In our series of blogs about the value of ideas and IP, we have covered the vital need to protect information and also the instances when protection is not appropriate – either because it hampers business processes or because the data has become old and therefore worthless.
What has become clear is that not all information is equal in value. Some is of very high value while other data can actually represent a cost to a business – either because it has to be stored and protected at a price or, perhaps more worryingly, because it shouldn’t be in your hands in the first place and could lead to legal challenges from competitors.
You might think that it would be hard for an employee to get their hands on information and IP from a competitor organisation, thus putting their employer in breach of regulations of legislation. But that’s not necessarily the case, it could be as simple as a new recruit bringing emails or confidential documents with them from an old job.
Mobile devices and cloud computing are giving employees access to information from nearly anywhere and more sensitive information than ever is living beyond the traditional IT boundaries. In fact, according to Symantec research almost half (46 per cent) of an organisation’s information is being stored outside of its own data centre and more than a third of businesses have experienced the exposure of confidential information as a result of lost or stolen mobile devices.
As we have seen, this loss of control of information and ideas can be costly for all parties. It can lead to loss of revenues for IP holders who have data breaches, costs businesses if they are protecting redundant data and can also lead to counter claims if IP is illegally found in someone’s possession. All of this leads to the question, what can organisations do to protect themselves and their information? This is a question we'll explore in our final post in the series later this week.