Corporate Espionage and the Finance Sector
The success and sustainability of businesses within the finance sector is often determined by the security of its information. The loss of commercially sensitive or confidential information as a result of corporate espionage, can result in irrevocable damage to an organisations reputation as well as having substantial regulatory and financial consequences.
Banks and other financial institutions remain the most targeted among hackers, according to a 2013 Verizon report. In 2014 a criminal gang used a “screen-grabbing” bug to steal millions from Santander bank. One of Britain’s biggest insolvency practitioners was investigated for corporate espionage after an employee seconded to Barclays allegedly stole information about one of the bank’s clients back in 2012. And security researchers found vulnerabilities in video conferencing systems at thousands of top level corporations, including Goldman Sachs’ boardroom.
The above corporate espionage examples demonstrate the attack methodologies that financial organisation are at risk of, including the insider threat, criminal attacks and technical eavesdropping. It is fundamental that the necessary precautions are taken to protect current and future sensitive and confidential conversations and information, at a time when information relating to an organisation’s activities and plans are likely to be extremely valuable to competitors and others connected or affected by the plans.
It’s crucial that CEOs and CSOs ensure that their security teams are taking appropriate action to mitigate against corporate espionage threats. In particular, a programme of counter surveillance solutions should be put in place at times of heightened organisational activity, such as financial result announcements, M & As, senior management reshuffles, board meetings and major press announcements.
Investment Bank Chooses Innovative Counter Surveillance Partner
The financial services industry has been at the forefront of many high-profile corporate espionage cases over recent years, and banks and other financial institutions remain the most targeted among hackers.
A leading international investment bank, with a presence in most major markets around the world, was reviewing the provision of its TSCM inspections which had long formed the basis of its counter-espionage strategy. The company invited TSCM suppliers to tender for the company’s future counter-surveillance requirements.
Esoteric were awarded the contract to support the organisation by providing an innovative and effective counter espionage strategy that included a range of solutions that would deliver sufficient flexibility to meet the ever-changing needs of the business. In addition to regular TSCM inspections of the most sensitive of areas, bespoke training was provided to the company’s security personnel to enabled them to carry out interim, short notice physical searches in key areas in support of the regular TSCM inspections. Value add, security briefings were provided to key personnel and an educational campaign was introduced to raise awareness of the threats to the wider staff population. Finally, Esoteric’s permanent countermeasures sensor E-Room, was installed within the organisations boardroom, where the most sensitive of conversations were deemed to take place, delivering 24/7 protection from eavesdropping.
This multi-dimensional strategic approach provided great protection to the organisation, whilst delivering improved efficiencies and a return on investment. The new in-house capability not only supported the organisations overall counter surveillance strategy but provided the organisation with greater confidence. The strategy was reviewed quarterly to ensure that it was fit for purpose and aligned to the organisations objectives at all times.