Following the surge of corporate data breaches reported in recent months, companies across industries have been revising data protection protocols to keep a tighter grip on sensitive customer data. However, it appears that a number of organizations are still leaving their intellectual assets without the benefit of similar security measures.
In a survey of senior executives from 600 midmarket companies conducted by analysts from Iron Mountain and PricewaterhouseCoopers, it was discovered that just four in 10 responding organizations have explicit plans in place to safeguard intellectual property portfolios and corporate trade secrets.
With report authors estimating the value of the global IP market at $180 billion annually and suggesting the average firm has two-thirds of its value tied up in intellectual assets, several were surprised by their findings.
"Just imagine what could happen if valuable company secrets such as patents, product designs or go-to-market strategies fell into the hands of a rival," said Iron Mountain spokesman Christian Toon.
When the results were broken down by industry, researchers also noted that firms relying most heavily on patents, trademarks and copyrights were often the worst at protecting them. IP-intensive verticals like pharmaceuticals, finance and legal services each scored below average when it came to security preparations.