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Unlocking the Dark Secrets of Corporate Theft: Safeguarding your trade secrets in a Digital Age: Oluwatosin O. Amadi



Unlocking the Dark Secrets of Corporate Theft: Safeguarding your trade secrets in a Digital Age.

In a world where data is the new gold, corporate secrets have never been more vulnerable. It is time we shine the light on the dark secrets that threaten businesses worldwide. Industrial Espionage is simply corporate theft.

It is also called corporate spying or corporate espionage.  Spying directed towards discovering the secrets of a rival manufacturer or other industrial company,[1] is considered Industrial Espionage by the Oxford Dictionary.

Industrial espionage describes a series of covert activities in the corporate world such as the theft of trade secrets by the removal, copying, or recording of confidential or valuable information in a company. The information obtained is meant for use by a competitor.[2] Basically, what constitutes any of these theft actions involve any of the actions above.

Wikipedia believes that Industrial espionage which can also be called economic espionage, corporate spying, or corporate espionage is a form of espionage conducted for commercial purposes instead of purely national security.

Unlocking the Dark Secrets of Corporate Theft: Safeguarding your trade secrets in a Digital Age.

[3] Even though some school of thoughts believe that there are two types of espionages, namely: Industrial Espionage and Economic Espionage. They believe that industrial espionage is controlled by and benefits private companies, economic espionage is governed by foreign states.

Here’s where things get tricky: The interests of governments and companies frequently overlap, making it hard to distinguish between these two types of espionage.[4]

As corporate information is a valuable resource, it is reasonable to anticipate that this resource may be of value to others such as competitors or those who wish to obtain price sensitive information to deal in the company’s shares. Anything at all that relates to or even slightly touches on price sensitivity of a company.

In a more emphatic way this is to say that as the treasure trove of corporate data glimmers with potential, it is only natural to expect that opportunistic eyes and those hungry for insider trading advantages, might want a slice of the national cake.

That is why every savvy organisation must be guarded, fortifying their defences against information leaks and thefts. These safeguarding measures are not just about robust building security, but security that need to be on the cutting edge of technology in such a fast-paced era like ours.

In a world, of corporate intrigue, top organizations often become the battle ground for espionage. For legal practitioners, it is imperative to be vigilant about these risks and guide clients towards prevention strategies. Explore remarkable cases on industrial espionage, involving giants like, Coca-Cola, Amazon, Tesla, and more.[5]

How to safeguard your business against Industrial Espionage.

  • Provide and empower staff with secure identity Access Passes that are usually tracked and traceable by organization software. These should include floors, doors, and all access areas. To add to this, deploy physical intrusion detection systems that help detect unauthorized access or entry into company facilities.
  • Blogging devices which are essential for securing sensitive areas or high-stake zones in an organization for protecting confidential information and curtailing eavesdropping.  Such devices include but are not limited to surveillance cameras, alarms, etc. while at it, also conduct regular security audits and assessments of these devices on company facilities.
  • Invest in outdated data and wastepaper disposal or management. Companies should rethink new approaches for this. They could either explore encouraging their staff to use confidential waste bins, or they could engage the services of professional companies which render such services to securely dispose of these documents. For Data, companies should also implement secure ways to dispose of unnecessary and outdated company data or hardware.
  • Include non-disclosure agreements, (NDA’s) or nom-compete clauses in contracts with employees, vendors, partners, contact staff/parties, etc. Conduct thorough background and periodic checks on vendors, partners, contact staff/parties. Also endeavour to train employees on importance of security and risks of espionage.
  • Cybersecurity measures are not left out at all, use robust firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption to protect digital assets. Require Two-factor Authentication (2FA) for access to critical systems and sensitive data to prevent unauthorized logins. But make sure to regularly update software and conduct vulnerability assessments to identify and address security weakness.
  • Encourage a culture of security awareness to help employees report and recognize suspicious activities. In addition, establish anonymous whistleblower programs to encourage employees to report suspected espionage and unethical behaviours.

Unmasking Industrial Espionage: Protecting Corporate Secrets in a Data-Driven World

Convincingly, this article has now unmasked industrial espionage, as a hidden threat to trade secrets. Albeit to be ahead, it is advisable to continuously monitor external threats and intelligence related to industrial espionage while adjusting security measures based on emerging threats. Stay updated on relevant laws and regulations related to data protection and intellectual property.

Ensure compliance with industry-specific standards. Remember that preventing industrial espionage in an ongoing effort that involves a combination of technical, organizational, and human efforts. It is essential to adapt your security measures to evolving threats and continually educate employees about the importance of vigilance and security best practices.

Although, inexhaustive, I believe this serves as a revealing and expansive introduction, providing essential highlights, and knowledge to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of a vast realm of this topic.



[1] Oxford Dictionary


[3] “Unusual suspects: Cyber-spying grows bigger and more boring”The Economist. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013.




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Unlocking the Dark Secrets of Corporate Theft: Safeguarding your trade secrets in a Digital Age.
Unlocking the Dark Secrets of Corporate Theft: Safeguarding your trade secrets in a Digital Age.

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