Corporate Espionage: Growing Threat Among Large Corporations

Posted by Stefanie Kober Thu, 07 May 2015 05:51:00 GMT

cybercrime security

Sharing intellectual property via a corporate network with clients, employees, freelancers or partners is a common business practice. Companies set up restricted networks to ensure that corporate intellectual property is safe from outside cybercriminals, but what happens when the perpetrator is an insider?

Unfortunately, this happens more than you would think, sometimes accidentally.

Here’s how:

Say you’re a large corporation that outsources a task to an offshore location. You share the corporate data necessary for the completion of the task to this offshore location, but, once this intellectual property is in the third party’s hands, you have limited control over who accesses it.  

This is why, according to chief strategy officer at cybersecurity firm, Bricata, “If you’re pulling somebody into a critical project, [you must apply] the same scrutiny that is given in background checks and all the other stuff to people who are going into federal government…you have to get down that deep. You need to understand who you are employing and what their backgrounds are. You want to believe people are trustworthy, but you have no idea at the end of the day until they make a mistake and your intellectual property is out the door.”

Once an untrustworthy or even careless person has permitted access to corporate information, they are capable of inflicting serious damage to a company.

Due to the connectivity and mobility of modern business, it’s easier than ever to gain access to information via legal methods. Even a few decades ago, corporate information theft required physical keys, access to physical files, sifting through mountains of paper and then firing up the noisy copy machine to duplicate and steal coveted information. Today, such theft can be conducted discretely with a password, scrolling and a few clicks of the mouse. If an employee has malicious intentions, he or she can easily and discretely access the data necessary to harm a company, client, partner or another employee.

This is why, apart from implementing a VPN, like the HOB RD VPN, a secure remote access solution for corporate data on mobile devices like HOBLink Mobile or a secure access and authentication solution for corporate smart phone or tablet apps like HOB eSecure SDK, companies should take great care to screen employees and monitor their access to corporate data to ensure trustworthiness.

It’s as simple as monitoring when employees access the private corporate network. Frequent access after work hours or late at night should be deemed a red flag. Protecting data from exterior threats is vital, but protecting data from interior threats is equally important.  

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