Cyber security is often centred around hackers who steal data from businesses and organisations. These types of hackers are often reported on either stealing data for their own self-satisfaction, to sell onto third parties or in some cases holding companies ransomed, in an attempt to receive large sums of money for the return of the data and to prevent from circulation.

However, in a recent article by CSOonline.com “Protecting intellectual property against cyberattack”, it highlighted how Intellectual Property is being hacked for a different reason.

Within business, intellectual property can cover varying levels of data, from customer information to business plans, trade secrets to specialist creative work in both editorial and visual entities, or also bespoke company software and hardware. All of these types of data can be unique to a company and could be detrimental to their survival if leaked.

Whilst cyber security can protect them against external hackers, unfortunately often these levels of data can be cloned by inside employees who are either looking to leave and take the data with them or who are looking to approach a competitor.

In the article, it states that:

  1. IP theft regularly takes place when an employee has already accepted a new position within a different company.
  2. IP thieves are often members of staff holding higher technical positions within the organisation, such as engineers and technicians, salesman and programmers.
  3. Over two thirds of IP Theft attacks last less than a month, this is generally because they have sourced the information that they need to take with them to their new employment role.
  4. IP thieves generally steal data by accessing through remote network access, printed media files, email, removable media, transfers and downloads to laptops, for which they have already been granted access too through their current job role.

 So how can businesses combat against in-house IP Theft?

  1. By tightening who and when staff have access to systems will minimise IP theft – logging on to systems from outside of the office prevents a closer monetarisation of file access.
  2. The Cloud provides a wealth of analytic data to Managers who can visibly see when and at what time of day files have been accessed.
  3. Updating company policies and encouraging staff to adhere to their IP agreement as part of their contract can minimise IP theft.
  4. Updating passwords and file access, immediately once staff leave the company can minimise any disruption to company data.

If your company or organisation is facing issues around Intellectual Property and IP Theft, then please speak to our team at Crendon insurance Ltd. Covering many areas of Intellectual Property Insurance we are able to advise businesses confidentially as to how they can protect their interests.

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