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Cyber attacks a threat to intellectual property

Symantec head warns that IP theft is the primary danger of cyber warfare

The chief executive of Symantec, Steve Bennett, ought to know a thing or two about cyber warfare. After all, Symantec is on of the leading software security service providers in the world. So when Bennett explains that the threat of intellectual property theft is greater than malicious cyber attacks, businesses should take note. 

“What I’m most concerned about for the world is the economic threat if intellectual property is transferred from IP creators to countries with lower costs,” Bennett told The Financial Times. “It will have a big negative impact on global economic growth.”

Bennett’s words hold value, as he is a key adviser to President Obama on matters of cyber security. With the increase in cyber theft, his warning is not to be taken lightly.

According to risk consulting experts at Kroll, cyber attacks intended to steal commercial secrets doubled from 2012 to 2013. Companies like Adobe have been the victims of high-profile theft, as hackers were able to steal the source code that forms the foundation of the company’s software.

This type of theft is the biggest enterprise risk for companies that generate intellectual property, according to Bennett. His company has found that attacks on small businesses have risen 50 percent over the past year, meaning that companies of all sizes should be aware.

It’s a bit of an arms race, he told The Financial Times, stating, “While we’re making best efforts that aren’t producing results, the bad guys are getting more sophisticated and the consequences of breaches are going up.” To deal with this, governments must take an assertive role in dealing with the issue of intellectual property theft via cyber attack.


For more information on intellectual property, check out the following:


Intellectual property law jobs on the rise

IP is the ‘X-Factor’ in M&A

Trade secret pirates and IP thieves cost the U.S. billions


Senior Editor and Community Manager

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

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