In the interconnected world of global trade and innovation, intellectual property (IP ) data serves as the lifeblood of economies. These days, concerns regarding the systematic theft of intellectual property (IP) data from U.S. companies by nation-states have reached a critical juncture. This issue has become a focal point in international relations, raising questions about fair trade practices, cybersecurity, and the protection of innovation.

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The True Magnitude of IP Theft

U.S. companies, particularly those in technology, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries, have reported instances of stolen trade secrets, patented technologies, and proprietary information. The economic implications are significant, with estimates suggesting billions of dollars in losses annually due to IP theft. And this isn’t just affecting large, well-established enterprises – many tech startups have fallen victim to IP data breaches as well.

The complex nature of this challenge demands innovative approaches that go beyond traditional cybersecurity measures. It’s critical for any organization handling sensitive, IP data to explore how advanced data security, protection, and posture management solutions play a pivotal role in mitigating the threat posed by IP data theft.

Here are the tenets of a strong data defense strategy to defend against IP data theft:

Discover & Classify Your IP Data

Data discovery and classification serve as the foundation of your security strategy against IP data theft. By implementing advanced tools to discover and classify sensitive information, organizations can gain a comprehensive understanding of their data landscape. This allows them to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities to exposure and take proactive measures to secure critical IP data.

BigID can efficiently scan diverse data sources for sensitive IP information, including unstructured and structured data, across SaaS, mainframes, messaging, pipelines, big data, NoSQL, IaaS, applications, and more. Leverage patented Hyperscan technology to speed up unstructured data scanning by 95% and ensure full cloud data coverage using Auto-Discovery to save time and eliminate cloud data blind spots.

Combine traditional pattern-matching approaches with advanced, ML and NLP-based classification for exceptional accuracy and scalability in data classification. Tailor classifiers to find specific types of IP data, like patents and trade secrets, and train them over time to continuously improve classification identification and accuracy. Leverage complete and comprehensive data classification to apply a consistent rule set for data labeling and tagging to categorize IP data with more attributes such as confidentiality level. Create and establish a dynamic inventory of sensitive data enriched with contextual attributes for a holistic view of your entire data landscape – wherever IP data exists.

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Find & Remediate Your Biggest IP Data at Risk

Once your sensitive, IP data is discovered, classified, and inventoried, the next crucial step is implementing a data risk management and remediation practice. This involves the proactive identification, assessment, and mitigation of potential risks and vulnerabilities to IP data. Timely remediation ensures that potential threats are neutralized before they can be exploited, safeguarding intellectual property.

With BigID, remediate data your way – centrally manage data remediation workflows or decentralize them across your data security stack. Automate and streamline the identification, analysis, and remediation of crucial data risks and vulnerabilities. Assess the severity and priority of your risks by considering data context, such as sensitivity, location, accessibility, and more. Continuously monitor for suspicious activity, pinpoint potential insider threats, detect permissions violations, and dive deep into the details for thorough analysis. Execute a range of remediation actions including data encryption, deletion, masking, tokenization, and more. Simplify the management of remediation workflows across the right people and tools such as SIEM, SOAR, and DLP.

Ensuring Digital Boundaries Around IP Data

Access controls are pivotal in restricting unauthorized access to sensitive IP data. By employing advanced access control technologies, organizations can monitor and manage user permissions, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to critical information, especially IP data.

BigID’s Access Intelligence and Remediation efficiently identifies and resolves high-risk data access issues at scale across your environment. Identify and flag overprivileged users and groups, third parties, and remote workers with unfettered access to data sources, sets, and files containing sensitive, IP information. Detect and investigate overexposed sensitive IP information datasets, files, and sources with open access across the organizations or external access to those outside the organization. Pinpoint permissions violations and streamline access remediation by natively revoking access rights for users and groups for more proactive control.

Safeguard Your IP Data

Governing IP Data Through Policy Management

A robust data governance framework forms the bedrock of an organization’s defense against IP data theft. Clearly defined data governance policies outline how data is managed, stored, and accessed throughout the data lifecycle. This includes establishing policies around data encryption, retention, and deletion for specific types of IP data. Adherence to these policies sets the standard for responsible data handling to mitigate the likelihood of IP data falling into the wrong hands.

Enforce and manage hundreds of out-of-the-box data security policies to monitor data location and movement across the environment. Trigger the necessary remediation and controls for compliance with frameworks like NIST, CISA, PCI, and more. Streamline data retention and deletion policies according to business and regulatory requirements, considering the context of your data including type, age, similarity, accessibility, and more. Identify and dispose of duplicate, redundant, obsolete, or trivial IP data to reduce your attack surface. Enforce policies to better govern generative AI so that internal LLM tools and projects do not train on sensitive, critical data, including your IP.

Report On IP Data Security Posture

Data risk assessments and reporting are ongoing processes that ensure organizations stay ahead of emerging threats. Regular assessments evaluate the effectiveness of existing security measures and identify areas for improvement. Reporting mechanisms provide insights into the organization’s data security posture, facilitating informed decision-making at every level.

BigID offers a variety of dashboards and reports that provide comprehensive visibility into the state of your data security posture, governance, and compliance around your IP data. Simplify and automate data risk assessments for a comprehensive view of data risks at any point in time. Fully customize dashboards and reporting to track trends, metrics, and important KPIs over time on specific data security, privacy, and governance initiatives. Empower users with self-service reporting and alleviate the burden off of administrators or particular individuals. Produce audit reports for quick and hassle-free compliance verification for regulators.

Addressing the concerns and challenges of state-sponsored IP data theft demands a multifaceted data security approach. As the data landscape evolves, proactive and comprehensive measures are essential to ensure that the innovative spirit of companies remains protected in the face of persistent threats.

Want to learn more about how BigID can help? Set up a 1:1 with one of our data security experts today and we’ll show you how we can help you pinpoint and protect your most sensitive and valuable IP data at scale!