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How to Prevent Corporate IP Theft

Author: David Ruel, Sr. Product Manager

When it comes to data vulnerabilities, it’s easy to first imagine seedy criminals or foreign actors with malicious intent. The biggest threat, however, comes from the most trusted places. 

Corporate intellectual property (IP) theft is no small matter, as Heureka partner Prism Litigation Technology notes in a recent article on the topic. In fact, it is estimated to cost U.S. companies hundreds of billions of dollars annually—and much more goes unnoticed.

It is a difficult problem to control because of a mismatch of expectations between organizations and their employees. In many cases, employees are only sending sensitive information to their personal email address to increase productivity and work from home. Consider the following:

By the Numbers:

  • 72%: Share of professionals who admit to emailing sales quotes or confidential corporate documents to their personal email account.
  • 33%: Share of departing employees who admit to taking company data with them.
  • 85%: Say they did not believe it was wrong to take company data if they had personally generated it.
  • 95%: Share who say data theft is possible at their organization because policies are ignored, or there are none.

Source: 2017 Dell End-User Security Survey

To address the issue, proactive organizations are taking a hard look at their own practices and implementing proven solutions such as aggressive network security monitoring and reinforced user access controls. But simply having policies and procedures in place is NOT ENOUGH. They are often outdated or neglected, creating serious vulnerability. One Dell executive quoted in the company’s survey has these wise words: 

“While every company has different security needs, this survey shows how important it is that all companies make an effort to better understand daily tasks and scenarios in which employees may share data in an unsafe way. Creating simple, clear policies that address these common scenarios in addition to deploying endpoint and data security solutions is vital in order to achieve that balance between protecting your data and empowering employees to be productive.”

Brett Hansen, vice president of Endpoint Data Security and Management at Dell 

Preventing IP Theft

Proactive strategies should address data vulnerabilities caused by both negligent and malicious actors. 

Prism Litigation Technology writes that forward-thinking organizations are embracing analytics and artificial intelligence as early warning systems to monitor high-risk behaviors as employees interact with corporate data.

Prism itself leverages Heureka technology that is capable of indexing computers, network data and local email containers in place, and in real time. 

“Rather than broadly collecting and processing large volumes of data, our methodologies—working in collaboration with clients—incorporate machine learning, sentiment analysis, and complex search parameters to target relevant data in place, thereby significantly reducing costs to its clients. Built around the corporation’s unique vocabulary and processes, these collaborative strategies ensure active and adaptive monitoring to identify potential high-risk behaviors. Without understanding these issues and taking measures to mitigate against them, the deluge of data loss could be significant.”

Prism Litigation Technology

Heureka’s intelligent endpoint service creates a full text and metadata index, which is stored locally on the endpoint, thus eliminating the need to copy and centralize data. Heureka’s Command Console orchestrates data intelligence such as risk along with file-level actions. This helps clients locate and manage sensitive data in areas traditionally seen as digital blind spots within the organization (unstructured data).

When combined with IP data policy, Heureka can help minimize data theft by identifying and classifying information across an organization while at the same time minimize the amount of data “leaking” to non-qualified individuals or locations.

Read the full Prism Litigation Technology article here.Learn more about Heureka’s index-in-place solution here.