With more cybercriminals now shifting their attention away from petty offenses and toward corporate intellectual property theft, executive priorities are beginning to evolve as well. According to the 13th annual Law and the Boardroom Study conducted by Corporate Board Member and FTI Consulting, data security and IT risk have joined regulatory changes as the top concerns held by business directors and general counsel.
Among the more than 550 professionals surveyed, just one in three general counsel felt "very confident" in their organization's ability to quickly determine whether confidential assets had been compromised following a security breach. Fewer than 25 percent of business directors responded with similar confidence.
"To help companies manage and mitigate this risk, they need to inventory and map their IP assets, secure their data and test their networks and systems for gaps on a constant basis," FTI Consulting senior managing director Michael Pace explained.
One of the complicating factors cited by Pace was the technical acumen required to address the new class of digital risks threatening patent portfolios. But while business and legal executives may not hope to amass such intimate IT security knowledge on their own, they certainly have the power to allocate company funds toward qualified experts who can help. A separate study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Verdasys recently confirmed that majority of firms still do not include IP protection as a budget line item.