Cyber exploitation is now a key element of harvesting intellectual property from the U.S. military. The Director of National Intelligence specifically identified defense contractors and communications firms as the primary focal points of China in his testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in Jan. 2019. The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property says that the theft of trade secrets alone costs the United States between 180 billion dollars and 540 billion dollars annually. How can small businesses stay innovative and collaborative, while protecting intellectual property?
Building a Strategy
Accenture’s 2018 survey showed that those with good offensive strategies reported preventing 87 percent of all focused attacks and identifying 89 percent within one month, down from the multiple months or years it formerly took to identify hacks and breaches. An offensive strategy comes from a holistic approach to cybersecurity must incorporate technical, physical, and human factors to prevent, detect, and correct cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Education of all personnel is a mandatory first step to supporting the understanding of the value, responsibilities, risks, and punishments for cybersecurity lapses.
Collaboration of People | Collaboration of Systems | Collaboration of Ideas
Adam Garfein, PhD, Vice President of Business Development at Menawat & Co spoke about the holistic approach to secure collaboration at the WBI Small Business Hub Collider on October 26, 2018. The event touched on all levels of cyber risk, from simple social media communications to integrated cloud services. Garfein touched on the benefits that secure collaboration can provide, such as reducing the total cost of ownership and compressing the product lifecycle. Small businesses can play a considerable role in protecting intellectual property for researchers and their organizations.
Cyber security is emerging as the 4th pillar of procurement in the DoD on a par with cost, schedule and performance. A holistic approach and a demand for contractors to make cybersecurity standards and employee training an integral part of their bids will transform it into a profit center. Both the Air Force and their vendors should be expect to make an upfront investment to take proactive measures instead of spending money downstream to cover emergency reactive measures.
How Small Business Can Benefit
A Cisco survey of over 1,000 executives found that 74 percent of U.S. respondents said that the main purpose of cybersecurity is to reduce risk instead of enable growth. When those in charge view important security measures as stifling innovation, they are often implemented begrudgingly and piecemeal without any overarching systematic policy, leading to poor integration. If small businesses can provide integrated cybersecurity, they will be positioned to win contracts that will help the Air Force turn the 4th pillar of procurement into a profit center, securing the nation’s emerging warfare capabilities.