Corporate Espionage is probably not what we think when we hear the word spy. It is also not what we see in Hollywood films. It is simply collection of information irrespective of the source. Corporate Espionage is the covert investigation as a result sometime Private Detectives cross the parameters for investigating competitors to gain business advantage. The target of investigation might be trade secret such as proprietary product specification or formula or about business plans. In many cases investigators just collect any data that their organization can exploit to its best advantage.
Corporate Spying can be carried out by getting employment with the purpose of spying which is called “( Under Cover Assignments)” and such trade information are used for their own trade benefit purposes by the company who hires and sometime the same thing are used by disgruntled employees of the same company for the purpose of taking revenge and to sort out such disgruntled employees Private Investigators are hired. Sometime even spies who are hired for investigating the matter and when they get access to the important information of the company they try to use for their personal gain therefore while carrying out Corporate Investigation or Corporate Espionage one should bear this angle in mind and carefully carry out a Due Diligence before hiring Private Detectives for handling such professionals. Ethically there should not be any misuse of any information collected though.
In Corporate Espionage the investigator sometime physically breach the parameter while investigating the target organization and investigate the premises without any permission in such cases spy go to search waste paper basket or copy files or hard drives of unattended computers. Increasingly the intrusion through corporate network. Typically, a target attack is conducted to gain initial network access and then an advanced method is applied. The capacity of recording devices can also be exploited for monitoring meeting etc remotely.
Generally Corporate espionage is not heard or publicized much because, if a company admits that they are the victim of cloak and dagger activities, it will appear that they are vulnerable which could potentially attract more freelance espionage investigators on the basis of being an "Easy Target", it also shakes shareholder’s confidence. Corporate espionage is a much more compelling headline than an earning report, so the news of breach would almost certainly receive publicity but that would also cause the company’s stock price to drop & reputation loss too.
Most companies that find themselves intelligence leakage probably first thing they do is punched those holes in their security through their own intelligence.
Corporate spies also begin gathering all the information they can by requisitioning documents via the freedom of information Act and using internet. A thorough intelligence gathering sometime reveals any shifts in position that may have left a disgruntled employee ready to dish the dirt, and so on. Facebook & Twitter have eroded the idea of personal privacy to the point where people rarely give a thought to their professional confidentiality. In such cases use of internet for gathering intelligence is very popular and based on the information collected spies / Private Detectives go to the field and collect information to authenticate the previously collected information.
Most Company are fairly paranoid about what they allow to flow into the net, but they are not so diligent with who they allow to flow into the system. Therefore a proper investigation should be carried out before getting involved into such operations.
Corporate Investigators as mentioned if they are Tech Savvy can collect lot of information not only available in Public domain but also may get an access to the system of target company to collect information and also through various other competent authorities to obtain hard documents of those information available on the internet.
So, the Corporate Espionage is very real and very different from what usually expect or think. It is far from glamorous or fast women. It requires real professional skill and use of Technology is the key of success.
This is just the beginning, we will comeback with other subject’s of Corporate Investigation.