The world of espionage has changed drastically says Chris Kuehl, Armada Corporate Intelligence and BIIA’s contributing editor.

The targets are now commercial enterprises and the goal is to get access to trade secrets and other critical information. The attacks on the US from China have been almost entirely aimed at the business community and the secrets and techniques that make the US company unique.  The vulnerability of the commercial sector is frightening as most companies lack the ability to defend themselves.

Sometimes the attacks are sophisticated hacks that break through company firewalls but more often the attacks are far more low tech.  As people travel from place to place they bring their office with them on their laptops and I-pads.  The most common technique is like something out of a spy movie.  Somebody gets access to your hotel room and rather than steal your computer they just plug in a flash drive and steal its contents. That leaves them all the time in the world to figure out what you might have of value and you are none the wiser.

The threats are complex and getting more so. There is the matter of institutionalized corruption at the public and private level. There is the connection between illicit activity and banks willing to engage in money laundering. There are drug cartels that essentially control governments and the network of financial supporters that underwrite terrorist attacks. The list of threats is very long and very frightening. Protection is never complete and it is always expensive.

Courtesy Dr. Chris Kuehl, Armada Corporate Intelligence  –  He can be reached at: