Industrial espionage How to protect your company


Experts assume that cases of industrial espionage in Germany are responsible for damage running into billions every year. As a rule, the focus is on major cases of data theft that are made public between large and internationally operating companies.

Espionage attacks: SMEs are also at risk

At the same time, however, there are isolated cases of this crime even in medium-sized companies, whose very existence is often even directly threatened.

This is one of the reasons why it is important, even as an entrepreneur, to know how espionage can be averted early and in a targeted manner.

Are your security guidelines clearly defined?

First of all, it is important to clearly define the security guidelines.

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It is not uncommon for sensitive technical data and documents from large projects to migrate back and forth between employees in a cloud or are transferred from A to B on a simple USB stick. Therefore, the guidelines should be redefined and gradations should be set that regulate the handling of important data and the corresponding access rights.

External employees are particularly often responsible for industrial espionage cases in a company. Short-time working people in particular, such as corporate consultants or interpreters, represent a security gap.


Damage caused by cybercrime in Germany from 2006 to 2015

Why is the use of personal devices critical?

The same applies to private laptops, USB sticks and hard drives that are used by employees for work. The sensitive data is repeatedly transferred to these media, creating an unpredictable danger. It would therefore make sense to directly prevent the business use of private devices by employees as entrepreneurs. Documenting the IT landscape as completely as possible is also important.

Basic IT protection is the be-all and end-all

Most attackers specialize in infiltrating the systems digitally and securing the required data there. A conventional firewall is therefore absolutely essential protection, but it is by no means able to offer sufficient protection in every case. Instead, the hackers manage to overcome this hurdle again and again and thus pave their way to the explosive documents.

These data are particularly at risk:

As an entrepreneur, you are particularly at risk if you have important patents, blueprints or recipes in your own possession. Attackers often go further and do not stop at customer data and banking information.

It is a crime that also prompts the police to investigate themselves. But since the IP addresses of the servers are often sent several times around the world, it is practically impossible to trace the perpetrators. Nevertheless, improving IT security is an important first step towards protection. The interior minister is also interested in better protecting domestic companies.

Gaining security: Discreet handling of information

Of course, it is beneficial for the PR and marketing departments to keep getting information about the latest projects. But if this information is not initially given to the outside world, the interest of the attackers is also reduced.

If you don’t peddle every product directly, you can secure additional security for yourself and your data in this way.

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