Although intellectual property can represent a high percentage of a company’s value, a significant proportion of organisations are failing to protect their information assets.
According to research undertaken by Iron Mountain and PwC, European businesses are not taking the protection of corporate secrets and intellectual property (IP) as seriously as other information risk issues.
The research shows that only 41% of mid-sized European businesses have plans to protect intellectual property and that 54% of companies believe that safeguarding this type of information is less important than protecting financial, customer and employee information.
Four industry sectors (financial services; insurance; manufacturing; pharmaceuticals) in six European countries (France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Spain, UK) were analysed. The pharmaceutical industry, despite being IP intensive, performed the worst – only 30% of the companies include IP in their information risk management and data protection plans.
Companies should focus beyond the direct cost of data loss or theft and take into account other, less direct costs, such as the potential impact on brand reputation and public trust. According to the research, the best companies:
- Treat information as a board room issue
- Have a balanced information strategy – which is regularly monitored
- Have a multi-disciplinary team in charge of information risk
A summary of the report (Information Risk Maturity Index) is available here.