Intellectual property (IP) is amongst the most valuable parts of a company. What may be a company’s greatest asset is also what puts that business most at risk. Cyber attacks and security breaches most often target this kind of property. Every part of a business’s proprietary information may be the target of an attack or breach.
Securing the future of your business
Given the mobile nature of business today, the most challenging aspect of developing a new business or entrepreneurial venture may be protecting its assets’ integrity. Even seemingly innocuous information might be useful in giving others a market advantage. Any market competitor may have a stake in learning about another company’s business practices and IP. There are many simple ways that a business can protect potentially vulnerable IP:
Trademarks and copyrights: The branding protection that trademarks provide can help solidify a company’s institutional reputation. Copyrights produce a framework for holding those legally accountable who replicate your material. A copyright is meant to protect the exact works authored by an individual or business entity.
Trade secrets: This designation can include a wide range of company information. A trade secret may even be an idea. Trade secrets can include any information that allows a company to compete effectively within an industry and market.
Non-disclosure agreements: NDAs are designed to hold employees and contractors responsible for keeping the information they became privy to private. Privacy is important for market competition and for reputational status. There is some information that a company doesn’t want public. Security breaches are common after a series of layoffs. NDAs are a good measure for keeping employees from repeating, communicating or selling information regarding the company.
Exploring safer operations
Employees present the most significant security risk to a company. It is essential that workers be taught how other entities may gain access to an information system. Phishing attacks and social engineering tactics are popular methods for gaining access to systems containing IP. If a breach or theft does occur, it’s vital to explore the options for recouping a company’s losses.