What isn’t known can’t be protected. Every kingdom has its crown jewels, and every manufacturer should know where all of its most valuable and potentially profitable intellectual property resides.
IP can be defined as any type of financial, business, scientific, technical, customer and engineering information which is deemed proprietary. Every manufacturer files patents to protect their inventions, industrial designs and plant processes – but trade secrets can also include plans, prototypes, procedures and in-process research, among other assets. Any intangible information, even employee knowledge and ideas, is worthy of protection.
Intellectual Property can be broadly defined as:
- Patents & trademarks
- Financial data
- Industrial designs
- Manufacturing processes
- Plans & prototypes
- Plant procedures
- R&D testing
- Customer information
- Names, codes & lists
The process of identifying and classifying all of your enterprise IP is not an easy one. There is a good reason why in a previous post in this series I recommended that you form an IP Risk Committee. That body has IP protection leaders appointed from each business unit and horizontal function. They know where their jewels are hidden, including stored in cloud services which may/may not be authorized (e.g. Dropbox). They need to both lead this effort and assume accountability for the protection of their own crown jewels.
Many believe this is the job of IT, but it’s not. IT security personnel should instead help with tools, best practices and resources to identify and classify your organization’s crown jewels.
Download my e-book covering 5 key IP protection tips to follow, based on the practical experience of Digital Guardian’s manufacturing industry customers.
Read the full series:
- The Threats to Your Trade Secrets are Real
- Why Offshoring Complicates IP Protection
- Calculating the True Cost of IP Theft
- Make the Case for Investment in Ongoing IP Protection
- How to Form an IP Risk Committee
- 7 Elements of a Holistic IP Protection Plan
- Defining Intellectual Property
- Lock up your IP and Control Access to it
- Discover the Weaknesses in Your IP Security
- Improve Your Ability to Detect Cyber-Attacks
Data-Centric Security: Why You Need it, How to Get Started
Forrester VP and Principal Analyst John Kindervag explains the fundamentals of a data-centric security approach, why you need it, and how to get started. Watch the webinar on demand.
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Ninth in a Series from Former DuPont CISO on Trade Secret Protection for ManufacturersWIPOut: The Devastating Business Effects of Intellectual Property Theft
A recent 60 Minutes feature told of China’s current cyber-espionage campaign that stole one company’s intellectual property in its near entirety. As China’s campaign continues targeting U.S. companies across every industry, those companies must take steps to protect IP and preserve their competitive advantage.Lock up your IP and Control Access to it
Eighth in a Series from Former DuPont CISO on Trade Secret Protection for Manufacturers