This sensitive information includes trade secrets and intellectual property, more commonly known as the company’s “crown jewels.” At the Arruda Group, our team of former FBI Special Agents, CIA Analysts, and Naval Intelligence Officers specialize in Counterintelligence. We use our collective expertise to investigate matters of Corporate Espionage, Insider Threat, and Cyber Threats.
What is Corporate Espionage?
Economic Espionage is a very real and large-scale problem targeting U.S. businesses today, responsible for the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars annually. While this is not a new crime, it is one that has greatly benefitted from the Internet, for reconnaissance and the actual theft. The main legal difference between Economic and Corporate Espionage is the origin and allegiance of the offender. Economic Espionage is committed primarily by foreign governments or agents of that government. Corporate Espionage or theft of trade secrets is committed by a competitor or agent of that competitor.
According to the Economic Espionage Act (Title 18 U.S.C. §1831), economic espionage is (1) whoever knowingly performs targeting or acquisition of trade secrets to (2) knowingly benefit any foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent. In contrast, the theft of trade secrets (Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1832) is (1) whoever knowingly misappropriates trade secrets to (2) benefit anyone other than the owner.
What is Insider Threat?
According to the Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute:
“Insider Threat is defined as the potential for an individual who has or had authorized access to an organization’s assets to use their access, either maliciously or unintentionally, to act in a way that could negatively affect the organization.” Insider Threat can be classified into two categories, negligent and malicious activity. While negligence is preventable through proper training, maliciousness is entirely another story. It is something that is built up over time, often times with months or years of erratic behavior leading up to the act. Insider Threat has everything to do with placement and access. As such, it is important not to solely rely on technical solutions, but also incorporate anomalous behavior.