Industrial espionage, the process by which a company is targeted by “intelligence” activities, is conducted by international intelligence agencies, foreign and American companies, and even private individuals.
Most nations engage in espionage activities directed against U.S. companies. Some even count with their countries’ intelligence agencies -which usually have huge resources and even immunity- for direct support.
Intelligence gathering can also help criminal organizations optimize their extorsion demands. Also, some individuals or companies may hire criminal groups to spy and steal information.
Unfortunately, many people think that if their company is not in the Defense industry or is relatively small, no one will be interested in spying on them. This head-in-the-sand attitude (“It won’t happen to me”) increases the risk, leaving companies vulnerable to major losses.
Your competitors profit from information acquired about your business, and some of them will not stop at legal intelligence-gathering methods. Information in the wrong hands can destroy a corporation, put people out of work, bankrupt local merchants, and devastate shareholders families.
In some cases the threat you face may stem not from what you have, but from who you are. Your risk can also increase if you possess information that may be of political value to others.
Also, you or your organization may possess information about another targeted entity, which could make you a secondary or indirect target.
Your vulnerability to such activities cannot be fully removed, but it can be managed by appropriate countermeasures.
Phones are probably among the most essential devices in the contemporary business environment. People tend to relax and be more open to share information by phone. Industrial spies know it, and thus phone tapping is among their most useful resources in their pursuit of valuable information.
Sensitive information is usually shared through phone conversations, which can be targeted by illegal surveillance activities. Wireless communications can be easily intercepted.
Basic countermeasures can be implemented to mitigate this risk and protect corporate assets and your privacy.
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