Security and IT directors must consider myriad factors to protect a company against threats. Not only do enterprise-level businesses need to protect their intellectual property, but they must also protect physical assets.
The best way to do this is to utilize technology such as enterprise security cameras and IT infrastructure to keep sensitive data away from hackers. The way to do this is to implement a three-prong approach that addresses each area of concern.
1. Register Intellectual Property.
However, if a company develops something valuable, perhaps via physical prototyping, design software, or 3D printing, and does not protect its intellectual property before bringing it to market, the company may find that it is unable to profit from its own invention. For example, suppose that a corporation designed a widget and outsourced manufacturing of the product to a plant in China. The organization sells these items on Amazon, and other companies take notice of the product’s popularity. Therefore, these other companies looked for manufacturers in China, replicated the design, and then added an offer on Amazon claiming that they also provide the same product. Many e-commerce platforms, including Amazon, have a way to protect businesses from this scenario, but only if the company has the documentation to back up that a product, brand, or design is its legal IP.
2. Monitor Physical Assets.
Security experts suggest that the biggest threat to a business lies within the company itself, because employees generally pose the highest risk, and employee theft accounts for the largest percentage of inventory shrinkage across companies. Any security strategy should include protecting physical corporate assets including steps such as surveillance, asset tracking (ex: RFID chips), as well as environmental monitoring for fire, flood, and/or extreme temperatures or moisture.
In the past, surveillance systems required a heavy up-front investment (servers, DVRs, etc), but they have now become much more accessible and more effective. These newer systems, such as those provided by Verkada, provide cutting-edge technology with intelligent web-based software that can scale to thousands of locations and require no DVRs or NVRs (meaning much lower starting costs). These cameras are simple to set up and reposition, eliminating blind spots and adding coverage to higher-risk areas that employees might otherwise use to their advantage. Finally, remote access options mean that security directors can take full advantage of surveillance systems that are robust, without being tied to a physical office.
3. Protect Data.
Corporate data encompasses many sensitive topics, including the protection of customer information and privacy. Once again, employees tend to pose the greatest threat, especially those with good intentions (such as people who email their work home to themselves, leaving the protections of the corporate network).
The first step is to provide information security and technology-use training. Companies should establish guidelines defining the appropriate use of corporate technology and never assume that employees know best practices or even what’s considered risky behavior. Everyone in the organization should know how to avoid security breaches, from rotating passwords to what types of information cannot be sent through or to personal accounts. Once employees are briefed, a company can increase protection by monitoring activity and blocking sites that are known to cause or encourage breaches.
Brand reputation and corporate goodwill are two less concrete assets in a business. While employees need training that covers data storage and avoiding viruses, they should also understand how the use of corporate social media accounts is viewed by potential clients or customers. They need to correctly represent the brand when interacting in virtual spaces.