectual property from unauthorized leaks. One of the ways to do this is by labeling all valuable IP. If it’s an internal software program, for example, place a note on the login screens. It might seem like a simple administrative task, but it’s a key strategy for educating employees and other stakeholders on the identification and usage of your intellectual property. This is especially important because human error is often the one thing not accounted for in risk management programs that end up failing. In many of these cases, IP is compromised through technologies we use every day like email and messaging apps. With more thorough education and clearer labeling, these situations could have been avoided.
Taking a Holistic View
Ultimately, the best way to handle the risk of intellectual property theft is to ensure that all organizational resources are attuned to the risk and are communicating with each other. There may be situations where a potential insider threat develops and is identified by many groups within your organization such as your IT team, your HR team, your security team, or others. However, if the communication isn’t there and the security goals of your entire team aren’t aligned, these seemingly isolated incidents might never be connected together. Communication gaps need to be plugged and a holistic strategy for developing and maintaining the integrity of your IP should be number one on your risk management priority list.
Contact ITMG to Develop Strategies and Protocols Designed to Help Your Company Mitigate Your Insider Risk
ITMG is an industry leader in helping organizations throughout the United States strengthen their insider risk management programs and secure sensitive data and intellectual property. Our team of bona fide experts has the real-world experience necessary to plan out and create holistic security solutions tailored to the special needs and risks in your industry. Contact ITMG today to learn more about how we can help! You can also visit our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for more updates and insights into the world of insider risk management.