Every year brings new risks for business entities in the U.S. and around the world. According to a survey of business security professionals, their primary concern in 2021 is the infection of computer systems by malware. However, another threat looms close behind: the breach of intellectual property.
The greatest threats to business organizations’ security
Every year, Dark Reading, a comprehensive news site for the cybersecurity industry, conducts a survey of several hundred industry professionals. In 2021, they polled 215 people regarding the worst threats to a business organization’s sensitive information. The leading answers were infection of a system by malware, as indicated by 48% of respondents, and breach of a system containing confidential information, as identified by 44%. Appropriation of intellectual property is a strong third contender, with 36% of respondents identifying it as the greatest potential threat to an organization.
The threat of intellectual property appropriation
The percentage of respondents who named malware infections and security breaches the greatest threats dropped significantly from 2020 to 2021. In 2020, 58% of respondents named infection as a potential threat and 59% named a breach of data as a potential threat, while this year the figures dropped to 48% and 44%, respectively. This is likely because security professionals in 2021 feel that they have a stronger ability to detect and deter these attacks.
However, about one-third of respondents still fear the breach of IP. Intellectual property is the crown jewel of many entities’ assets. With it leaked, a company loses its edge in the cutthroat global market. If the IP is made public, it is impossible to make it confidential again. Litigating intellectual property theft can cost hundreds of thousands to millions. Even with proactive security, strong-armed counsel and airtight nondisclosure agreements, it is no wonder why professionals continue to fear the compromise of their hard-won IP.