“This is why I loved technology: if you used it right, it could give you power and privacy.” – Cory Doctorow
Modern technology, such as smartphones and other mobile devices are incredibly powerful when in the right hands. On the contrary, they can be remarkably destructive when used for nefarious purposes. Therefore, under the current circumstances where it is possible for mobile phone users to potentially destroy a company by stealing its trade secrets and selling them to the competition, it makes sense to install https://www.mspy.com/android-spy.html on all employees’ cell phones.
Preventing the theft of trade secrets: A case study
Possibly one of the best ways to provide the backing for an answer to a question is to cite a case study. It provides both a practical example as well as solutions to the challenge of preventing the stated problem (in our case, the theft of state secrets via mobile technology) from occurring.
However, before we discuss our case study, let’s have a look at the official definition of trade secrets and why it is important to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
What is a trade secret?
In essence, a trade secret is confidential or valuable information, i.e. business strategies, patents, seasonal product lines, etc. which drive a business and set them apart from their competition, and it gives them an economic advantage. Ergo, it stands to reason that a company’s competition would love to get their hands on this information.
Trade Secret Theft: A case study
As mentioned above, it stands to reason that all companies need to make sure that their confidential data is secured and that it cannot be stolen by external hackers, etc.
However, what about the theft of this information by employees who have access to confidential information from inside the firewalls and the preventative measures to keep hackers out? As our case study shows, it does not take much for an employee to smuggle out his employer’s trade secrets.
Ergo, let’s assume that Employee 1 works for a large very successful high-fashion clothing retailer. They import most of their clothing from China. As they are a high-fashion retailer that targets the 16-25 age group, they need to have a marketing plan for about 18 months in advance. Brand marketers and merchandisers travel the world, visiting trade shows, visiting global retailers, as well as consulting with manufacturers to ensure that the company has the latest fashion listed on its eCommerce site, and displayed on its shop floors. There is no doubt that the competition would love to get their hands on this marketing plan.
A competitor approached Employee 1 and offered her a much higher paying job as well as a substantial bonus if she could bring them a copy of the latest 18-month marketing plan. She tried to smuggle the information out by taking photographs with her smartphone. Fortunately, the company had recently installed spyware apps on all employees’ mobile phones (with their permission). Because Employee 1 did not realise that the spyware app could allow her employer to monitor the multimedia that is on her phone, she was caught with the photographs of the company’s trade secrets.
This case study shows both the importance and the effectiveness of installing spyware apps on all employees’ mobile phones before allowing staff to bring their cell phones to work. Disaster would have struck the company had Employee 1 been able to smuggle the marketing plan out.