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Why Corporate Bug Sweeps Are More Important Than Ever Before

Espionage cases are on the rise. According to a US Justice Department warning, China currently has an official strategic plan called “China 2025” where government leaders have decided that stealing technological secrets from American companies is less expensive and time consuming than developing the technologies and capabilities themselves through research and development. According to former Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John Demers, 90% of trade secret theft from the US can be traced to China, and no company, no matter how large, is immune from the threat.

Most major corporations and small businesses now rely on computers and smart devices for most of their daily communications and for their business to function properly and effectively. New technical advances bring new efficiencies that create a more organized and potentially successful company. These little efficiencies are a two-way street and can allow for improper data exposure that can be devastating to a company.

As a result, Information Security (InfoSec) has become an industry standard program to ensure that businesses are protected from hackers attacking corporate networks, that confidential communications are encrypted, that data and intellectual property is secure and that employees are physically safe at work. Whereas Cyber Security guards all forms of digital information, including computers, handheld devices, cloud, and networks, InfoSec covers all forms of information security including digital and physical.

What is often overlooked by InfoSec programs are the tried-and-true methods of traditional spy craft that is typically gathering confidential information with methods not observable from looking into the corporate networks and data systems. The old-school methods of planting listening devices before meetings, physically accessing printers to retrieve data, or even using the VoIP phones systems to listen in remotely are often overlooked and companies can be left vulnerable to losing intellectual property to these hands-on methods of espionage.

Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) has been a longstanding method of protecting National Security information and assets. For the last several decades, it has become common for major corporations to utilize these government styled countersurveillance methods as well. TSCM surveys, which include physical and electronic examinations, should be a fundamental part of corporate InfoSec culture. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Electronic devices capable of recording/transmitting audio/video data are very inexpensive, easy to conceal and simple to deploy. The market for consumer surveillance devices is booming leading to a whole new concern for the ability of unskilled spies to usurp highly valuable confidential information in a relatively cheap way.

Every company with serious concerns for their intellectual property and business success should consider TSCM as part of an effective InfoSec program. Hawk PI’s TSCM team has decades of experience in corporate, state, and federal electronic eavesdropping investigations. We use state-of-the-art American made technology to conduct sweeps. We are mobile and prepared to travel to ensure that pressing business meetings off site don’t have to wait and that your information is always confidential and secure.

If you are considering adding TSCM to your security program, please reach out to Hawk PI to see how we can assist.

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