The number of IP cyber thefts is expected to increase in the next 12 months, according to a recent poll by Deloitte. One in five respondents (20.1%) said they believe such a crime is likely to be an inside job.

A security lock on computer circuit board left unlock representing computer security breach

Fifty-eight percent of approximately 2,900 business professionals, a vast majority of them in accounting and finance roles, said the number of successful or attempted cyber thefts will rise in the coming year. Only 16.1% said the frequency will decline or remain the same. Professionals in the power/utilities and telecom industries were the most pessimistic (68.8% each) about the prospects for increasing attacks.

“While many of us know — or have experienced firsthand — how a cyberattack can severely disrupt business, loss of an asset as critical as IP can be crippling for most organizations,” says Don Fancher, principal at Deloitte.

Although IP cyber theft is nothing new, IP theft often goes underreported, according to Deloitte. Because IP has relatively little direct impact on the public, companies hit by cyber thieves would rather keep their losses close to the vest.

And unlike the theft of hard-copy IP printed on paper files in traditional manila folders, the extent of cyberattacks can often be difficult to assess because the stolen property is merely a digital copy.

“Managing risk,” Fancher says, “often includes qualifying how loss of that IP would impact the business, preparing to identify and pursue adversaries, and building a defensible chain of data custody to counter future IP cyber-theft threats.”

Respondent to the Deloitte poll said the automotive industry (32.2%) is most at risk, followed by the oil and gas (27.2%) and real estate service industries (26.2%).

“Predicting IP data theft is tough, as adversaries don’t fit one specific mold,” said Adnan Amjad, a partner at Deloitte.

Although most respondents said they’re concerned about the threat of internal espionage, only 16.7% said employee access to their company’s intellectual property is “very limited” or on a need-to-know basis.

A successful defense starts with defining the critical assets, according to Deloitte. Other tips for keeping safe from cyber thieves include:

  • Validate any partners or suppliers involved in IP creation.
  • Evaluate whether exposing some IP in the public domain may make the organization subject to attack.
  • Consider whether the competitive landscape points to new cyber threats to IP protection.
  • Improve cyber resilience to manage brand impact and market position.

More than 2,500 professionals participated in Deloitte online poll, conducted in September. Poll respondents were from sectors including banking and securities (13.5%), technology (8.4%), investment management (6.1%), travel, hospitality and services (5.4%), insurance (5.1%) and retail/wholesale/distribution (5.0%).

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One response to “IP Cyberattacks Expected to Rise”

  1. I think the cyberattacks problem will increase sooner than the expected now.You don’t know that some people who have ability to do that are a lot more than you know. They have many purposes not only for living but it also conducted with politics. Cyberattacts could create a chaos in many countries, they will attack their economics first by financial technology issues. Meanwhile, there are a few resources in many industries who have knowledge of digital technology deeper than the attacker. They have one step ahead of their abilities in technology. I think you should well prefare if that time coming sooner than your expected. The human resources in accountancy professional in some countries have a little of digital knowledge. How could they make first warning if their knowledge one step behind of the attacker. The other hand, all activities in this world connected with digital system. Especially in the countries which have small number of human capital in those ability because they faced to cost in their operational to provide a good governance conducted with technology problems. Therefore, the accountancy professional should more focus with the probabilities of those problems.

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