The NextLabs Intellectual Property Protection solution enables businesses to:
- Keep IP confidential. Access to confidential IP is restricted to the project team and tracked to provide audit trails and demonstrate compliance.
- Prevent theft of trade secrets. Trade secrets are protected from unauthorized copies on USB devices, network shares, and file transfers.
- Protect IP throughout the product development lifecycle. An end-to-end approach continuously protects data going in and out of PLM systems, downloaded to engineering workstations, and distributed to manufacturing kiosks.
- Control IP distribution in the supply chain. Control IP distribution to partners and suppliers with approval request workflow and automatically encrypt data.
- Ensure proper handling of customer's IP. Suppliers that work with customer's IP have safeguards to ensure data is not mistakenly uploaded or e-mailed to the wrong customer.
- Prevent IP contamination. Customer's IP entrusted to suppliers is prevented from cross contamination across multiple customer projects
Enable Safe and Compliant Communication and Collaboration
Intellectual property, such as development research, CAD/CAM designs, source code, trade secrets, and strategic business plans are the company's most important assets. When protected trade secrets and similar IP is leaked, companies suffer competitive disadvantage, lost sales momentum, and damaged reputations.
But today's basic access controls do little to prevent intellectual property loss after the authorized user access is granted. Problems include:
- IP access and handling cannot be comprehensively monitored.
- Files are uploaded to FTP sites without proper approvals.
- Information is uploaded to unapproved websites/portals.
- IP is copied to unapproved removable media such as USB devices.
- IP is being sent over e-mail and IM to improper recipients.
It is unrealistic to expect users to always follow manual procedures to protect IP. Management overhead, a lack of coordination, and human error all increase the risks of losing sensitive data.
Companies can now protect intellectual property by ensuring safe and appropriate data access, use, and disclosure. The solution applies business policies across repositories where IP is stored, and across end points and applications where used. The solution enforces controls across heterogeneous applications and systems, such as PDM, document repositories, and CAD/CAM applications to protect IP throughout its entire lifecycle. Solution support includes Microsoft Windows and Office, Linux, and PLM products, such as NX 4, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Pro/E Wildfire, Allegro, and more.
Companies can now unify access entitlements and data handling policy. The solution educates users about policies and procedures, and automates protection when teams collaborate, while remaining transparent to normal business.
Intellectual Property Protection Application
Preventing IP misuse is difficult when devices, data, and users are mobile, or if users, customers, partners, and the supply chain are spread across multiple locations. Policies are enforced by evaluating business conditions and context, such as identity, data type and activities, in real time to apply precise controls.
The solution includes:
- Internal Collaboration Barriers. Protection includes conflict of interest activity monitoring and controls to ensure IP from one project does not leak into designs of competing products.
- Change Control Automation and Approval Compliance. Automated data handling processes and procedures are applied, including initiating proper workflow processes for gaining project approvals and complying with change management procedures.
- Confidentiality across Extended Enterprise. Protection is maintained when IP is shared outside the project, including preventing improper disclosure across the extended supply chain. Safe and approved channels are enforced to maintain data integrity in transit, and protection is applied while IP is used at the destination.
- Endpoint Data Loss Prevention. IP checkout or download must be to approved locations, and only exported to removable media, printed, copied, or uploaded if authorized. Policy Assistants help automate safe access and handling, and educate users about proper data usage.
- Communication and Distribution Data Loss Prevention. IP distribution and communication are limited to secure, approved applications and channels to avoid leakage.
Auditing & Reporting
Comprehensive visibility ensures project life cycle and program confidentiality, and compliance with standards and contractual agreements. Forensic analysis capabilities help discover and identify abnormalities during the life cycle. The solution's auditing and reporting capabilities let you answer such questions as:
- What are the primary repositories that contain IP?
- What are the user exception cases for copying and printing?
- Where are users trying to e-mail IP outside of designated client or project domains?
- How often are files uploaded or FTP'd to locations outside of the project domains?
- Where and how is information leaked at endpoints (USB, copying, uploaded, etc.)?
- When were design documents accessed and used, including tracing the lineage of documents during their lifecycle?