Protecting intellectual property from a cyber attack is something that all companies need to be concerned about. Google recently released information about a targeted attack on their intellectual property and data that occurred in December, 2009. The attack came from China and according to Google, resulted in the “theft of intellectual property from Google.” Apparently they were not the only company that was under a cyber attacks. At least 20 other corporations were hit, including a law firm that was suing China.
Google explained the cyber attack as follows:
E-mails were targeted at individuals in each company that were made to appear as that they were coming from other people at each company. They attempted to get their target to click on a link or attachment.
Potential Legal Consequences of a Breach
If your company has been subject to a cyber attack and data has been breached, your company may be subject to litigation. There have been an increase in the number of lawsuits commenced by customers and clients whose data have been compromised. For example, there is currently a lawsuit in Pennsylvania against Heartland Payment Systems, which claims that the company waited to tell consumers about a data breach and failed to protect sensitive information.
Businesses also need to be aware of compliance laws such as Sarbanes Oxley when they lose the personal information of their customers.
Potential Legal Consequences of an Intellectual Property Breach
Cyber Attacks, like the one inflicted against Google, often attempt to steal Intellectual Property. Trademarks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets, are big targets for cyber criminals.
What companies from selected industries can do to protect their data
- High-tech: Need to protect source code and engineering design documents.
- Banks and Financial Companies: Confidential customer information.
- Pharma and Bio-Tech: Trade secrets such as research and the manufacturing of drugs.