Some people are willing to go to extreme lengths to get a hike up the career ladder, even resorting to corporate espionage to get ahead in business.
The conviction of Gary Min, a DuPont employee found guilty of stealing intellectual property worth $400m is one of the most memorable examples of recent years.
Between August and December 2005 Min, who was a research chemist at the Chemical giant accessed 16,706 confidential technical documents and over 22,000 scientific abstracts on the company’s electronic data library (EDL). Min, who had been employed by Dupont for 10 years intended to give the files to Victrex, a rival company with whom he had been in discussions about a new job.
When Min informed DuPont that he would soon be leaving the company unusually high data-access rates on his account were noticed, arousing suspicion. Since most of the documents accessed were unrelated to his specific job role the investigators were pretty certain of his guilt and indeed Min pleaded guilty to the charges.
Disgruntled or bribed employees accessing, copying and transferring data to competitor is one of the most obvious forms of commercial espionage. The other form is attacks from outside the organisation, typically using technology to break firewalls and ‘hack in’ to steal company secrets. A recent report from Macafee has revealed that cyber criminals have found that stealing confidential company information, such as legal documents or technical information, and selling them to competitors or foreign governments is such a lucrative business that it is now the preferred method of raising revenue in the criminal community.
Whichever method is used what is certain is that they are equally as damaging to a business. Years of research, development, planning and spending can be be lost through weak information security practice, unethical employees or criminal acts.
Organisation can fight back against industrial espionage. Regular reviews and updates to information security policies, practices and procedures is a good start. But to really see off external threats from spies and hackers it is essential to call in the experts. TSCM (technical surveillance counter measures) professionals are experts in spotting and securing weaknesses in your technical security and identifying whether any bugs or listening devices are currently in operation.
TSCM, also known as bug sweeping or counter surveillance, is the process of electronically and physically inspecting offices, buildings, vehicles, telephone systems and cabling for the presence of eavesdropping devices. In addition, computers and word-processors can be examined for possible sources of data leaks and intrusive surveillance software. Providing a safe and secure environment in which to do business.