6 Steps for Protecting Your Intellectual Property

With all the focus on compliance requirements—PII, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, and a plethora of other regulations—one of your company’s most important assets may be getting overlooked when it comes to data security: your intellectual property (IP). Accounting for more than 80% of market value, IP is one of your most important assets.

It’s time you take the steps to protect this precious commodity.

Step 1. Identify

Copyrights and trademarks are easy to see but other forms of IP may be harder to identify, including trade secrets and anything that makes your business unique, differentiating it from your competitors in the market. Think models, processes and procedures, and even your ideas.

Step 2. Locate

Broaden your scope when looking for where your IP may be hiding. Start with your core IT systems and all your input/output devices (printers, copiers, etc.). Expand your field of vision to include cloud applications and file-sharing services. You also want to establish rules around employee’s personal devices and contracts for business partners.

Step 3. Prioritize

Make a detailed spreadsheet of your company’s informational assets and determine which would hurt your company the most if lost and which information is most at risk of being stolen. This will show you where to best spend your protection resources.

Step 4. Classify

Classify your sensitive data. As with personal information, your IP should be labeled so that anyone who sees it knows that it’s confidential and should not be shared. It also makes it easy to identify when needed.

Step 5. Secure

Enhancing the data loss prevention (DLP) tools you already have in place with a solution such as Spirion that not only rapidly locates sensitive documents, but also accurately classifies and automatically remediates your sensitive documents based on the policies you have imposed.

Step 6. Educate

Humans are usually the weakest link in your IP security chain. Whether maliciously or just by accident, your employees can put your IP at risk. Close the gap by educating your employees on your protocols and procedures for handling your IP and making them aware of the consequences of their actions.

Spirion provides effective command and control of sensitive data protection operations by rapidly and accurately locating and accurately classifying all the sensitive data across your enterprise.

Spirion protects your data via:

  • Unmatched speed and precision in sensitive data discovery, classification, and protection
  • Visibility into all of the sensitive data across your network and public cloud
  • Platform-agnostic integration to strengthen existing IT security investments

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