Some small business leaders toss and turn at night, worried about what the competition will bring to the table every year. They’re hellbent on beating their rivals by giving more of what customers want, producing better high-quality products and designing services that make sense now and into the future. At the same time, they’re trying to keep all their ideas and things their employees are working on, a secret. The value of keeping ideas secret is immeasurable because you’re not only protecting your creative thinkers and designers, but you’re keeping your competitors on their toes. Investing in cybersecurity is mandatory in this day and age, but so is designing a security policy that protects you from the enemies within your business.
Corporate espionage is real
When you think about spy films, Jason Bourne and James Bond pop into your mind. The most common form of espionage never gets enough time in the sun. most people are completely oblivious to it. Corporate espionage is extremely common and happens every single day. Whether it’s an employee leaving to join a competitor with sensitive information, a member of the media snooping around your building or perhaps even an employee that has been bribed by a rival to give them information, corporate espionage is devastating to the victim. This is why you should acknowledge that you shouldn’t divulge too much information to your employees, even your executive team. This is the first step to protecting your business as loose lips, sink ships.
An office security policy
Employees need to have it drilled in their mind that they risk the security of the business, by leaving their machines unattended. Even if an employee is going to the bathroom or simply fetching something from the printer which is 20-feet away, they must lock their computer. Smartphones have excellent cameras with quickly adjustable zoom. It would take mere seconds for a spy in your office to take a picture of a unique design or financial contract another employee was viewing on their screen. Using something like https://www.spectrumwise.com/solutions/network-security/ your employees will be alerted when something suspicious has happened to their computer and or network. The company offers non-stop protection, so no matter if it’s overtime or daylight working hours, your system is scanned regularly for malware, cybercriminal activity, and internal suspicious actions.
A system of reporting
One of your employees sees something strange. They witness an employee printing off some information and putting it into their satchel or bag. The piece of paper wasn’t put into a file or folder, just into someone’s personal belongings. What should they do to report it? Managers should be alerted immediately. The manager should then ask for a private word with said employee and ask them to show what they have done. If there is cause for alarm, the employee should be removed from the office and their machine needs to be locked. Disciplinary action is required, but as to what severity is down to the charge laid at them.
It’s a topic that’s rarely covered but corporate espionage is very real and common. There are big bucks to be made if a rival can flip one of your employees into spying for them, so make sure you have sensible security protocols in place.