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What’s the Biggest Challenge Manufacturing Companies Face in Their Fight Against IP Theft?
Data breach Data security Insider threat IP Theft

World IP Day 2021 Image - Technology

Did you know April 26th is World IP Day? It was designated by the member states of WIPO, the IP forum of the United Nations, to increase the general understanding of intellectual property and how it enables technological innovation.

Let’s celebrate with a roundup post. Perhaps you enjoyed the recent discussion on this blog with GE Gas Power cybersecurity researchers Hillary Fehr and Chris Babie of the challenges involved with protecting IP in manufacturing? Or the insights shared by Markus Fischer, VP Engineering at ZF Group’s Active Safety Systems division, into IP theft and IP protection of CAD files in the automotive industry?

We know we did. For this World IP Day post, we asked more IP protection thought leaders what they think the biggest challenge is for manufacturers battling IP theft. Read their responses below:

IP Protection: “We need a tool with a wider scope”
Data security Insider threat IP Theft Secure collaboration

Image shows a screenshot (top left), Hillary Fehr (GE), and Chris Babie (GE) of the IP Protection Fireside Chat: Fasoo's Ron Arden

At the 2021 Apex Assembly Tech Leaders Northeast Summit in March, Fasoo hosted a discussion on IP protection in manufacturing. CTO Ron Arden spoke with GE Gas Power cybersecurity researchers Hillary Fehr and Chris Babie about protecting R&D, product designs, specifications, and other sensitive intellectual property (IP). 

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The IP Protection Capability More Manufacturing IT Leaders Wish They Had
Data security Insider threat IP Theft Sensitive Unstructured Data

 

Photo: Federal Courthouse in Portland, OR

Global manufacturers in innovation-driven industries are ramping up their document protection against intellectual property theft.

Can you guess what tops their priority list when selecting or expanding enterprise-wide digital rights management (DRM)? Here’s a hint.

IP Theft in the Automotive Industry: 10 Tips to Counter the Insider Threat
Data security Insider threat Secure collaboration Sensitive Unstructured Data

IP Theft Insider Threat Photo MontageNo matter if your company is an automotive OEM, Tier 1-3 supplier, or a small engineering studio that serves component manufacturers across various industries: all eyes are on you.

The eyes of commercial spies, that is. 

Intellectual property (IP) theft, most of it on behalf of China, damages the US economy to the tune of about $500 billion a year, says the FBI. Automotive, aerospace, and other innovation-driven tech companies are bearing the brunt of commercial espionage efforts.

What do the nation-states and competitors behind the IP theft have in common? They all rely on a secret weapon: company insiders

Go Beyond Compliance to Reduce Cyber Risk and Insider Threat
Data breach Data security Insider threat Sensitive Unstructured Data

Go Beyond Compliance to Protect Sensitive DataData breaches make headlines every day and companies across the globe struggle to meet changing privacy regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the upcoming California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) and of course, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data security is very high on the list of corporate priorities with most concentrating on protecting databases containing personally identifiable information (PII). Sensitive information subject to privacy or industry regulations is not found or stored solely in structured databases, but in unstructured files like Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, images, and computer-aided design (CAD) drawings.

Trade Secrets and Insider Threats – Levandowski’s Are Everywhere
Data security Insider threat Sensitive Unstructured Data

Protect Trade Secrets against Insider ThreatsInsider threat has been an issue for many years, but the consequences of these events have a strong and long-term impact on your business.

If competitive advantage isn’t enough reason to protect sensitive data, how about the legal costs?

The risk posed by insiders is again, in the spotlight as Anthony Levandowski, a founding engineer at Google’s autonomous vehicle project, now known as Waymo after it was spun off in 2016, is convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison. After 3 long years of legal proceedings where Levandowski was charged with stealing trade secrets by downloading 9.7 GB of confidential files, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay over $178 million in fines to Google.

How Can Your Remote Workforce Collaborate Securely?
Data breach Data security Insider threat Print security Secure collaboration

Never has there been a better litmus test for seeing how agile your business is than responding to a pandemic. A recent survey by leading research firm Gartner confirmed that most businesses will shift some employees to remote work permanently as a result of COVID-19. Even from home, employees need to collaborate securely with colleagues, partners and customers to stay productive and meet deadlines and goals. While video chat and instant messaging lets you communicate, a lot of collaboration is through documents. Ideally you want to easily share documents, make sure everyone is working on the most recent version, and be able to securely manage all your projects. With the major shift to working at home, the time to double down on data security is now.

Collecting Laptops From Terminated Employees? Protect Unstructured Data
Cybersecurity Data breach Data security Insider threat Privacy Secure collaboration

Protect data on laptops from terminated employees I read a Tweet recently from “Accidental CISO” about collecting laptops from terminated employees during the pandemic that I deemed retweetable (if that is a word).  Some comments focused more on the hardware – how to get it back – but this got me thinking more about what is actually on the hardware. What sensitive information, like intellectual property, might reside on them?  It also made me think, in a situation like this, how the potential for insider theft is far greater.

Files containing IP can be either printed on home printers, sent over email to personal accounts, saved on a USB stick, screen captured and so on.  These are not necessarily actions of malice, but obvious desperation to assist with the basic need for employment.

Pandemic Sent Your Workers Home? Reminders for Best Data Security Practices
Cybersecurity Data breach Data security Insider threat Print security Privacy Secure collaboration

Overnight, companies across the globe were forced into a fully remote workforce.  If you are prepared, under the best of circumstances, it can still be a challenge, but if you are not, the challenges are even greater and some things can potentially fall through the cracks.  People working from home can lead to a few unintended bad habits. With business continuity being the priority, data is even more at risk as hackers and thieves see opportunity when your guard is down.

For companies that don’t have tools in place, and for that matter, those that don’t have the right tools in place, here are some things you can do while ensuring the health of your employees, and your business stays on track.

Please Steal My Password
Data security Insider threat

steal this passwordHow many times have you seen passwords attached to monitors on sticky notes?  How about people who use the password “password” or “123456”?  With a lot of us having to work from home because of COVID-19, data security and privacy has become more important than ever, since we are not in the protective confines of an office and many of us may have to use our home computers.

In 2020 we have a lot of great technology to access our computers, tablets and phones.  You can access my phone with my face and your laptop with your thumb, but they are all still based on an initial password.  We’ve all read stories about using strong passwords and how easy it is to guess people’s passwords.  The fatal flaw in the system is that we need something that isn’t obvious, but something that we can remember.  Some of the simplest methods of creating a more complex password is to use upper and lower case alphanumerics plus a symbol.