With corporate espionage costing American companies an estimated $300 billion every year, it is truly alarming that most businesses have never done an audit of intellectual assets other than trade secrets. Information assets, intellectual property, and proprietary competitive advantages are the crown jewels of today’s organizations and represent the core of their value. With that being said, let’s review the main areas that should be the focus of any company’s counterespionage strategy, as defined by Dr. Peter Trim, senior lecturer in management at the University of London:
- Trade Secrets/Patents – These should be legally protected. Whether they’re formulas, practices, process designs or inventions, these are greatly valuable and should have more than appropriate safeguards.
- Executives/Board Members – Sensitive discussions/knowledge/meetings on strategy, strategic vision, expansion plans, mergers / acquisitions and partnerships.
- Human Resources/Staffing – Hiring processes, salary and compensation of key employees and performance evaluations.
- Research/Development – Sensitive information on new designs, inventions, pending patents, research and key individuals with valuable knowledge.
- Manufacturing – Companies’ supply chain partners and components, special manufacturing methodologies, finished goods, raw materials and key processes.
- Sales and Marketing – Sales strategies, pricing plans, marketing plans/budgets, bid information, customer lists and information on reseller networks.
- Company Operations – Costs, margins, budget data, IT infrastructure and business continuity plans.
Is your intellectual property as secure as it should be? Contact us for an assessment.