Intellectual Property at Risk

Morgan O'Rourke


October 1, 2013


Intellectual property may be the single most important asset a company possesses. Whether it is physical or digital, customer data or operational information, trade secrets or business strategies, intellectual property (IP) is often the main driver of revenue for any organization. It is what distinguishes one company from another and is the main reason customers buy the products and services that they do. But, of course, this also means that any vulnerabilities in the security of these assets are primed for exploitation by parties looking to gain an edge. And given the sheer amount of data available, achieving total protection has never been more difficult or required such a broad scope of attention.

In this special section on intellectual property protection, we look at multiple facets of the issue, including basic elements of a protection program, how and why investors need to assess cyberrisk, protection of intellectual property assets in the cloud, the often-overlooked risk of poor patent translation, and the use of security assessments to strike a balance between collaboration and information protection. While even this only scratches the surface of the risks related to intellectual property, hopefully it will provide some food for thought for any risk manager looking to strengthen an organization’s IP defenses.

Understanding the Risks: Eight Elements of an Effective IP Protection Program
by Pamela Passman
To preserve a company’s most important asset, an intellectual property protection program is a business necessity.

Cyber Due Diligence: How and Why Investors—and the Companies They Are Targeting—Should Assess Their Cyberrisks
by Alan Brill and Jason Straight
The increase in hacking and data breach incidents means that investors must assess the cyberrisks of the companies they target.

Securing the Cloud: Protecting Cloud-Based IP Through Identity and Access Management
by Kurt Johnson
The cloud adds a new level of vulnerability to digital IP, but identity and access management strategies can reduce the risk.

Risk in Any Language: Reducing the Often-Overlooked IP Risks Associated with Translating Patents
by Lyle Ball
For companies looking to expand into global markets, patent translation can present risks that are often overlooked.

Too Much Information: Using a Security Assessment to Balance Collaboration and Information Protection
by Kevin Biggs
In an interconnected world, striking a proper balance between sharing and protecting information can be tricky.

Morgan O’Rourke is editor in chief of Risk Management and director of publications for the Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)