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Best Practices for Managing and Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Organizations today can rise and fall with the loss of intellectual property, making it vital to protect this important business asset. From identifying and defining the type of information that is stored within your organization to ensuring that it stays fully secure and portable, the use and storage of everything from patents and trade secrets to employee know-how continue to cause headaches for lead business and technology professionals. These tips from the security professionals at UTG will help your organization learn what is needed to manage and protect your essential intellectual property.

Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your IP

What type of information is your organization storing? There are four legally-defined categories for intellectual property: trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. Beyond these broad categories, there are also ideas that make your organization unique, and this data can also be considered intellectual property because it provides a competitive advantage to your business that others may be interested in. The first step in securing your IP includes defining the scope and identifying the locations where this information is being stored. This could be anything from taking a deep dive into your database structure to reviewing the way data is shared with your vendors.

Prioritize Protection of Business-Critical IP

There will always be limitations to what you can accomplish within your business, and protecting your IP may come at a high cost. That’s why many experts recommend prioritizing the protection of IP and then securing that information both physically and digitally. This includes translating physical documents to digital repositories or moving physical servers from on-premise locations to a co-location facility where information is accessed via the cloud. You’ll also want to take the step of limiting employee access to this information and closely reviewing who has access to these details. As individuals move throughout your organization or leave for different divisions or companies, an integral part of your security process is to remove or reduce access levels as needed.

Put Yourself in the Mind of Cyber-criminals

This shift may not be entirely comfortable, but you’ll need to apply a counter-intelligence mindset. When you put yourself in the mind of potential attackers, you’re more readily able to identify any areas of vulnerability that might exist and begin the process of shoring up your defenses. This could entail walking through the process of data movements within your organization, to your vendors and customers. Your data is not just vulnerable when it’s being stored, it’s also potentially vulnerable when it’s moving as well. Briefing your staff members on the risks associated with IP security are also extremely helpful steps. Your staff members need to understand that their lost laptop could be more than a simple problem — it could actually result in the loss of millions of dollars of intellectual property for your business if the lost laptop fell into the wrong hands.

Protecting your intellectual property is more important than ever, and UTG is here to help. We provide IT teams with the managed services, network infrastructure, backup and recovery processes that you need to ensure that your information stays secure and accessible at all times. Contact the professionals at UTG today at 678-730-0345 or fill out our quick online form for more information and a quick response to your request.