Proximity is of little importance to many up-and-coming, successful businesses. Thanks to the cloud, employees and contractors can work in close collaboration across city, state and country borders as if they are in the same office. This is an invaluable boon.
It also puts critical intellectual property (IP) at risk.
An increasing reliance on cloud security
More and more, businesses are relying on the cloud to store important information. This includes many companies’ most valuable assets: their IP. As this Forbes piece explains, one report found nearly half of the surveyed organizations said they kept intellectual property in the cloud. About the same amount also used the cloud to store business intelligence information.
What many business leaders do not recognize is the hands-off approach most popular cloud services take when it comes to data security. Yes, they take important steps to shore up points of vulnerability on the back-end. But it’s up to you and your company to provide adequate safeguards from your side.
How to protect valuable information in the cloud
Protecting cloud-stored IP is about identifying potential soft spots, then taking steps to reinforce them. Data security training, for example. Teaching employees how to spot common attack tactics, such as phishing, can help lower the risk of an unauthorized cloud entry.
Identity management is another key area. You will want to ensure authorized users only have access to the files they need. It should also be possible to track when users log on to the cloud and from where, while providing information about which files they accessed during that session. Additional measures might include multifactor authentication, file encryption and proper cloud configuration.
Legal protections are equally vital
You can implement all of the cloud security measures you’d like. If your IP is not properly shielded from a legal standpoint, it might not matter. Protecting trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets is vital. It provides an avenue for legal recourse and enforcement should your IP be infringed upon – meaning you have the tools at your disposal to minimize any impacts and make things right.
Ensuring your business’ IP has the protections it needs – legally and technologically – is no easy task. But it is essential as you work hard to grow your business to its fullest potential.