Why Everyone Is Freaking Out About Intellectual Property Theft
One of my favorite contrived SQL security examples is the story of a hacker getting into our database and dropping all of our tables. If we could be so lucky, as the solution to that problem is much easier than what hackers usually want. Hackers ultimately dream of being able to penetrate our system, steal intellectual property or key information, and exit our system without us ever knowing that they were there. This is the ultimate goal of every hacker. Dropping tables immediately gives away that a hacker has entered our system, which no clever hacker wants. In the video why everyone is freaking out about intellectual property theft, we look at cybersecurity attacks and hacks in the context of intellectual property. Far from involving dropping tables or acting destructively (both which are poorly strategic), these hacks are the ultimate threat because they can cost trillions of dollars in the long run when someone is able to steal our work.
Some of the questions and topics that I cover in the video:
- Why the who of intellectual property may not be who you think it is
- A surprising answer about what is intellectual property
- Can we even protect intellectual property?
- Why this is a growing challenge
- Why this challenge will continue to grow
- Best practices for how to protect physical intellectual property
- A few common myths about insuring intellectual property
- Best practices for how to protect digital intellectual property
- How intellectual property relates to credibility and why this is important for the future
- A solution for companies who are already practicing strong digital intellectual property protection
We also tie these topics to each other and dig into the challenges of protecting intellectual property while answering while this will continue to be a growing challenge. Make no mistake, the costs of these attacks are in the trillions of dollars.
Why doesn’t intellectual property get as much attention as destructive hacks? Because these hacks don’t seem as cool as a hacker getting into a system and acting destructively (ie: stuxnet-like hacks). The latter hacks come with interesting stories while a hack involving intellectual property is boring — these hackers cleverly get in and out of systems quickly while covering their trail. In addition, once they steal the intellectual property of their target, they simply copy it and steal financial resources from their targets without their targets ever realizing they were penetrated. Hackers use techniques like penetration covering to avoid detection.
The irony of these attacks is they are more costly in the long run than destructive hacks. This is because destructive hacks immediately reveal that a hacker compromised a system, whereas an intellectual property hack often goes unnoticed. This is where the danger lies: the entity that was attacked thinks that they are safe, when in reality, they were compromised and their property stolen. Every now and then, these attacks are caught. But the ultimate goal of an intellectual property attack is stealth theft.