Insider Threat

Oracle is suing SAP in federal court, alleging that its chief competitor in business software markets has been stealing corporate secrets. SAP is still reviewing the suit.

Concerns over sabotage or theft are on the rise, prompting companies of all sizes and including utilities to examine their policies and business processes. Because utilities are geographically dispersed and have thousands of employees, breakdowns in security will inevitably occur. The goal then is to mitigate that threat on the front end and if espionage has taken place, perpetrators should be tracked down and held responsible.

According to the FBI, corporate espionage costs U.S. companies between $24 billion and $100 billion annually. Interestingly, only about 20 percent of those losses are tied to cyber threats while the majority of them are associated with low-tech schemes such as stealing from trashcans.

It’s not just big business that is at risk. It can also be the smaller engineering, environmental and law firms. Most corporate crooks can’t break into computer systems. But, they can meander into open offices, taking phone numbers, strategy bulletins and computer info.

“A good spy always looks for the path of least resistance before trying anything fancy or high tech,” says Ira Winkler, an information-security-systems consultant, in a book called Corporate Espionage. “In fact, small businesses tend to be targets more often than large corporations, simply because they have more competitors.”

Beyond cyber threats, companies must keep classified information restricted while requiring employees to sign agreements prohibiting the unlawful use of company trade secrets. Those secrets may include anything that a company knows that is unknown in the marketplace, which gives it an uncommon competitive advantage.

Corporate espionage is a risk for all companies. Utilities are clearly aware of the problem. As a result, their information technology units are now working hand-in-hand with upper management to guard the integrity of the business lines. It’s a sensible solution to what could be a potentially devastating issue.

See full story by Ken Silverstein.

See the latest on Oracle’s SAP lawsuit at

This blog is run by the authors of FindProtected.
FindProtected is a security program that allows you to search for password protected files. With FindProtected, you can effectively identify protected files containing sensitive data on your network.

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