A common frustration for legal teams dealing with IP theft by employees is that it almost always ends up feeling like you’re left cleaning up after the parade—blindfolded.
Often, legal doesn’t find out about suspected IP theft until the consequences appear. A competitor brings a copycat offering to market. Regulators call to tell you there’s been a breach. Your security team catches something suspicious in an annual review. Or you read your company’s name (and all about the IP theft) in the morning headlines.
It doesn’t get any better when the after-the-fact investigation is hampered by the lack of visibility that allowed the theft to go unnoticed. The best (or only) option is often to hire an outside forensics firm to help figure out what happened, an extremely expensive recourse.
If you can figure out that an employee removed IP from your company, if the employee in question has already left, then your ability to “fix it” is limited. With states and courts limiting the enforceability of non-compete clauses, it’s harder than ever to prevent your IP from reaching a competitor if you are not alerted before a departing employee has started with the competitor.
Wouldn’t it be nice…
It would be great if legal wasn’t the last to know—if you were alerted while there was still time to prevent trade secrets from being exposed?
It used to be that companies could count on conventional, policy-based security tools to stop or block data exfiltration. But modern collaboration culture continues to make the policy-based approach less and less effective.
The traditional concept of a secure digital perimeter is long gone. Worker mobility and flexibility depend on cloud-based productivity and collaboration apps. And the reality is that the businesses must accept some level of risk in order to compete in markets today; you simply cannot afford to let risk mitigation slow down the business, limit agility or stifle the collaboration and innovation of workers. And as data portability and user creativity increases, the policy-based prevention approach just can’t keep up.
Remote work trend amplifies IP risks, legal frustrations
Collaboration culture has been increasing IP risk for the last decade, but that risk took a sharp upturn in the first half of 2020. Well over half of U.S. knowledge workers are now working remotely—and experts predict many will remain remote as the future of work is reimagined.
These remote workers are connecting, collaborating, sharing and working in new ways. But legal and security teams know all too well that employee ingenuity and adaptability also increase the risk of workarounds and other risky behaviors.
5 reasons corporate counsel gets blindsided by IP theft
Since they’ve been around for over 20 years, it’s clear that the conventional, policy-based data loss prevention (DLP) and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) tools won’t protect IP on their own. Yet many companies continue using these tools as the foundation of their IP protection strategy. Here are five reasons that relying on policy-based tools alone will ultimately leave you with the familiar frustration of cleaning up after the parade:
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