Corporate Espionage: Protecting Businesses from Insider Threats
In the business world today, information is a great determinant of success. Your talent acquisition process, strategic planning, market intelligence, mode of operation, research and development strategy, and software utilization make up the elements that give your business an edge over your competitors. That is why you must have this information protected, and we’ll be providing security tips based on recommendations of private investigators in Perth who have dealt with countless corporate espionage cases.
What Is Corporate Espionage?
Corporate espionage, also known as industrial espionage or economic espionage, is the theft of sensitive business information, intellectual property, or trade secrets with the sole aim of getting a competitive advantage. It is an illegal and unethical activity usually carried out by rival businesses to steal valuable data or information to ‘take out the competition.’
How to Protect Your Business From Insider Threats
Corporate espionage activities are inspired by malicious intents, so there’s no limit to the damage that would be inflicted on your business. To avoid falling victim, many business executives invest richly in advanced cybersecurity solutions to gain protection from external threats and focus less on the main origin of these attacks – internal threats.
Yes, company secrets are usually exposed from the inside. Dissatisfied employees, a mole on your team (espionage agent), and scheming business partnerships put your valuable business data at more risk than you can imagine.
That said, here are the top tips to help you protect your business from corporate espionage.
- Take Proactive Measures
The first step to dealing with insider threats is to acknowledge that they exist or that the possibility of being a victim of corporate espionage is not far-fetched. Implement proactive measures to safeguard valuable business data.
Start by establishing a clear policy that addresses all information security concerns. Let this policy define what your business classifies as trade secrets and how they should be shared. Make this policy known to all employees, especially the ones with administrative access to data.
Well-defined policies will build a strong security culture in your business. This way, every employee will see it as their duty to protect sensitive information.
- Prioritize Access Control
Having little access control systems over valuable data exposes your business to espionage. To reduce the risks of losing sensitive information, control what employee has access to what information at a particular time. Implement the Principle of Least Privilege to ensure that employees only have access to information they need for certain tasks, and such access is withdrawn once they are done.
That said, access control isn’t limited to online data. Control network and physical access, too. Restrict unauthorized access to where servers that hold important business data are stored.
- Employee Education and Awareness
Train employees on the importance of data security and how they can protect business information. Invite professionals or enroll them in courses that teach cybersecurity and the risk of corporate espionage. Also, inform employees of potential lawsuits that will arise if they intentionally put the business at risk.
- Monitor Business Activities in Real-Time
Monitor all user activity, especially how information is conveyed among different employees and systems in real time. Adopt software solutions that alert you whenever there is suspicious activity online, and use security cameras to monitor physical activities.
- Conduct Employee Background Check
Before hiring any employee, do a thorough background check. Know their work history and criminal records, and ensure that all the information you’ve gathered about them is consistent. Your business data is extremely important, so conduct as many background checks as you can.
Protecting your business from espionage will save it from losing the fortune spent on research, sensitive consumer data, and secret documents such as market and financial information. Businesses that have fallen victim to industrial espionage deal with huge losses and, most times, a tarnished reputation. So, you must adopt the best security practices to get rid of insider threats if you want to save your business.