What is Intellectual Property?
According to the business dictionary (businessdictionary.com), intellectual property is the knowledge, creative ideas or expressions of human mind. These have commercial value and are protectable under copyright, patent, service mark, and trademark or trade secret laws from imitation, infringement and dilution. Intellectual property includes brand names, discoveries, formulas, inventions, knowledge, registered designs, software and works of artistic, literary or musical nature.
Why Securing Intellectual Property is Important?
Competition in the business world is immense. Sometimes this competition leads to healthy practices but, unfortunately, it also leads to some malpractices. Stealing intellectual data of one company and selling it to others is one such malpractice that can lead to heavy losses to the company whose data has been stolen. As such securing intellectual data of one’s company or business is the need of the day.
How to Secure Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property can be both tangible and intangible and as such impossible to keep in a bank or under lock and key. Its misappropriation can cause a major financial crisis. So how do we go about protecting something so sensitive? Securing intellectual property would involve a series of steps that are:
- Educate Employees about What Not to Share – In business world ignorance is not bliss in fact it can be one of the biggest follies. Therefore, every employee must be told about what information they cannot share regarding the business with any outsider. This method will prevent any accidental leakage of any data. Impress upon them the importance of adhering to this rule. Confidentiality agreements should be signed to safeguard intellectual property wherever and whenever applicable. Legal and signed documents make it almost impossible for anyone to break the law.
- Information on Need to Know Basis Only – All data is not required to be shared with all employees and other allied service providing vendors. Data sharing should be strictly on just need to know basis. There should be no exceptions to this rule. When the complete set of data is not available, it becomes very difficult to misuse it.
- Basic Password Protection and Firewalls – For a determined and experienced hacker having firewalls in place along with password protection might not be sufficient to keep information safe but, it will make their job much more complicated. An increasing number of hurdles in their path will make it next to impossible to hack a computer to get the necessary data. Similarly, an errant employee will not be able to achieve any productive results as well.
- Keep Server Rooms Secure – Server room is one place where all data can be found in one place. Such rooms should be locked, and only authorized personnel should have access to it. Then too, it should not be accessible at all times. Any break in such routine can act as a flag indicating a threat to intellectual property.
- Think Like a Spy – Preparing yourself for the attack by anticipating it is half the battle won. Think what others might be interested in finding of your intellectual property and how they shall go about collecting information about the same. Then, lay down security measures in place to ensure that it becomes impossible.
Intellectual property is one asset whose safety and security are imperative for the continued success of a business. Any lapse in it can prove to be a calamity. If you are not sure about what to do then, it would be best to consult a firm that specializes in providing security of this nature.