Salvatore Imbrogno, Ph.D. The Ohio State University

Fullbright Scholar

Sergei Ohrimenco, Ph.D. Academy of Economic Studies

Chisinau, Moldova


Non-governmental organization in newly independent states ought to become extra sensitized to the fact that the information and technology on hand will be targeted by corporate spies both in and out of government.

Spies no longer work for governments in the east or west vent on learning about defense and military strategies but are now located in companies in the multi-national global economy. Most businesses seek out competitive intelligence in many different ways as in many different situations. Acquisition of information, like knowledge, is power of tremendous value. Ironically, much to the chagrin of those paying for information, much of it is available free and through legal means. For example, original research is presented at scientific conferences, in professional journals. Government stores some of the most advanced data bases in economics, technology and general census data. It is mostly available to the public and on Internet.

However, the search for information and technology crosses the line of legality when a firm engages someone for pay to steal confidential information generally through a rivals computer system. The American Society for Industrial Security report that the potential value of information that is stolen by "information brokers" is 300 billion dollars. It should be added parentically, that we are referring to "information" recorder in a computer, prepared, analyzed and evaluated by a corporation and not "knowledge or creative ideas" that might be a personal possession that are stolen. This later phenomena raises a number of different legal problems and is beyond the score of this paper.

This paper examines the problem of corporate security from within the following context: motivation, opportunity and the actual methods of acquisition:

  1. The driving force in corporate intelligence gathering is the ceaseless rise in commercial value of computer technology on one hand and its increasing rapid, storage and retrieval capability.
  2. There has been a rise in illegal methods of industrial spying partly due to the sophisticated methods that have been developed by spies and mostly due it the negligence of corporations.
  3. Strategies and tactics for cybersnooping have reach a level whereby electronic and human intelligence has been combined.

Maintaining and preserving corporate security is a formidable problem. This paper examines ways and means for corporations to defend themselves against the illegal acquisition and use of information and technology so costly, painfully and gathered by their staff.