The contemporary business tie has a long and unexpected history behind it tracing its way back through Victorian fashion and Fifteenth Century Parisian fancies it seems as if the necktie originated originated as a cravat worn by Croatian Warriors so modern business men wear your armor boldly. Preventing corporate espionage is as important as your professionalism!
Corporate Espionage: Modern Updates to an Ancient Tactic"One good spy is worth ten thousand soldiers" - Sun Tzu The Art of War
Spying has been called the world's second oldest profession (you can guess the first...) Since the dawn of civilized man only time itself has proven to be more valuable commodity than information. In the cut-throat world of business Warfare this gathering of information because of a competitor comes in a variety of forms and take several names. On the "ethical" end of the spectrum, business professionals May refer to this collection of effort as:
These terms represent how a company legally acquires dirt on their rivals. However, what if a company wanted to know more about their competition than just a few clicks on Google can tell them? And in these particular instances, the information becomes exponentially more valuable - with sometimes millions, if not billions of dollars at stake. Think Pepsi going after Coke's secret recipe. Or Mrs. Fields hunting for the Keebler Elf Cottage. When we transition from dealing with balance sheets that contain a few zeros to ones with 7 or 8, the knowledge desired ceases to be called information and becomes known as intelligence worthy of corporate espionage.
According to the US intelligence Community (IC), the folks who played James Bond for a living, intelligence is defined as:
A body of evidence and the conclusions drawn therefrom that is acquired and furnished in response to the known or perceived requirements of consumers. It is often derived from information that is concealed or not intended to be available for use by the acquirer.
Differentiating Between Information and Business Intelligence
Remember, the major difference between information and intelligence is that intelligence is something you do not want your competition to know. It's that not yet patented schematic that you have stowed under your mattress or that business plan you made your partner swallow.
Now, acquiring got intelligence need not be illegal or unethical, but it does require a degree of vigilance and perception above and beyond the gathering of basic information. However, to gain access to this intelligence, many individuals, companies and governments do in fact engage in the more dubious legal side of the scale, practicing what is known as: economic espionage or industrial espionage. Corporate espionage although slightly variable in definition, it can be equally damaging to the person or organization targeted for attack.
Every level of your business can be suspectible to corporate espionage. By assessing and analyzing your business, creating policies that prevent disclosures, and train employees to be aware of risk you can minimize your exposure. Read more from our Art of Business White Paper.
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