What is corporate espionage, and how is it done?
Corporate espionage, also known as economic espionage, is an illegal practice that involves obtaining confidential and proprietary information from businesses to gain an advantage in the marketplace. Corporate espionage typically involves computer hacking, bribery, infiltration, and theft to access a company’s confidential documents, trade secrets, and other sensitive information. It can even involve “dumpster diving”— rummaging through a company’s trash to find helpful information.
Individuals, groups, or governments can carry out espionage. It is often used to gain an advantage in business negotiations or to obtain secrets that could give one company a competitive edge over its rivals. While government-sponsored espionage is illegal in most countries, corporate espionage is not yet criminalized in many places.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your business from corporate espionage. Here are tips for safeguarding your company’s sensitive data:
• Have a policy in place to ensure employees are aware of the importance of protecting sensitive data.
• Invest in technology that can monitor and detect suspicious activity on your network.
• Ensure that all employees have received adequate training on how to keep company data secure.
• Secure physical access points with locks and security systems.
• Implement a policy to limit access to sensitive information only to those who need it.
• Invest in data encryption and digital security measures.
• Monitor the use of personal devices on the company’s network.
• Require multiple forms of authentication to access important information.
While not all theft can be planned for, the following of these tips decrease the likelihood of your company being the victim of such a crime.