Corporate espionage; it might sound like something that only happens once in a blue moon, or just in the movies, but unfortunately, it’s very real and actually more common than you may think. Companies, big or small, lose billions in revenue each year because of corporate espionage.
If it’s not detected, this can mean the end of some businesses, so it seems like an absolute no-brainer to put preventative measures into place where possible. But, what can you do and how do you do it?
First things first, you must realize that your information is in four different forms, on paper, visual, oral and electronic and as such your security measures need to be ready to protect all of them. Additionally, there will be some information that is way more valuable to your competitors than others, you need to identify what information this is and ensure that it’s the most secure it can possibly be. When it comes to risk assessments, this needs to include a full inventory of any and all intellectual property that affects both your revenue and reputation and once that’s done, it must be reviewed and monitored on a regular basis.
Guard your information
By making sure that you’re totally compliant with local, state and federal laws when it comes to customer information and any other sensitive or confidential information you might have in your possession, you’ll be one step closer to preventing corporate espionage. In doing this, you should also have a comprehensive risk management plan that not only regularly audits and tests your security but reviews any low-tech threats and also offers training and incentives for security awareness.
Test, test and keep testing
You need to be one step ahead when it comes to the protection of your information, to do this, carrying out regular security tests is an absolute must. Use both technical and non-technical staff to audit the handling process of information, this paired with simulated attacks on all of your in-place defences will help you feel safe in the knowledge that you’re doing everything you can to protect your valuable assets. Other tests you can do include a simple visual inspection of your business premises, is there any easily accessible intellectual property on show? Same with an audible test, are people talking about sensitive information within earshot of bystanders?
Do you need surveillance?
It might seem a bit over the top in some circumstances, and in others, it may seem like a completely obvious option, but either way, have you considered investing in some extra surveillance? When it comes to the expense, you should understand that protecting your information and intellectual property is absolutely invaluable and should justify any costs that go into its protection. A simple installation of CCTV in the building exits will go a long way, as will an identification system that requires those entering the building to check-in and out; this is also a far more secure method than a security desk manned by staff.
So, that’s that, you now know the steps that you can take to effectively prevent company espionage. Luckily for you there are companies around who are able to take some of the stress off you, for instance On Time Shred who offer paper shredding services across London.