How Bad is Industrial Espionage?

U.S. companies face a new geopolitical competition that threatens their businesses more than ever before.

Authoritarian governments, including some non-authoritarian, view privately owned companies within their jurisdictions as extensions of their governments and support and protect them as such to advance their national agendas. U.S. companies have to understand that they are competing with nation-states supporting their rivals, making it an uneven playing field.

Businesses and investors are unprepared for this environment, lacking the information and tools needed to protect themselves, and can’t rely on the U.S. government for help. The shift in focus from government to business in the intelligence realm has led to businesses becoming a primary target for authoritarian powers such as China to acquire valuable assets through spying.

  1. American companies are facing a new geopolitical competition driven by the idea that economic power equals national power.
  2. Authoritarian and non-authoritarian governments are supporting their businesses as if they are extensions of the government, building national champions to dominate industries.
  3. U.S. companies are competing with nation-states supporting their rivals and not supported by U.S. government spy agencies.
  4. Businesses and investors are unprepared for the new environment and can’t rely on U.S. government for help.
  5. The business and investing world is being transformed by nation-state competition and the weapon of choice is espionage.
  6. Spy focus has shifted from government to businesses, as companies possess valuable assets such as intellectual property and expert personnel.
  7. The spy business has become widespread in the years since 2016 but is still poorly understood in the business and investing world.
  8. Companies are overly focused on cybersecurity as a solution, ignoring other vectors for spying.
  9. Spying is about the pursuit of knowledge and people often provide the most insight.
  10. One malicious person on the inside of a company can undermine almost any security system.

Pesach “Pace” Lattin is the original hacker. At 10 years old he took his parents original 8088 XT computer and took it apart and was told that he had to put it together. It took him a few days to figure it out, but within a year he was building computers himself. He also spent much of his time selling computer game copies to his friends at school – making a nice little profit.

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