Intellectual property theft is one of the biggest dangers to companies today. The damage that could result from such a theft can be devastating – in some cases, billions of dollars’ worth of trade secrets have been lost to IP theft. And as workplaces become more spread out with the drive to remote work, your company’s intellectual property and its protection need to be given more attention. There are a few misconceptions out there as to the nature of IP theft, along with the personas and motivations of those who perpetrate it. Here’s what you need to know.
Intellectual Property Theft is Rarely Sold
Many people believe that the reason why insider threats steal intellectual property is so they can sell it to a competing company later on at a profit. While this does happen occasionally, it is rare compared to the other scenarios. Most of the time, insiders steal IP to gain a business advantage of some kind – whether that means taking it with them to a job at a competing company, to start their own business, or to deliver to a foreign organization or government.
Administrators are No Greater a Threat than Anyone Else
The logic might hold that your IT administrators are the most likely people to perpetrate intellectual property theft since they tend to have the most access of anyone in your organization. According to the database at the Insider Threat Division of CERT, however, there was no observable case where an IT admin stole IP.
IP Theft Can Be Done Slowly or Quickly
Intellectual property theft doesn’t require special hacking skills or even a specific length of time. The studies have found cases where the theft was drawn out over a period of months or even years, and it has found some crimes to have been committed quickly, about 1 month before the resignation of the perpetrator. Constant vigilance and monitoring are needed in order to protect your IP.
IP Thieves Don’t Always Act Alone
According to the Insider Threat Division of CERT, nearly 33% of IP theft cases were initiated at the behest of a foreign government or organization. So it could be the case that the actual insider was coerced or recruited into perpetrating the theft by another.
Contact ITMG to Assess Your Current Capabilities and 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.