Can Corporate Espionage Really Harm Your Business?
Corporate espionage also referred to as industrial espionage or economic espionage involves stealing trade secrets from a company. This involves stealing a company’s blue prints, business plans, formulas, products, financial information or other trade secrets. In most cases, the access is gained illegally and may result in the victim suffering personally and financially.
The data and information thus collected may prove to be disastrous for the victim if some sensitive and private information is made public or if a claim is made for patents or other rights before the victimized organization is able to do so.
With competition increasing in the business world like never before, espionage investigation is becoming not only common but also a cause of concern in the corporate and industrial world. Many governments, big corporate houses and multinational companies are ready to shell out huge amounts of money to steal technology secrets and intellectual property rights.
Reasons why espionage is committed
- In most cases of espionage, the number one reason has been found to be money. The desire to make quick and easy money may motivate one to indulge in such activities.
- Revenge by an employee has been found to be the next common reason behind snooping. If a disgruntled employee feels that the organization has been unfair to him, he may indulge in espionage with a motive to avenge himself.
Industrial espionage may take many forms including:
- Attacking the website of the competitor with malware or hacking into his computers.
- Trespassing onto a competitor’s property and gaining access to files containing secretive or crucial information.
- Working as an employee for the victim to steal his confidential or secretive information
- Sometimes, corporate espionage may not take such dramatic form and it can be as simple as an employee who leaves the organization to join a competitor. He may take away with him as much as information as available to him and transfer those secrets to his new employers.
Two misconceptions about espionage seem to be very common amongst CEOs. One is that the threat of economic snooping is limited to big conglomerates like Microsoft, Pepsi or Google and not so common or real. The second misconception amongst people who do acknowledge the danger is that this threat is adequately addressed by their concern, which is generally not the case. They fail to realize that the advent of new and cutting-edge technology can pose danger to all those who do not adapt to the new changes in the tech world and continuously update themselves. With technology becoming more advanced and cheaper with every passing day, it has become much easier to steal information without entering into direct contact. Information can now be accessed easily from any equipment, gadget, computer or person without being noticed or caught.
Anti Espionage Operations
An anti espionage operation is aimed at securing and safeguarding intellectual property rights and preventing the theft of formulas, business secrets, production processes and plans of the company.
Companies, especially those in the field of research, technology telecommunications, energy and defense sectors, are most vulnerable to espionage activities. Apart from business competitors, such companies may easily fall prey to espionage by intelligence-gathering agencies working on behalf of governments.
A professional approach is necessary to prevent such an attack, which has the potential to ruin the entire organization.
How to prevent espionage
A comprehensive anti-espionage and security system in any organization should consist of the following four components:
1) Technical Security- To protect the electronic and IT system in the company, a proper system should be put in place to make the computers, networks and voice mail safe, secured and confidential.
2) Operational Security – involves securing business processes which are non-technical in nature. It is a complex process, and includes securing different components and systems in the company.
Examples of operational security measures may include:
a) Information access only on a “Need to know” basis.
b) Restricting the use of internet, telephone and other communication lines in the company.
c) Enforcing your own security policies on vendors and suppliers.
d) Background check of employees, holding crucial positions in the organization.
e) Keeping a check on contract employees who have free access to your facilities.
f) Thorough examination of the research, research, development, manufacturing and sales processes to prevent leakage of information.
It is very important for organization to have a close look on employees holding key positions in critical areas of the company, like research and development department. As new technologies and products are researched and developed in such departments, they are most prone to espionage from competitors as well as intelligence agencies working for various governments.
3) Physical Security- Simple breaking and entering and theft may also lead to information of a secretive nature compromised with. To prevent this one must limit the access of visitors, contractors and employees to all corporate facilities. One must also make it mandatory for the staff members to wear access badges indicating status like employee, visitor or contractor.
Locks on office doors, file cabinets and use of computer locking products should be ensured whenever and wherever possible.
At City Intelligence, we have an experienced and expert team of espionage investigators who work discreetly and efficiently to carry out an anti-espionage operation. We can find out all details like who are involved in the espionage, what is their modus operandi, what information they are trying to steal, who are the people working for them and if any of your staff members is involved in the espionage. With City Intelligence you no longer need to fear the damage that may be caused to your business from espionage.
“A study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India stated that more than a third of the companies surveyed across different sectors were involved in some form of espionage to gain advantage over competitors. Nearly 80 per cent of the chief executives spoken to had used detective agencies and surveillance systems to spy on current and former employees” – The Hindu Business Line.
For more info Call best detective agency in India or visit our website.