Key Questions About Foreign and Internal Espionage

Recently, TAL Global team member Lawrence D Dietz published an article on our website ( about the threat to our country of Chinese and internal espionage.

Because this is such an important issue – something we should all be concerned about – below are some of the key points made in the article:

What steps can we take to guard against internal espionage and threats to intellectual property?

The most important step an organization can take is identifying intellectual property. Different departments in an organization often have different definitions of what needs to be protected. Clear communication is required to identify intellectual property and all data that must be kept confidential.

What are some internal espionage factors and behavioral indicators we should be aware of?

We have learned that people will spy on their employers for several reasons. Among them are the following:

>Pressing financial needs.
>Employees who feel their employer has wronged them.
>The employee feels allegiance to another individual, group, or country.
>The employee sees themselves as James or Jane Bond and seek the thrill — and danger — of spying.
>Family problems, extramarital affairs, gambling, impending criminal charges — each can be a motivating factor in industrial espionage.

What organizational issues can result in threats to a company and intellectual property theft?

>Easy access to sensitive information.
>The individual finds acquiring sensitive information or assets that can offer a lucrative return is relatively easy.
>Proprietary information is not labeled and safeguarded, making it easy to spirit out of the organization.
>Few barriers. Lack of physical security and cybersecurity makes it easy to move proprietary or sensitive information or assets out of the organization’s facilities or control.
>Lack of awareness. Employees may not have appropriate training to secure confidential or sensitive information appropriately.

Are there “red flags” or employee behaviors that should arouse suspicion when it comes to internal espionage and protecting intellectual property?

>Employees taking sensitive or proprietary material home without need or authorization.
>Employees showing unusual curiosity or interest in sensitive matters outside their scope of employment.
>Staffers living beyond their apparent means of support.
>Employees with suspicious personal contacts such as with competitors or others who would benefit from knowing the organization’s secrets.


About Lawrence D. Dietz
Lawrence Dietz is part of the TAL Global team, an attorney, cybersecurity professional, and instructor for Monterey College of Law and American Military University. He is also retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve after a Distinguished military career, including service at the NATO Four Star level and U.S. Special Operations Command.

#security #cybersecurity #espionage #data

© TAL Global, 2019