What JK Rowling can teach about protecting IP

JK Rowling did it with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". Why can't you?


No, I don't mean you should be able to write a blockbuster series of books - but that you should protect your critical intellectual property (IP). Rowling protected the story line and ending of her book. You should be able to protect your designs, source code, patents-in-process, contracts and other sensitive digital assets.

According to a recent survey of 102 information security professionals by Enterprise Strategy Group, 74% of those surveyed will spend more (and 44% will spend significantly more) to protect their IP in 2007 than they did in 2006.

This increase in spending is driven by the need to comply with government regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley, HIPPA, GLBA, FISMA, and others, as well as the need to protect IP in conjunction with outsourcing (37% of respondents) and increased collaboration with business partners, suppliers, and customers (34% of respondents).

In addition, the larger an organisation, the more likely it is to be increasing its spending on IP protection to avoid costly and embarrassing public breaches of information security.

However, the challenge facing organisations looking to improve their IP protection is that most lack any form of automated processes to identify and classify their IP. Manual processes don't scale, are costly, and can't adequately ensure critical IP is in fact protected. New automated tools are required.

These new tools must be able to discover, classify, index, and report on what IP is in an organisation's network of servers, PCs, and document repositories so that organisations can apply appropriate protection policies to the information.

These automated discovery and classification tools should meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Broad Reach

The ability to crawl and analyse stored content on the most common repositories, including Windows file shares, NFS, EMC/Documentum stores, and others.

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