Corporate Espionage

corporate

What is Corporate Espionage?

Corporate Espionage is the practice of stealing secrets from a company, and releasing those secrets to a company, government, or individuals not authorized by the company.

This type of espionage is a worldwide issue, affecting all types and all sizes of businesses.

The Economic Costs

A large part of the North American Economy is the Research and Development of new products and technology.

In the United States, it is estimated that corporate espionage costs companies between $24 Billion and $100 Billion per year.

In Canada, it is estimated to be up to $20 Billion per year.

Many countries are engaging in Corporate, Industrial, and Economic Espionage in an effort to keep up and capitalize on emerging markets.

Have you ever noticed as soon as a new product comes out clones and knock offs are available almost immediately after?

We are going to come right out and say it, China has become the world leader in gathering intelligence for the purpose of becoming the worlds largest economy.

Using Computer Virus Attacks, Hacking, Employee Plants, Phone Taps, Pay-Offs and other methods China has become the world leader in intelligence gathering for the purposes of reproducing and creating products.

In some cases they are able to take the product to market faster than the original manufacturer.

Representative Mike Rogers, Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the United States has been quoted as saying "They are stealing everything that isn’t bolted down, and it’s getting exponentially worse".

Costly Lawsuits

So if you were a Business Owner or Manager who discovered someone has been stealing intellectual property from your business or workplace. What are you going to do about it?

First of all, it is very hard to prove in court that you have been compromised.

Second, if it is a large corporation that has your information they will make your lawsuit so expensive that you will go under.

Third, if it is a foreign company or government you are simply wasting your time in trying to have them brought to some kind of justice.

Finally, many companies do not want their shareholders or general public to know they have had their secrets stolen as their stock would tank.

For these reasons, you do not often see in the news that companies are having these issues, but they are happening every single day.

It is very simple. You must protect your company or business before it happens.

How You Can Protect Your Business

There are many ways of protecting your trade secrets and new products, and many ways to breach your security.

Although each business has its unique security requirements, we have listed below some simple examples of basic best practices for your business.

industrial espionage

External IT Defense

Depending on your type of business, a solid IT Defense is important to to keep your internal documents safe from your competitors. You need to have IT experts design a system that makes it very difficult for hackers to gain access.

corporate spies

Internal IT Defense

It is important to limit the access to files within a company when the documentation is considered classified or trade secrets. Bradley Manning, the US soldier alleged to have copied over 200,000 confidential documents and distributing them, is an example of how unchecked access to sensitive documentation can go terribly wrong.

industrial espionage

Electronic Surveillance

"Bugs" in the Board Room is a very real scenario that does happen. A Corporate Spy would like nothing better than a bugged Executive Operations Meeting to have all of the most critical projects discussed in one room.The latest technologies include audio and video bugs that use cell phone technology that can be "called into" from anywhere in the world.

espionage when travelling

Executive Laptops

Having sensitive information on a laptop that gets left in a car or taken traveling is a bad idea. Even Secret Agents have had their laptops and briefcases stolen from their cars. Think your hotel room is safe? A few hundred dollars may get a maid to let a corporate spy copy your contents. or to install spy software.

industrial espionage

Files Left Out On Desks

You can have the biggest walls and best IT defenses in the world, but if you are leaving critical files unlocked or left on a desk overnight you are asking for it. Not to imply night cleaners are dishonest people, but some cleaners are paid very low wages, and may be tempted to accept an offer of cash to take a few pictures or make a few copies.

Electronic Surveillance and Alarm Systems

Electronic Security Systems are very effective in maintaining surveillance on unwanted intruders and sensitive areas.

Electronic Security Systems have become extremely advanced and affordable in recent years. It has become almost impossible to beat a quality alarm and CCTV (security camera) system.

corporate spies

New Employees and Business Partners

When you are hiring someone to work in a sensitive area, or going into business with someone, make sure you complete reference checks and background checks (if required).

Be cautious of foreign students or workers who are applying for work in your IT Department or in any other sensitive areas.

Physical Security

Access Control Systems, Fences, Gates, Locks, and Security Guards are all useful in preventing unauthorized access to sensitive areas or the entire premises.

Non-Disclosure/Non-Compete Agreements

If you do not have them already in place, get them in place as soon as possible.

Non-Disclosures can give you grounds to sue anyone who has signed one and has shared your secrets. Non-Competes can deny a former employee from working for a competitor for a set period of time after leaving your business.

Other Concerns

Other areas of concern are being lured by foreign contracts or investors who want access to you technology before signing the "Big Contract" or investing in your company.

We have caught brilliant foreign Engineers who were acting as investors in the past. It does not take an Engineer who is experienced in reverse Engineering long to gather possibly enough data or design to make a copy of your technology.

The investors consistently pushed for test data and device design under the guise of doing their "due diligence" before investing.

Of course the sensitive information was not given and the "deal" fell through.

Finally, SHRED your information. In some companies it may be necessary to Shred all of your paper products! To simply rely on your staff to use their discretion on what should be shredded can be an issue. It is amazing what can be found in corporate garbage.

How Can We Help?

Kaban Protective Services Security Consultants and Technical Staff are well versed in the methods of how corporate spy's obtain information, and how to prevent it.

We offer Consulting Services to investigate and review your business security needs and requirements. We will work with you to come up with a security plan and procedures to protect your business secrets and intellectual property.

In addition, we are able to install access controls systems, alarms, CCTV Cameras, debug your premises, investigate any possible occurrences, and carry out background checks on employees.

Give us a call or send us an email!


Ozzie Kaban

Be Safe. Ozzie Loves You.




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