Home » Inside SafeNet » Next Generation of Data Protection for Intellectual Property
Next Generation of Data Protection for Intellectual Property
October 1, 2010, 07:00 am EDT
A key business driver for data protection in most organizations is often in reaction to compliance. Compliance has become such an immense challenge that organizations can easily allocate up to half of their IT staff to compliance efforts alone, including interpreting vague legal language, implementing solutions for unique requirements, monitoring and responding to regulation updates, meeting compliance deadlines, and managing different audit reporting requirements. Their focus has been on encrypting structured data such as credit cards, account numbers, and birth dates contained in databases and applications.
However, there is a whole world of unstructured data types that also contain this same information. For instance, a sales quote with the customer’s credit card number may be saved as a PDF on a sales representative’s laptop and would also need to be protected. This is where file encryption can help. An organization can set up a corporate protection policy in DataSecure with ProtectFile to encrypt all files in the Finance Department’s shared folder on a file server, all quotes on Sale’s laptops, and all HR information on Human Resources’ desktops.
The investment to become and remain compliant might be enough to justify the effort but there is an even more compelling reason to consider file protection as an essential component in one’s security strategy — protecting intellectual property.
Intellectual Property Protection
All industry’s have some kind of intellectual proprerty that would cause significant harm if it fell into the wrong hands. Across the globe, the annual cost associated with the loss of intellectual property is about US$6B. A single breach could be as high as $4.6M per firm. And when you consider the vast array of data types that form intellectual property, having a solution that can enforce protection, prevent breaches, and help streamline proof of compliance is a sound return on investment.
How Does It Work?
Once an organization understands what intellectual property should be protected, where it is, and who should have access to it, then they can establish the file protection policies within DataSecure. A document gets encrypted by DataSecure and ProtectFile based on corporate policy, then the protected file or entire folder gets stored on file server in data center, desktop or mobile laptop. Only privileged users can access, view, modify, or delete protected files as defined by the access policy in DataSecure.
Another option for file protection is to use ProtectFile’s portable capabilities which enable an end user to protect a specific document that may not have been included in the company’s policy. Now the end user can safely share the file via email with other privileged user’s within the organization or with their external ecosystem. For instance, a pharmaceutical company conducting a clinical trial would need to share intellectual property like aspects of the drug’s formulation with a hospital conducting the patient trial. The hospital would need to provide the results without revealing the patient information with a university providing the statistical analysis. ProtectFile portable would keep the documents safe as they are shared and only expose the files in the clear to privileged users.
Next Generation of Data Protection
If an organization has already invested in protecting structured data for compliance, they are well on their way to extending that investment to cover the unstructured data that often makes up intellectual property. This next generation of data protection leverages the same enforcement, monitoring, and logging tools for structured and unstructured data which streamlines compliance, eases management and administration, but most importantly enables an organization to protect the heart of their company – their intellectual property.
 Source: The International Chamber of Commerce
Source: Purdue University Survey, Unsecured Economics: Protecting Vital Information
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