October 31, 2023

Cyberattacks pose a significant threat to the security of an organization’s innovative ideas, research and development and creative endeavors. To properly safeguard intellectual property (IP), companies should embrace a holistic approach that includes cybersecurity

Intellectual property, such as copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets, are among an organization’s most valuable assets, which is why it is essential to safeguard it. 

  • Copyright protection ensures that original creative works are safeguarded from unauthorized reproduction and distribution.  
  • Patents protect inventions, encouraging innovation by providing inventors with exclusive rights.  
  • Trademark registration safeguards brand identities, reducing the likelihood of counterfeiting and brand dilution in the marketplace. 
  • Protection of trade secrets information that is commercially valuable and known by a limited group of people — helps companies maintain a competitive edge and defend against unfair business practices 

IP laws play a fundamental role in preserving innovation by providing legal recourse against those who copy, misuse or steal their creative ideas. They enable organizations to recoup their investments and potential profit from their innovations. 

The risks of not protecting IP 

IP theft can erode a company’s competitive advantage and negatively impact its bottom line. The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property estimates that intellectual property theft costs US companies as much as $600 billion annually. 

Unauthorized access to IP assets can result in: 

  • Competitors copying or exploiting your innovations 
  • Lost revenue from licensing, sales or royalties 
  • Reduced investment in research and development, hindering future innovation 
  • Diminished company valuation, impacting potential mergers, acquisitions and investors 
  • Counterfeit products and brand dilution, causing confusion among consumers 
  • Potentially costly legal battles 

Intersection of IP rights and cybersecurity 

While IP laws provide legal mechanisms to protect intellectual property, they alone cannot address threats from cybercriminals. This is where cybersecurity comes into play.  

Taking inventory of your valuable IP assets, knowing where they are located and who has access to them are essential first steps in preventing innovative ideas from being stolen in a cyber-attack. A comprehensive cybersecurity program should also include:  

  • Encryption of sensitive data to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches 
  • Multi-factor Authentication to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to IP-related systems 
  • Robust firewalls and intrusion detection systems to protect against network cyberattacks 
  • Employee training in cybersecurity measures to prevent inadvertent data leaks and cyber vulnerabilities 
  • Incident response planning to help an organization respond effectively to cyber incidents, mitigating potential IP breaches 

Traliant Training 

Training is essential to helping employees understand work scenarios that can put intellectual property at risk. Click here for a free trial of Traliant’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Suite of courses, including best practices for protecting your organization’s IP.  



Mark Hudson