Electronic Eavesdropping and Industrial Espionage - The Missing Business School Courses

Electronic Eavesdropping & Industrial Espionage

The missing business school courses.

Electronic eavesdropping. Tapped phones. Bugged offices. Purloined papers. Covert Recordings. Undercover employees (moles). Phony repair people. Car phone monitors. Fax intercepts. Pretext calls. Dumpster divers. Still with me? Competitive intelligence professionals. Renegade employees. Foreign governments. The list goes on. How are you supposed to cope? Information Security was not taught in business school. You never saw this in your job description. And yet, keeping business information where it belongs is now your responsibility. Knowledge is no longer just power, it’s money too. BIG money.

Picture this. You’re the Chief of R&D at a mid-sized snack food company. You have just discussed a new project with your staff of fifteen. Top secret. Your company is preparing a new cookie. Encapsulated chocolate bits make noises when bitten. From loud pops to whistles to burps, depending on speed of the bite. Your kids loved the idea. But this is only half the secret. In addition to being Sonic, it’s: Natural, Oven-baked, Oil-free, Kalorie-free, and Yogurt-en-riched. The staff affectionately names your pet project ‘SNOOKY the Cookie.’ Top management is excited. Sales potential is incredible if you get to the marketplace first.

One evening a few weeks into the work, Sam, a young man who joined your company about a year and a half ago, goes to a party with his wife. He has a few drinks, and begins saying loudly, ‘SNOOKY development’ when people ask him what he does for a living. An older guest hears this laughing remark and draws Sam aside. He tells him they have something in common. He works for a food company too. “Sam, maybe we should talk…

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