Africa: Intellectual Property Protection Vital in Digital World

Johannesburg — WHILE much attention is placed around the legal aspects regarding intellectual property (IP), companies and individuals need to consider the security ramifications as well.

This is according to a technology executive ahead of World Intellectual Property Day on Friday.

"Intellectual property runs the gamut of trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents," said Riaan Badenhorst, General Manager of Kaspersky Lab Africa.

"Protecting these in an ultra-competitive digital world should be an imperative irrespective of if you are a multinational organisation or a start-up just getting off the ground," Badenhorst added.

He said even though cyber security solutions were not typically the first thing that is thought of when it comes to IP protection, the increasingly connected business landscape saw become a necessity.

"Cyber security is no longer just about anti-virus and firewalls. Instead, it encompasses an eco-system that must protect all entry points into an organisation, safeguarding the most fundamental thing needed for success - data," Badenhorst said.

According to Kaspersky, research shows that 21 percent of manufacturers globally have suffered a loss of IP to security breaches.

"Malware was the most common cause of data loss, but theft of mobile devices and software vulnerabilities that were exploited contributed to this as well," said Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager of Kaspersky Lab Africa in Kenya.

World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated annually on April 26 to learn about the role IP rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

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