The Definition of 'Industrial or Corporate Espionage' is;The theft of trade secrets by the removal, copying or recording of confidential or valuable information in a company for use by a competitor. Industrial espionage is conducted for commercial purposes rather than national security purposes (espionage), and should be differentiated from competitive intelligence, which is the legal gathering of information by examining corporate publications, websites, patent filings and the like, to determine a corporation's activities.
Corporate espionage describes illegal covert activities, such as the theft of trade secrets, bribery, blackmail and technological surveillance. Corporate espionage is commonly associated with industries such as those involved in technology, pharmaceuticals, finance and legal matters, particularly the computer and auto sectors, which invest a significant amount of money in research and development.
For years, global commercial industries have utilised surveillance experts to obtain sensitive and secret information from business rivals.
These experts are trained professionals in the creation and placement of covert devices that are used in both short term and long term deployment.
The spy devices of today have come a long way from the bespoke intricate equipment manufactured from scratch on a technician’s bench.
The audio bugs and micro cameras of today are purchased off the internet to suit any budget and work as effectively as those made by hand years ago.
It is this ease of access to such equipment that has created a lucrative market in the collection of sensitive information from the use of hidden bugs.
Blue chip companies are increasingly spending more money in preventing and combating the use of spyware against their business. This proactive attitude has shown to pay dividends on protecting their secrets from eavesdropping professionals or employees acting on their own initiative.
With the open availability of the most advanced covert cameras and micro microphones, it is not particularly difficult to plant a monitoring device for the purpose of capturing private information.
How can you protect your business data and company secrets from eavesdropping or a technical attack?We advise you consider creating a security data strategy. Recommendations we make are to:
- Limit access to a need to know basis, if several people have to know, consider limiting their knowledge to the secret in its entirety.
- Control the distribution of the secret, (use registers, avoid copies, maintain a diary of meetings relating to the secret, create a firewall within the organisation).
- Use encryption, passwords and pseudonyms when relating to aspects of the secret
- Monitor / protect the area where the secret is held
- Carry out a technical bug sweep of the area where the secret is discussed prior to and during any high level meeting.