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In today’s rapid changing digital technology, document security systems and the way we access and distribute documents continue to evolve, moving towards efficiency and convenience. Widespread file sharing tools like Dropbox, Google Docs, and simply emailing valuable content have become predominant methods of distributing and enabling access to critical business information, but do little to protect a business’s intellectual property.
So how does a business make it’s intellectual property easily accessible and shared while ensuring that it does not fall into the wrong hands? The answer is to consider, as part of a business’s security strategy, implementing a robust secure document sharing system that protects intellectual property through encryption and digital rights management while enabling accessibility and integration with commonly used file-sharing tools.
The threat to intellectual property like trade secrets and copyright or trademark documents comes from both inside and outside the company. On a global scale, hackers and hacktivists are constantly looking for vulnerable companies to attack, and although one might think that large corporations would be the only ones in danger, small and medium sized businesses, with looser measures and control over the technology safeguarding their intellectual property, are also constantly targeted.
The threat isn’t only from the outside. A 2010 research by Carnegie Mellon University’s CERT Coordination Center found that 43% of companies interviewed experienced at least one cybercrime incident by an insider, and the consequences are dire, as security company Sumantec found that 65% of insiders that steal corporate data have already founded startups or accepted jobs elsewhere. Not to mention unintentional threats, like having devices lost or stolen that contain critical secret information on how a company conducts business, a rising threat with the expansion of the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) work arrangement.
The impact of having intellectual property fall into the wrong hands is fast and widespread. Industries that rely on private data, information, or content to generate revenue or establish competitive advantages can see these disappear once these resources fall into the wrong hands. Legitimate businesses can see their property copied and used, as well as their reputation damaged as a result of not being capable to protect corporate and customer data.
Having a secure file sharing system implemented sends the message to insiders and outsiders that the company takes intellectual property security seriously. A secure file sharing system that allows the security to travel with the files ensures that even in the case of a security breach the company still has resources to protect its intellectual property. In addition, best-in-kind secure file sharing systems are equipped with analytics and metrics tools to help you understand how your documents are being used and secured. Implementing such a system, allows employees to continue using convenient methods of file sharing while safeguarding a company’s valuable intellectual property, and as a result offer protection from external and internal threats as well as protecting revenues and business reputation.