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IP Theft Needs Attention

1:30 PM -- Now that external threats to intellectual property (IP) are reasonably under control, IT pros are getting more introspective. But the tools they're using to cope may not be sufficient.

In a recent study by ESG, 32 percent of 112 IT managers claim to have suffered a loss of IP in the last year. (Fifty-seven percent reported no loss; 11 didn't know whether they'd lost anything or not.) (See IP Breaches Plague 32%.)

The study, commissioned by content filtering vendor Reconnex, was clearly aimed at showing the scope of the problem. But it also makes clear that present solutions aren't covering the exposure. Over 70 percent of respondents say they're already checking email, IM, and databases for errant IP in the form of financial data, contract details, trade secrets, source code, personally identifiable information (PII), and so forth. They're still afraid of their employees.

Part of the problem seems to lie in the procedures as well as the products used to secure corporate data. IP is still not treated with the security level associated with regulated consumer information.

"Compliance raised the visibility of disclosure -- showing companies the vulnerability of IP in research reports, for example," says ESG analyst Eric Ogren. Now the same kind of diligence needs to be applied internally.

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