IP Protection: Are Your Distribution Channels Putting Your Trade Secrets At Risk?

Sharing important information is no longer as simple as hitting “Send”

In the past we’ve highlighted the struggles of securely storing data and documents, but what about sharing them? Like most organizations, you likely use a combination of physical (courier) and digital (email, Dropbox, or even Slack) services to send and receive information on a daily basis.

Your reasons for doing so may seem sound at first. They’re familiar, straightforward, and easy to use. Especially when you need to get information out to internal staff, sales teams out on the road, or clients at home or abroad in a timely manner.

But the work you do to keep this information safe could be undone as soon as you hit “Share” or “Send”.

Why? Because today’s common distribution channels are flawed, easily accessed, and highly insecure.


Familiarity breeds complacency

Just because a distribution method is familiar, doesn’t mean it’s secure. While you may not have had any issues to-date, this false sense of security can see you playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette with your organisation’s sensitive data and information.

Once you send an email attachment or post a document, for example, you’re giving up control. The paper trail ends here. It goes cold.

You’re no longer able to track, trace, or monitor what happens to this information.


Did you know?

  • According to Accenture, there are more than 130 large-scale data breaches in the U.S. per year alone, and that’s growing by a staggering 27% per year (Source).
  • Google recently revealed that hackers steal over 250,000 sets of login information for services like Gmail each and every week (Source).
  • The average number of breached records per country hit 24,089 back in 2017, and that number has only increased since then (Source).

Out of sight, out of mind” may be a popular phrase, but it isn’t a responsible way to share your organisation’s most vital information. We also understand that it isn’t always a conscious decision. Urgent or last-minute situations can impair your better judgement, as you turn to fast yet insecure channels to get time-sensitive information to those that need it the most.

It’s fine, so long as the information gets to where it needs to go…right?


Your sensitive files, there for the whole world to see

Let’s take email, for example. You’re in a hurry as you go to send an important report, financial documents, or trade secrets that are currently under NDA. You don’t notice the typo in the ‘To:’ field before you hit send, and now this information is sitting in the wrong inbox.

What recourse do you have?

Unfortunately, not much. That’s it. You’re stuck. The recipient doesn’t have authorized access, but they can still open, print, or share this file. Whether it’s an attachment or a link to a Dropbox or Drive folder. It isn’t invisible, and it isn’t protected. You have zero control over what happens to this information now. It could be misused, mishandled, or passed onto the press.


Did you know?

  • Accenture also found the most expensive component of any cyber attack is information loss, which accounts for 43% of the overall costs (Source).
  • When you consider the hit to a business’s reputation, diminished goodwill, customer turnover, and the cost of lost business following a data breach, reports pin the overall costs at $4.13 million per U.S. company (Source).

It’s also important to consider the growing, ever-present security threat among many common software packages, as well as an increasing number of cyber attacks on businesses and corporations as highlighted earlier. Insecure distribution channels are just that – insecure – which makes them an easy target for unauthorized third parties.

Robert Ackerman from TechCrunch says much the same thing. Back in January, he looked at the year ahead and came back with some sobering thoughts on the state of cyber security threats moving forward:

“No question, cyber breaches have been a gigantic thorn in the global economy for years. But expect them to be even more rampant in the new year as chronically improving malware will be deployed more aggressively on more fronts.”

You may think your organisation’s security is already top-notch, but there’s no accounting for the recipient’s approach to file security. Do they use the same, easily-guessed password for every email account, for example? There’s no guarantee they’re as careful as you are, which could see their Slack, email, or Dropbox accounts hacked and your files easily accessed.

Now more than ever, you need a way to distribute information that keeps it away from prying eyes.



Keeping information secret and safe should be simple

From the beginning, Stellar found that organisations were struggling to find a solution that allowed them to quickly and easily share important data and information while also keeping it secure and out of the hands of unauthorized third parties.

A central platform that has multi-level security protocols and encryption at its core is an important factor, but it’s industry-leading features like software Proprietary Advanced Encryption technology that truly keeps sensitive information away from prying eyes. Literally.

Proprietary Advanced Encryption technology. means files are invisible and unreadable by other software, so only those with authorized access to the program are able to see your documents, let alone open, read, or share them.

This kind of peace of mind is difficult to come by, but we’ve found that organisations employing a central business platform are able to share, send, and collaborate safe in the knowledge that everything is kept secure.