The Rise of Industrial Espionage and How to Prevent It

The Rise of Industrial Espionage and How to Prevent It

Young B. Choi (Regent University, USA) and Teresa Wenner (Regent University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/IJCRE.2020070102
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Abstract

Innovations in digital technology are progressing at an unprecedented rate, and countries and all types of actors are capitalizing on these advancements. Moreover, if first adopters can obtain the digital technology without spending the lengthy time and ample funds for research and development of it, but rather through industrial espionage, this gives countries the potential global advantage without the costs. Included are further details on the rise of industrial espionage, its key issues, and effects on the internet and network security, the applicable hacking attacks and countermeasures, and major predictions and future issues.
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Introduction

Innovations in digital technology are progressing at an unprecedented rate, and countries and all types of actors are capitalizing on these advancements (Andriole, 2015). Just as the 1st and 2nd industrial revolutions drastically changed the global landscape with steam and waterpower and electricity and assembly lines (Marr, 2018). The 3rd and current 4th industrial revolutions categorized, computerization and digitization, are “challenging the very ideas of what it means to be human” (Marr, 2018, para. 1). According to Professor Klaus Schwab, the 4th industrial revolution’s changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, “there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril” (Marr, 2018, para. 4). The potential peril is globally governments must plan and regulate the new innovations to ensure security (Marr, 2018). With the growth of cyberspace and e-commerce, conversely, there is the growth of industrial espionage. To “harness the greater potential typically, the first-adopters of technology are the ones with the financial means to secure it, and this technology catapults them to continued success” (Marr, 2018, para. 5). But, if first adopters can obtain the technology without spending the lengthy time and ample funds for research and development of the technology, i.e., through industrial espionage, this gives countries the potential global advantage without the costs. Included are further details on why the rise of industrial espionage, its key issues, and effects on Internet and network security, the applicable hacking attacks and countermeasures, and major predictions and future issues.

Why the Rise of Industrial Espionage?

There has never been a time when information stands so readily accessible throughout the world for so many to benefit from, but wrongdoing and corruption lurk just a click away. Industrial espionage can be defined as “the stealing of technological or commercial research data, blueprints, plans, etc., as by a person in the hire of a competing company” (Dictionary, 2012, para. 1). With the “growth of cyberspace and e-commerce and the forces of globalization,” the growth of crime has developed another cause, the economic spies searching the internet for company secrets, (Kizza, 2017, p. 110). “Companies around the world are ready to pay any amount for stolen industrial, commercial, and marketing secrets” (Kizza, 2017, p. 110). As with anything built for good with the intent to benefit society often, the opposite emerges, as well the intention to do harm, evil, or dishonest actions. Greed, power, and money can bring success to countries, especially since global economic competition has replaced the Cold War political competition for global dominance (NOAA, 2002). Industrial espionage is a quick and cost-saving method to acquire industrial information and intellectual property, which in turn builds economic wealth.

Even though the 3rd Industrial Revolution, computerization has connected the world with new technologies and offers enormous economic benefits, such as the transformation of the near-zero marginal cost phenomenon, as evidenced in the television, music, and film industries and academia (Marr, 2018). Primarily these information goods now exist at minimal costs, so the consumer purchases the product for free or very cheap. The Internet enterprises have gained profits from these new technologies, which creates lucrative opportunities for the economic spies to steal these secrets and cash in. In an era of immense technological innovation when many are and will benefit for the good from cyberspace and e-commerce, dishonesty and wickedness remain ever ready such as industrial espionage.

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