Industrial Espionage: Keeping an Eye on the Quiet Guy

May 8, 2018 | 15:44 GMT

In this photograph, a man works at his computer in an office. Companies need to guard against industrial espionage by one-hit wonders and low-key spies.

As companies guard against insider threats, they need to remember that the low-key spy can do as much damage as the one who makes a splash.



  • The threat to intellectual property from people inside a company remains a serious concern.
  • The threat is not limited to just a one-time release of information; an insider who stays in place can be a persistent threat.
  • The profile of a persistent insider is likely to differ from that of a "one-hit wonder," and insider threat programs must account for the difference. 

When it comes to industrial espionage, "one-hit wonders" -- employees such as Chelsea Manning or Reality Winner who take valuable proprietary information to a competitor, the media or a foreign government -- are just half of the equation. Companies also need to remember the threat of low-key spies on staff who may quietly provide their handlers with sensitive facts and figures over months, years and even decades. The damage these employees can cause may rival, or exceed, the harm caused by a one-time loss....

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