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Cyber security & protection of intellectual property

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Many businesses spend years and millions of dollars investing in and developing their intellectual property portfolios. Protection of patents, trade marks, copyright, designs, customer lists, trade secrets and personal consumer data is becoming ever more challenging in a cyber environment which is increasingly open to attack.

A cyber attack is the worst nightmare of any business operator. This was demonstrated in the spate of recent cyber attacks which resulted in the theft of important business intellectual property. We recommend that every business reliant on computer technology should now give urgent consideration to preparing strategies to counter potential threats.

Australian Government action

In June 2011, the Australian Government announced it will develop Australia’s first Cyber White Paper. This Paper will consider a wide range of issues in relation to cyber security and how business should protect its interests in the cyber environment.

The Attorney-General Robert McClelland said that the Cyber White Paper will cover a broad range of areas including consumer protection, cyber safety, cyber crime, cyber security and cyber defence. It will also examine the nature of property to be protected and how to protect property in an online environment, the role of government, industry and the public in protecting information and interests, and the priorities that should be established. The Cyber Paper is not due for release until the first half of 2012.

Now is the time to be proactive

Business owners should not wait for the outcomes of the Cyber White Paper to start preparing strategies and taking legal steps to protect their intellectual property and/or confidential data. Mason Sier Turnbull lawyers can help you develop a Cyber Protection Plan tailored to your business assets – please contact  our Corporate Advisory team for advice.

Authors: Marianne Dunham & Susan Reece Jones

Send an email to Marianne and Susan