Report: Companies protect data, not IP

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 02:04 PM gHale

This is a case of good news, bad news where companies are doing a very nice job protecting themselves against the cyber threat of data loss. The bad news is, they are not as vigilant about protecting against theft of intellectual property.

Although quite a few companies protect against data theft, few apply the same controls to trade secrets and other information, according to a survey entitled “The Value of Corporate Secrets,” conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of RSA and Microsoft. As a part of they survey, they contacted 305 IT security decision makers.[private]

As it turns out companies are spending funds to guard customer, medical and payment card information, but they are not protecting intellectual property and data that has true value to a company, according to the survey.

Companies focus on protecting against accidental loss, but warned that theft from employees or “trusted outsiders” can be more costly, according to the survey.

Forrester explained that employee theft of sensitive information is 10 times costlier than accidental loss, because it leads to losses in the hundreds of thousands, as opposed to tens of thousands.

The report makes a number of recommendations to help keep everything in balance. One idea is to identify the most valuable information, create a database of risks to prepare for any possible incident, and assess and reprioritize the balance of IT security programs.[/private]

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