Saturday, October 26, 2013

Business Espionage in America - We Lose More Than We Take in Taxes

The United States has known for sometime that it has been victimized by economic espionage mounted by other countries, especially China and Russia. According to a counterintelligence expert hired by companies to help them counter this threat, the toll for these crimes is far, far higher than what has been officially reported.

Economic espionage represents “the greatest transfer of wealth in history,” said General Keith Alexander, NSA director and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, at the American Enterprise Institute in 2012...

Due to the nature of the business, it is often difficult to place solid numbers on the cost of economic espionage. To protect their investors, companies rarely want to announce breaches by spies or hackers to the public, and government agents often find gathering enough evidence to charge an insider with espionage difficult.

The lack of transparency on economic espionage makes it a difficult problem to tackle.

The FBI estimates that economic espionage costs the U.S. $13 billion a year, yet their numbers are based only on current FBI cases where spies have been caught and charged. It does not include the majority of theft that was not reported, or the scale of breaches that are unknown to the companies...

During his speech, General Alexander said investigations by the FBI and other agencies find that for every company that detects a cyberattack there are 100 others that are unknowingly being hacked...

Nonetheless, U.S. companies are still largely on their own when it comes to defending against economic espionage, and the threat is very real. When the “Economic Espionage Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011″ was passed, former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl said in a press release “As much as 80 percent of the assets of today’s companies are intangible trade secrets.” (more)

You don't have to be on your own. Help is available. Call me.