In this day and age, the most valuable currency is information.
Espionage in the business sector has become more common in the past decade and will likely continue to be a problem in the foreseeable future. Companies from all over the globe are being infiltrated by individuals and groups who are on the lookout for information to be used to gain leverage against a competitor or be sold to an interested third party.
Corporations should pour a portion of their resources to protect their data from outsiders who may want to steal it and use it in ways that are damaging. Here are a few ways to stop industrial espionage.
Build an Impenetrable System
The web is full of spies. A single click on a suspicious link or opening an email from an unknown sender can provide criminals access to your network and your data. Any vulnerability in your system, no matter how small, can become a gateway for intruders to get their hands on valuable data.
All businesses, no matter how big or small, should have cybersecurity protocols in place to prevent cyberattacks. This includes the utilisation of anti-malware and anti-virus solutions on electronic devices, keeping all software applications up-to-date, and employing penetration testing to ensure that all safeguards work as they should.
Experts also recommend the use of secure passwords and double-verification. Way too many cyberattacks happen because the password is easy to guess and there is no additional validation required to access a program or data. A password management software tool creates complicated passwords for multiple websites and programmes, but removes the necessity for the user to remember all of them.
Thoroughly Vet and Monitor Employees
An organization should be able to trust its employees. However, building trust between two parties happens not when they sign a contract, but through months or years of working together.
That is why monitoring the actions and activities of the employee, at least during their first few months in the office, the organization can ensure that members of their team are truthful and loyal to their employers. Although it is a controversial management approach to constantly observe and watch over an employee, it has to be done to protect valuable data.
Surveillance can be done correctly without impeding a worker’s privacy. First, the employee has to be aware that they are being monitored. Second, the company should not be collecting data about the employee that is more than what is necessary.
Corporations should also be careful in implementing office surveillance. It can weaken employee morale.
Before they enter the workplace, the employee should also be vetted thoroughly. A simple check on LinkedIn or on other social media sites would not be enough to reveal if they are working for another entity and are out to steal your data.
In addition, asking the employee to sign a non-disclosure agreement along with their work contract will prevent sensitive information from leaking out of the office.
Enabling Employees to Respond to Threat
Once you are sure that your team can be trusted, the next step is to provide proper training so that they can take action as soon as they detect suspicious activities. Instead of losing a huge amount of data to thieves, they may stop the theft mid-attack.
They can, for example, move the sensitive information to a secure location where the corporate spies cannot get into or they can wipe the data away completely to prevent leakage.
A swift move can make a huge difference. If an employee who notices a suspicious activity has to call their manager or the information technology team to take action, once they are ready to apply a solution, it may already be too late.
But, when the staff is capable of responding to threat, there will be more eyes watching over the data and ready to pounce immediately. They can espionage before it can deal any major damage to the company.
Becoming a victim of corporate espionage can destroy a business’ reputation. It will be expensive and time-consuming to rebuild the trust of the public in a business that failed to protect its data.
Any business can become a victim of espionage. No one should leave their guard down. The strategies that criminals have been using to infiltrate a company and then steal valuable data grow sophisticated by the hour.
Knowing the threats and being prepared for all possible scenarios will require resources and careful planning, but it will reduce the risk of a company and the sensitive data it collects to fall into the hands of the wrong people.