Keep the Digital Jewels in the Vault: A Coordinated Information Protection Program Can Eliminate Vulnerabilities That Would Leave Digital Intellectual Property Unprotected

By Boni, William C. | Security Management, May 2002 | Go to article overview

Keep the Digital Jewels in the Vault: A Coordinated Information Protection Program Can Eliminate Vulnerabilities That Would Leave Digital Intellectual Property Unprotected


Boni, William C., Security Management


HOLLY, A NEW EMPLOYEE working in the lab of a high technology company, had just completed the orientation classes when she noticed something odd. A coworker with the same job she had was spending much of his day on the telephone speaking in another language. Though she couldn't understand what he was saying, the words she could make out were the names of the company's current and next generation products. Acting on what she had learned in the orientation class, Holly (not her real name) contacted a member of the company's information security department and explained what she had heard.

The information security staff member notified the company's virtual protection team, a group comprising representatives from across the company, from IT to corporate security to the company's legal counsel. Working together, this group identified the lab where Holly and her mysterious colleague worked as one where critical intellectual property was under development.

Further research showed that the employee under investigation had a history of disciplinary and performance problems. The discovery that the employee had made dozens of international phone calls and had sent an unusual string of e-mails to some questionable overseas recipients made the team even more suspicious. The employee was confronted and admitted that he was planning on selling portions of the company's proprietary information to foreign organizations for personal profit. He was immediately terminated.

This true story illustrates the ever-present threat to a company's intellectual property (IP) and how the threat can be mitigated through a strong IP protection program. A strong program has many elements, but the key to its effectiveness is for all of the corporate efforts to be well coordinated.

Motorola has achieved this coordination by establishing a virtual protection team to develop and oversee all IP protection policies. The team then oversees the program's main elements, which include: identifying and valuing information assets; auditing systems; establishing clear policies and procedures for employees and contractors; building a motivated and involved employee base through training; controlling public sources so that critical information is not inadvertently released to competitors; and creating an incident response capability.

The team, To create the virtual protection team, the chief information security director at Motorola (the author) reached out to colleagues in physical security, the ethics and legal compliance office, human resources, the general counsel's office, the IT team, and the office of the chief technology officer. The goal was to break down any real or perceived barriers between these existing areas when it came to protecting IP.

The biggest obstacle to establishing this group was each prospective member's initial resistance, based on fears that it might impinge on existing departmental turf. The information security director had to reassure everyone that the protection team was meant to be a support mechanism and was not intended to usurp responsibilities from any department.

Once the various departments understood that the motive behind creating a virtual protection team was not to step on toes but to make an integrated protection plan and provide support as needed for protecting IP across the enterprise, the responses were overwhelmingly positive.

Each member of the team now has a specific area of responsibility in safeguarding digital intellectual property. For example, in an investigation led by the physical security group, the information protection department is responsible for conducting computer forensics examinations and otherwise supporting investigators who require access to digital evidence.

In another example, if the IT team, through regular monitoring of log files and activity reports, notices any form of inappropriate behavior that is a violation of company policy, the team can notify ethics and legal compliance personnel on the virtual protection team. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Keep the Digital Jewels in the Vault: A Coordinated Information Protection Program Can Eliminate Vulnerabilities That Would Leave Digital Intellectual Property Unprotected
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.