Over the past few years, we have seen a rise in IP litigation cases. The average number of cases per year related to patents only is 730.
A few years ago, intellectual property wasn’t such a big deal. However, due to an increase in cyber-attacks, the necessity to guard your IP has become a priority.
What is It?
This refers to intangible info that you own. This can be any info ranging from a trade secret to an industrial process. Look at IP as the creation of your mind that makes your idea unique – symbols, inventions, schemes, names, and more.
IP is separated into four categories that include:
- Trade secrets
These are important to the survival of your business. An asset protection lawyer will tell you that if someone steals your IP, getting them back is hard, which is why it is essential to protect them.
Top Tips to Protect IPs
Know What You have
Know what kind of IP you own as a business. If your employees comprehend what you have and its importance, they will do all they can to secure it.
To do this, you list the IPs you have, then ascertain their importance to you. After this, come up with strategies to protect them.
Understand the Location of the IP
When coming up with an asset protection plan for IPs, know where the information is stored or administered. Let us see what you need to secure.
- Your input/output devices retain a copy of the documents that they store. These devices are also networked and connect to remote business management systems. You need to make sure these copies are safe and cannot be accessed by someone else.
- Cloud applications. You need to restrict access to these applications to ensure that only a few authorized persons have access to the services.
- Employee’s devices. There is no law that restricts employees from coming to the office with mobile devices. They can use their devices to send a company email from their devices, with a copy remaining in their sent box. Teach your employees about proper management of the IPs and put up monitoring systems to track where the documents are being sent.
List the IPs in terms of Priority
When it comes to securing your IP, know what should get your attention and what shouldn’t. Map out all your IPs and know which information, if lost or stolen, will harm the company more. Putting the factors together will help you decide where to devote funds and your efforts more.
If you have info you need to protect, tag it so that everyone knows it is yours. Put the label on each screen, whether digital or physical and watermarks on the images. This way, if you end up in court, you can prove that someone took the information when they weren’t authorized to take it in the first place.
However, you first have to demonstrate the fact that you made it clear that the information wasn’t supposed to be taken. Talk to your asset protection lawyer to know what evidence will be relevant in court.
Secure it both Physically and Digitally
Secure the IPs both physically and digitally. Make sure you use passwords ad restrict access to the rooms. Keep an eye on the person who has access at all times.
Train Your Workers
Train the workers on the need for IPs to the organization. When it comes to defending your forte, you need to monitor humans because they are the weakest connection in the protective chain.
This is why a strategy that focuses on passwords, firewalls and forgets worker training and awareness is destined to flop.
Usually, IP will leak out of an organization through employee negligence. You need to teach them about the importance of the IPs and how they can unintentionally expose it, and what will happen when this happens.
The most common ways through which IP leaks include:
- Personal emails
- Corporate emails
- File sharing tools
- Collaborative tools
- SMS or IM apps such as Whatsapp
Understand Your Tools
Use a set of tools that can allow you to track documents and other IPs. Talk to your security provider to give you data loss prevention tools.
Protect Your IPsWe have seen lawsuits filed against people that have leaked sensitive information from companies. However, the first defense is to protect your sensitive IPs. Talk to an asset protection lawyer to find out the importance of IPs to your business and how to protect them.