Protecting Intellectual Property in IoT: How to Mitigate Risk and Reap the Rewards

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Protecting Intellectual Property in IoT: How to Mitigate Risk and Reap the Rewards

The global Internet of Things (IoT) market grew 22% in 2021, with North America being the fastest-growing region that same year (24.1%). To keep up with this acceleration, companies need to establish adequate security measures throughout their entire IoT system.

IoT is a gateway to many new innovations, which is allowing companies to go to market faster. But at the same time, organizations must do their best to protect their intellectual property (IP).

Understand the Role of IP in IoT

When leveraging IoT in business processes or in the product directly, companies must consider the risks to the IP. In such a large and lucrative market, a company’s IP is its biggest asset. Security is required for any IoT innovation, and elevated capabilities are required to address increased threat models and vectors.

For example, when there’s a customer in the manufacturing space and a product is being developed, it’s likely that IoT will be embedded in the product lifecycle. The customer will have to think about the level of security technology they’ll need to implement to ensure that the company’s IP is secure. If they don’t have their security measures in place, they’ll run a high risk of losing sensitive data or manufacturing process information to a competitor or to a government that potentially feels like they have domain over the technology and the IP.

Security of IoT and the Product

The exchange of data flows from machines and the factory floor to the Cloud occurs between all stakeholders in a supply chain. By implementing a highly secure solution, companies will become less vulnerable to a security attack and will create a competitive advantage with their product.

Here are three steps organizations should take to protect both the company and the products collective data:

  1. Conduct a cyber-security risk audit

As IoT gets deployed in your organization, consider performing an up-to-date threat analysis so that the risks, gaps, and vulnerabilities are fully understood by employees and can be proactively managed.

  1. Maintain an updated network framework

Create and maintain an up-to-date network infrastructure displaying how the different technological assets of the organization are all connected and then perform a security architecture review to finalize. Additionally, by integrating firewalls or gateways to control information flow between network segment will ensure systems are qualified.

  1. Enable encryption

The threat landscape is continuously evolving, so it’s critical to encrypt product data for IoT security. This helps protect sensitive information and make all interactions with the product and IoT secure.

Due to regional laws and regulations that are starting to emerge in different areas of the world, companies are becoming more diligent in how they protect their IP, and when IoT is present and is connected to a network, it becomes a target. It’s an entry point to the company’s environment that you want to protect so that corrupt operators don’t gain access to your IP, processes, and data that it’s connected to.

Many organizations are focusing on securing IP’s because they provide opportunities for companies to create the most effective solutions. To that end, a strong and thoughtful strategy for IP management is imperative.


Isaac Rousso, Enterprise Architect Director, Chief Architect at Capgemini Americas and Charles Cote, Enterprise Architect Director, Chief Architect at Capgemini Americas