Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

Sharp rise occurs in cyber espionage incidents

Espionage has been around for hundreds of years but the recent growth in these activities has raised alarms within the government, military and intelligence communities, as well as the private sector. Espionage in general, and cyber espionage specifically, has grown substantially and has its sights set on military technology, IT, clean energy and even medical technology.

In June 2012 a U.S. House of Representative's Homeland Security Committee hearing gave those in attendance a bleak glimpse of the cyber espionage problem within the United States. A report to Congress in October 2011 titled, "Foreign Spies Stealing U.S. Economic Secrets in Cyberspace," has raised the awareness of this issue and has many businesses taking action to mitigate this risk.

“We have seen an increased interest in our continuing education modules related to espionage and cyber espionage over the last year," said Brian Martin of Spy-Ops. To verify the increase, all one has to do is search Google News for "espionage" in the past year, and that will produce as many as 19 pages of news items on the topic.

Espionage and cyber espionage have the ability to compromise a business’s competitive advantage and steal product development secrets that result in the loss of years of effort and millions to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Businesses in the United States are not the only ones facing these attacks. In October, a Canadian firm specializing in power grids and an unnamed energy firm in Canada experienced a cyberattack in which a piece of malware was installed that was specifically designed to steal information. This has become such a pressing issue that management consulting firms have begun warning their clients about these risks. Let there be no doubt, we have entered a new age of espionage.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Nov 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

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