What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property (IP) can be defined as property, such as an idea, invention, or process that derives from the work of the mind or intellect1. IP can be patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, or specific work product. Each company has its own definition of IP. A company specializing in software development may consider source code to be IP, a company specializing in marketing may consider their contact lists to be IP, whereas a company specializing in consulting services may consider templates for various tasks to be IP.
Key triggers present in intellectual property theft
Human factors (e.g., entitlement, disgruntlement, etc.) combined with environmental factors (e.g., layoffs, job opportunities) can trigger pillars of the key fraud theories, the Fraud Triangle and the Fraud Diamond. The Fraud Triangle 2 Theory is based on the idea that when pressure, rationalization, and opportunity are present, a person is more likely to commit fraud. The Fraud Diamond expanded that theory by incorporating human capability. Capability refers to someone having the necessary traits, skills and abilities to commit theft or fraud. It’s how the fraudster not only recognizes a particular fraud opportunity but turns it into reality3 . In recent news, companies in the tech space are laying off large numbers of employees which can trigger an environment where IP theft can occur.