In his proclamation marking World Intellectual Property Day, President Joe Biden praised the “innovators and creators who enrich our lives and create the products, services, companies, and industries of tomorrow.” This year’s commemoration shines a spotlight on the outsized role small businesses play in the economic growth of the country “and the ways intellectual property can help support their continued growth and resilience.”
This year’s theme, “Small businesses taking big ideas to market,” comes at a time of unprecedented pressure in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions. Shutdowns have left many struggling to find new strategies to survive. Tens of thousands of temporarily closed small businesses have now become permanent casualties of the pandemic, and the fear is that more will close their doors in the coming months.
But small businesses also face a substantial and growing threat from cyberattacks. A 2020 report from Verizon Business found that more than half of small businesses suffered a data breach during the previous year. On average, the cost of those breaches was about $200,000 per incident, and 60 percent of small businesses shut down within six months of a cyberattack, according to the Verizon report.
Small Business Isn’t So Small
The definition of a small business can vary depending on the industry. According to the Small Business Administration, a small business is one that employs between 250 and 1,500 workers, and that has no more than $38.5 million in average annual receipts. Small businesses are not simply Mom-and-Pop shops. They include privately owned corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships.
Small businesses employed more than 60 million people, accounting for more than 47 percent of the private workforce, according to the SBA’s 2020 Small Business Profile. Of the nearly 300,000 companies that exported goods from the U.S. in 2018, more than 97 percent were small businesses. These accounted for 32 percent of the country’s $1.5 trillion in total exports.
A Renewed Focus on Protecting IP
Intellectual property has become an essential component of the success of many small businesses. It’s the life blood of any organization, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, and the “strategic handling of a company’s intangible assets (e.g. trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and patents)” can make the difference between a locally successful operation and an internationally recognized brand.
A new initiative announced today focuses specifically on threats to these intangible assets of small businesses. The project, called “IP Protect,” brings together the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other groups to help small and mid-sized businesses protect themselves from IP theft and fraud, and to increase general cyber security awareness.
“When we talk about intellectual property protection, too often the focus is solely on large companies that have dedicated personnel and resources protecting their brand,” said IPR Center Director Steve Francis in a statement announcing the partnership. “Start-ups and small to mid-size businesses typically lack those resources or expertise which leaves them particularly vulnerable to IP theft, cyber intrusion and fraud.”
Building an Effective Data Security Strategy
Developing good digital hygiene practices and a comprehensive strategy for protecting business-critical data, intellectual property, and sensitive consumer data is essential for businesses of any size. For more than a decade, SecureData has helped shape best practices for secure data storage and cutting-edge solutions in data recovery and digital forensics.
Our comprehensive approach to data security includes offline encrypted backup and external storage solutions, remote drive management, and hardened endpoint security. Our SecureDrive and SecureUSB devices feature authentication via on-board alphanumeric keypad or a mobile app through a secure Bluetooth connection. Pairing hardware and software solutions puts multiple barriers between cyber criminals and the essential information that drives your business.
Call SecureData now at 1-800-520-1677 to speak to one of our data security experts about a comprehensive and scalable data security solution.