Is Your Company’s IP A Cybersecurity Risk?

- Oct 30, 2018-

Every organization knows its intellectual property is incredibly valuable — potentially it’s the most valuable data any company has. For manufacturers in the medtech space, it’s often the lifeblood of the company. IP is also one of your most vulnerable assets and can put you at risk from hostile insiders and external attackers.

Breaches come with a high price tag. They cost companies money and time, and can damage reputations for years. Company executives, corporate boards and other stakeholders are waking up to the dangers posed by cybercriminals and demanding action. No company wants to be on the front page of the paper after suffering a public breach or have critical information get into the hands of competitors, domestic or foreign.

It’s critical that the products you build are secure. However, you must turn your attention inward and safeguard your own organization from attackers who will target your most vulnerable data.

The Problem of Too Much Open Data

Companies who research and develop new technology likely have decades worth of valuable digital files — product plans, manufacturing process documentation, scientific research, equipment designs, and other kinds of valuable, sensitive data. Storage is cheap and it’s always easy to add more terabytes in the data center or the cloud. Since you never know when you might need something, data is rarely deleted — meaning that data will always grow over time.

The question every company with valuable data needs to ask is, “Are we sure that all this new data is secure? Are we keeping it private? Would we know if something went wrong?”

Data represents risk, but data that can be accessed by lots of people presents a much greater risk. In the race to develop and bring new products to market, companies tend to make information available to far too many users than necessary, creating security gaps that could undermine your business. In a recent report examining data exposure, we found that 21% of data in most organizations is open to everyone. It’s also common for important data to be scattered across your network on file servers and email, where it may be open to anyone who finds it. In that same report, a surprising 41% of companies had at least 1,000sensitive files open to all employees.