What you should know

The current global business environment is increasingly competitive with many businesses clamouring for the same customers or to be the first to the market with a new or enhanced product. Although industrial espionage can be unlawful, the potential rewards for procuring information regarding strategic plans, customers, personnel, products or legal affairs can far outweigh the risks involved in espionage.

Covert electronic surveillance is a simple activity for the perpetrator. The equipment and knowledge required to carry out a technical surveillance attack are readily available, even to individuals.

Theft of information can be more damaging to an organisation than loss of property. Losing valuable research, marketing plans, mergers, acquisition or legal information to a competitor can mean the difference between success and failure of projects.

Unscrupulous competitors, information brokers, investigators, activists, journalists, and disgruntled employees all recognise the value of information. Regular government and business reporting confirm the magnitude of the problem and the scale of damage caused to people and organisations by the loss of information.