Acknowledging the Cyber Threat to your Business – How to Protect your Intellectual Property

As the worlds of commerce and small business have evolved, so too they have encountered a range of new and diverse threats. While the small business owners of the past were preoccupied with locking their places of businesses and ensuring that their merchandise was kept in a secure location, now they have to consider additional measures to protect the integrity of their commercial interests.

While the advent of technology has been largely positive for small businesses, however, it is also responsible for the increasingly sophisticated threat posed to intellectual property. Although as an owner you can patent your innovative concepts, blue prints and auto-CAD designs, for example, this means little unless you are able to store the associated digital files in a secure online location.

Protecting your Intellectual Property: Three Ways to Reduce the Cyber Threat

Whether your businesses technical drawings are produced in house or outsourced to a reputable CAD technician, these documents become especially vulnerable once they are committed to digital format. It is therefore crucial that you take care to protect them, and ensure that your businesses intellectual property is not accessed by rival firms or cyber criminals. Consider the following: –

Conduct a Company Wide Data Audit: When your business begins to accumulate sensitive data and build a collection of relevant CAD designs, it is crucial that you keeps these documents in a central and secure location. Over time, digital files can become spread across several remote locations as the number of people who have access to them continues to rise. A digital data audit can help you to understand exactly how and where your sensitive information is stored, so that strict rules and usage guidelines can implemented within the business.

Work Closely with Contractors and Design Firms: The task of protecting your firm’s intellectual property is even more complicated when you outsource technical work to agencies. This means that digital files or CAD drawings may be stored in locations outside of your businesses network and at considerable external risk. So consider creating a wide reaching security plan that incorporates your selected partners, and ensure that they have are adequately protected against cyber threats.

Think Outside of Traditional Anti-Virus Programs: More often than not, the use of sophisticated anti-virus software is enough to prevent the threat of cyber crime. Market leader Verizon suggest that 90% of system breaches can be averted through these programs, especially when they are implemented on a permanent basis. It is possible to provide additional protection for your business through more enhanced measures, however, including white-listing and only enabling trusted programs to operate on your firm’s server or network.

The Bottom Line

When saved as digital files and stored online, CAD drawings and similar drawings serve as well defined targets for cyber criminals. It is your duty to ensure that they are protected against this threat, especially if you outsource some of the work and employ the services of specialist design companies. By ignoring the dangers posed by cyber crime and how it can compromise your businesses intellectual property, your chances of achieving long term success may be fatally undermined.

Author Bio: T0his article was written by Lewis on behalf of The CADcube, which is one of the leading online platforms for product manufactures to safely share 3D CAD models with their colleagues.

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