July 16, 2014
While digital solutions like email, mobile devices and the cloud have greatly benefited most businesses, they also raise the specter of intellectual property theft. In order to safeguard mission-critical assets at all times, companies should adopt enterprise security solutions from Proofpoint to make sure their intellectual property is never leaked out or stolen.
In a recent speech to filmmakers, media professionals and other businesspeople, Vice President Joe Biden said that intellectual property theft is a multibillion-dollar issue, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As the Internet rose in prominence, however, the threat landscape changed dramatically. For example, Biden said that instead of bringing a camcorder into a movie theater, someone can get an illegal recording of that film much more easily online. This is just one example of how it has become easier than ever for criminals to pilfer intellectual property.
While exact numbers related to the overall costs of IP theft are not known, most estimates corroborate the figure Biden noted. A May 2013 report from The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property estimated that the United States loses more than $300 billion a year from this issue, and numbers cited by the National Crime Prevention Council put potential losses at up to $5.5 trillion.
Although IP theft is often considered a victimless crime, the NCPC noted that it is typically anything but that. The crime inhibits many companies' ability to grow and hire, and often businesses need to recoup related losses by charging consumers more for their goods or services.
"The effects of this theft are twofold," The IP Commission Report stated. "The first is the tremendous loss of revenue and reward for those who made the inventions or who have purchased licenses to provide goods and services based on them, as well as of the jobs associated with those losses. American companies of all sizes are victimized. The second and even more pernicious effect is that illegal theft of intellectual property is undermining both the means and the incentive for entrepreneurs to innovate, which will slow the development of new inventions and industries that can further expand the world economy and continue to raise the prosperity and quality of life for everyone."
How can companies stem the IP theft tide?
The situation relating to IP today may seem dire, but companies can take steps to significantly insulate themselves against this threat. In particular, by adopting a best-in-class suite of cybersecurity solutions from Proofpoint, businesses will be able to keep their trade secrets, patents and other pieces of intellectual property safe from harm.
For example, Proofpoint Enterprise Archive allows organizations to keep a thorough record of all online messaging, and Proofpoint Enterprise Privacy secures email and other forms of communication that may contain sensitive information. To keep threats like malware on the outside looking in, businesses can use Proofpoint Enterprise Protection.
Only by leveraging a comprehensive and powerful data security and privacy suite will businesses be able to safeguard all of their intellectual property. As the IP threat environment grows larger and more potent, Proofpoint's solutions will become even more vital and mission critical for organizations operating in a wide variety of industries.