Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

03:27 PM
Connect Directly

Report: Intellectual Property In Peril Worldwide

Companies aren't sufficiently protecting their intellectual property in this global economy, suffering $1 trillion in losses last year, new McAfee report says

It's the perfect storm: In an interconnected world where companies spread their data around the globe, economic uncertainties and an increasingly sophisticated cybercrime underground are putting intellectual property at risk and companies vulnerable to serious and damaging losses, a new report released by McAfee today says.

The average company has $17 million worth of its intellectual property stored, accessed, and managed outside of its country, according to McAfee's report on protecting this information in an unsecured world. The report came out of research and a survey of more than 1,000 senior IT professionals in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, China, India, Japan, and the Middle East.

The respondents say they lost a combined $4.6 billion worth of intellectual property assets last year, according to McAfee, and spent around $600 million to repair the damages. McAfee says that means companies worldwide lost more than $1 trillion last year as a result.

"...More and more vital digital information, such as intellectual property and sensitive customer data, is being transferred between companies and continents. It also indicates that much of it is being lost in the process," the report says.

Mike Siegel, director of product management at McAfee, says it's tough to quantify the value of intellectual property, too. "McAfee has a number of technology solutions, but you could argue that our EPO [EPolicy Orchestrator] is our most strategic product. What is the source code worth? It's almost invaluable," he says. "A vast majority of companies have no protection whatsoever in place [for their IP]."

The report also found philosophical differences about security investment in different countries. Brazil, China, and India, for instance, spent more on security as a chunk of their IT budgets than the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan: Thirty-five percent of Indian firms spent 20 percent or more of their overall IT budgets on security, while 33 percent of Chinese and 27 percent of Brazilian companies did so. IT pros in Germany (20 percent), the U.S. (19 percent), Japan (10 percent), and the U.K. (4 percent) said they spent that much.

And while the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, and Dubai are driven mainly by compliance for securing their data, China and India are motivated by competition, the report says: Seventy-four percent of Chinese respondents and 68 percent of Indian respondents say security investments are for a competitive advantage or to attract customers.

The most dangerous places to house or move data, according to the report, are China, Pakistan, and Russia, which the respondents said had the worst reputations for investigating security breaches.

Many of the respondents avoid storing their intellectual property in China due to a perceived risk. While 26 percent of the Chinese respondents said they had avoided storing or processing data in their country for security reasons, 47 percent of them said the U.S. posed the biggest threat to their intellectual property.

"Knowing that the origin of a lot of attacks comes from Russia, China, and Pakistan has been something well-known to me," Siegel says. "But to actually see this through the perspective of people in these countries was interesting. To have a Chinese CIO say this is what I perceive my threats to be [was enlightening]."

More than half of the respondents said the changing nature of cyberthreats is their key challenge.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
For Cybersecurity to Be Proactive, Terrains Must Be Mapped
Craig Harber, Chief Technology Officer at Fidelis Cybersecurity,  10/8/2019
A Realistic Threat Model for the Masses
Lysa Myers, Security Researcher, ESET,  10/9/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
JIZHICMS 1.5.1 allows admin.php/Admin/adminadd.html CSRF to add an administrator.
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
There is a heap-based buffer over-read in the _nc_find_entry function in tinfo/comp_hash.c in the terminfo library in ncurses before 6.1-20191012.
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
There is a heap-based buffer over-read in the fmt_entry function in tinfo/comp_hash.c in the terminfo library in ncurses before 6.1-20191012.
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
A flaw was found in the "Leaf and Chain" OCSP policy implementation in JSS' CryptoManager versions after 4.4.6, 4.5.3, 4.6.0, where it implicitly trusted the root certificate of a certificate chain. Applications using this policy may not properly verify the chain and could be vulnerable to...
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
The csv-parse module before 4.4.6 for Node.js is vulnerable to Regular Expression Denial of Service. The __isInt() function contains a malformed regular expression that processes large crafted input very slowly. This is triggered when using the cast option.