According to the Manufacturing Institute, the shortage of skilled workers is cited as the single greatest impediment to a manufacturer’s ability to expand operations, drive innovative new products and improve productivity. However, as a manufacturer sources top engineering talent internationally and expands its global supply chain, it also broadens the footprint of its most sensitive and proprietary data.
One only has to look at the daily paper to see the evidence of state-sponsored espionage. The recent indictments of five Chinese officials by the U.S. Justice Department for cyber-attacks on six U.S. corporations came as a shock to everyone except manufacturers. Executives, security professionals, plant managers and research scientists in the manufacturing sector realize that a number of bad actors are trying to steal their intellectual property, or IP.
It’s not just foreign governments like China—criminal organizations seek to steal and sell your IP as well as competitors conducting industrial espionage, hacktivist attacks and disgruntled parties. Even company insiders making honest mistakes—all threaten disclosure of your valuable trade secrets.
When I headed worldwide information security for DuPont, we learned some valuable lessons on how to design and maintain a holistic IP protection program that safeguarded our data assets without impeding product innovation and business growth. Digital Guardian has asked me to author a series of blog posts to share some of the key lessons learned along the way. Look for those posts on this blog over the next few weeks.
I’ve also written an eBook, 5 Practical Tips to Protecting Manufacturing Trade Secrets, that will help you realize some quick wins in your own efforts.
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