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How ready are you and your company to cope with business espionage and the stealthy tactics employed to gather corporate information? Your competitors and others want to know what makes your company successful or what your company may do in the future to improve its competitive position.

We provide world class information protection awareness briefings, education and training to staff on all levels, assist with the creation and implementation of policies/procedures, appropriate defensive measures and services.

One of the defensive services that we offer, eavesdropping detection surveys, also referred to as technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM), is a set of measures to identify and locate hostile and illegal technical devices planted at your company for information collection purposes. Major decisions are usually taken in boardrooms and executive offices. Regular countermeasures surveys of these facilities, telephones, other communication apparatus and systems can prevent or limit technical intrusions by hostile entities.

We are the first organisation in Africa to offer a full set of Cyber TSCM™ Services.

Corporate information gathering is a fact of life, even more so during hard and tough econsomic times. Many successful businesses are doing a good job to protect their own secrets and intellectual property. Many do nothing, maybe hoping for the best or perhaps believing that business is, after all, a “gentleman’s” game… clean, fair, and fun?

Unfortunately no business is immune and many will go to extraordinary lengths to obtain information about their competitors. They can make use of legal/ethical, unethical or outright criminal methods to gather information.

The dangers of corporate intelligence gathering are often underestimated because many times there are no overt signs or indications of the attack. Regular headlines about industrial espionage, business intelligence and information theft indicate that the adequate protection of proprietary information has become a worldwide problem.

If your company deals with sensitive information, information that has economic value, records or personal information or plainly has an aggressive competitor… you could be a target. If you have no corporate information protection system or information security procedures in place then we can help to provide you with a defensive capability.

Many companies still employ outdated measures to protect their information that do not address the modern day threats against business information.

Should you wish to purchase your own equipment to conduct your own countermeasures surveys we can supply you with the equipment and training. We have a range of the latest and most modern equipment suitable for all levels of business, from the small SMME’s to big corporations and government organisations.

To remain competitive, companies need to allocate resources for the protection of information, training of staff and regular countermeasures surveys. The protection of business information is a corporate issue and should be on the executive agenda. Corporate strategy can only succeed if it adds value to all levels of a business, including the weakest links. Often one of the weakest links in a corporation is the failure to recognise the need to protect against business intelligence operations and industrial espionage.

Companies need counterintelligence or a corporate defence programme to protect trade secrets, documents, conversations and communications.

“It is a principal that we do not assume that the enemy will not come but instead that we must prepare for their arrival”
– The Art of War; Sun Tsu – Leader of the Chinese WU Army, 500 BC.

South African companies and businesses must accept that as they attempt to be more competitive in the global markets, that their products, processes, information and trade secrets may come under threat from adversaries and competitors. Regular eavesdropping detection surveys have become a standard business practice.

Companies all have policies about such things as smoking, first aid, sexual harassment, drugs and alcohol abuse, etc., but most do not have policies regarding the protection of information. Information protection programmes should be designed to recognise the indicators that industrial and technical espionage could be affecting a company.

There is no such thing as a coincidence when it gets to information leakage. No real statistics of reported incidents is available from any Government Department, nor does the South African Government assist or advise the corporate sector regarding the threats of illegal eavesdropping and industrial espionage.

As James Schweitzer puts it in ‘Protecting Business Information’:

“If one waits until a threat is manifest through a successful attack, then significant damage can be done before an effective countermeasure can be developed and deployed. Therefore countermeasures must be based on speculation. Effort may be expended in countering attacks that are never attempted. The need to speculate and to budget resources for countermeasures also implies a need to understand what it is that should be protected, and why; such understanding should drive the choice of a protection strategy and countermeasures. This thinking should be captured in security policies generated by management; poor security often reflects both weak policies and inadequate forethought.”

Eavesdropping Dates Back To 1370:

According to an article in The Week during June 2013 the term eavesdropping dates back to 1370 and was punished by the British courts of the time. In the late middle ages, English village courts tried to maintain equilibrium by imposing punishment for eavesdropping, scolding, and noctivagation (aimless night wandering). The term “eavesdropping” originally came from Anglo-Saxon laws against building too close to the border of your land, lest the rain running off your roof, the yfesdrype or “eaves drip,” mess up your neighbor’s property. “Eavesdropper” became the word for a person who stands within range of the eaves drip — too close — in order to listen in on what was going on inside the house.

Eavesdropping was best carried out under cover of darkness, hence the suspicion under which noctivagators, or “nightwalkers,” were held. Anyone found to be wandering round at night without a good reason was assumed to be eavesdropping.

The problem with eavesdropping wasn’t so much about notions of rights to privacy as about people who “perturbed the peace” by using the information they gained through eavesdropping to sow discord.

“for a good two hundred years, beginning in the 1370s, the medieval cocktail of eavesdropping and tale-telling comprised about 8 percent of all social crimes”

Marjorie McIntosh explains in her book Controlling Misbehaviour in England, 1370-1600, that it was “often said in local records that eavesdropping was damaging to local harmony, goodwill, and peaceful relations between neighbours”

To read the article please click here.