There are many examples of companies who have been unlucky to experience a security breach.  The latest case to hit the news, Uber vs Google, seems to be just one of an ongoing stream of examples where one company is stealing from another.

The Background

In this case Waymo, a Google company and Uber are arguing over intellectual property relating to self-driving technology in cars.  The reason that this court case is of such interest is that two huge companies are battling for the rich market of self-drive technology. The other reason is that this is somewhat of a test case. Do clever people have the right to take ideas with them?

The case focusses on an employee who left Waymo with more than 14,000 confidential documents including blueprints and other technical information.

Who is at fault?

If Uber did take possession of this confidential information, then why was it so easy for them to be mis-appropriated? Why did Waymo appear to take no steps to protect the information from being taken? There is always fault for receiving stolen goods in the physical sense but if you left the safe open with a notice ‘help yourself’ then that cannot be good either.

Why do organisations leave themselves open to these situations by not encrypting information from the start particularly the important and confidential stuff.

Proving Fault!

The court case will be long and protracted with the potential to use juries to decide. The apportionment of blame will be difficult – was it the documents that gave advantage or just the former employee capabilities? The ability to prove who was at fault, and to what level to then apportion damages will keep the lawyers happy.  But this and the fact that documents were stolen in the first place is all so unnecessary, with the technology now available to prevent and know who tried to access the information.

If only……

If only google and Waymo had used EDRM (Enterprise Digital Rights Management) to protect the information. Guardian Technologies has been offering the capability for any organisation or individual to protect information even when it is sent over the internet, stolen by USB devices or sent to an internet account. We work with a tool, Seclore FileSecure, that encrypts documents with a ‘Call Home’ ability to check if the recipient is allowed to open the document or not. FileSecure checks back to its policy server to who is allowed and who is not allowed to open the document. If someone tries to open a document, who is not allowed to, then it will not only not open but record who tried. This auditing capability would have shown if Uber had tried to access the information or not.

If you have confidential information that you need to protect, even if sharing with legitimate recipients then you need to use EDRM, so you can take control of the information, wherever it goes.

To arrange your initial FREE consultation to assess what you may need to put in place please contact us.

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42943354S