An original idea, invention or trade secret can set your business apart, increase its value and give it a competitive edge. However, as your market competition grows, so does the risk of intellectual property (IP) theft.
Basically, intellectual property theft happens when your business’ crucial information, ideas, inventions, patents, trademarks and other intellectual property is accessed by unauthorized parties. Intellectual property theft has become a huge issue in the digital era since more and more businesses are storing valuable assets online.
How IP theft can impact your business
Obviously, intellectual property theft can rob your business of the revenues it rightfully deserves. However, these are not the only consequences of IP theft. For instance, piracy and copyright infringements can compromise product quality, thus, endanger customer safety. It can also hurt the reputation of the business that legitimately owns the pirated product.
Here are two ways you can protect your business’ IP:
Identify and safeguard the most valuable assets
Intellectual property protection begins by knowing the exact intellectual properties in your possession and where they are. If you have employees, ensure that they clearly understand their responsibilities as far as data protection is concerned as well as the consequences of mismanaging the organization’s data.
Come up with a data security policy
A strong data security policy is key to protecting your business’ assets and other sensitive data, including your intellectual property. Here are some of the considerations you can put in place to ensure that your data security policy is efficient:
- Come up with a password management policy, including restrictions on sharing or reusing your passwords
- Coming up with rules relating to downloading and installing software on the company’s computers
- Informing employees about their responsibilities when handling sensitive business information
Intellectual property theft is a common problem amongst businesses of all sizes and industries. Find out how you can safeguard your business from IP theft.