The trouble with protecting intellectual property from theft in the digital age is that we have yet to apply a framework that makes it relatively simple to distingush crucial content from common everyday data.
In the absence of such a framework, companies do little in the way of creating formal policies for managing critical intellectual capital above and beyond what they do for all their data. That basic fact of business life came across loud and clear in a recent study funded by Microsoft and RSA, the security unit of EMC.
But while RSA would argue that organizations need to extend their existing investments in data loss prevention software to create policies that manage both custodial data and intellectual property more effectively, other companies argue that a top-down approach based on first identifying the most important intellectual assets of the company and then automatically discovering all the information related to those projects makes a lot more sense.
Omri Dotan, chief business office for Verdasys, a provider of data security software, says that as data governance evolves, companies are going to realize that they need to employ a proactive approach based on the value of the information in question, versus trying to expand existing reactive approaches that not only get in the way of the business, but add too much weight to the IT infrastructure.
Dotan argues that the approach Verdasys has taken with its Enterprise Information Protection Platform has helped companies from Toyota to Samsung effectively secure critical intellectual property, resulting in over 1 million installed seats of its software. The ultimate requirement these customers have, says Dotan, is to find data security tools that adapt to the business, rather than forcing the business to work around cumbersome sets of data security protocols that over time only serve to reduce productivity while increasing employee resentment.