The Threat - Espionage

The U.S. State Department estimates that there are over 700,000 eavesdropping devices sold each year. The State Department also reports that over 6,500 incidents of industrial espionage occur in the United States each year with an average economic impact of $1.25 million. Additionally, the American Society for Industrial Security estimates that Economic and Industrial Espionage cost Fortune 1000 companies over $53 billion in 2001. And, an annual report to Congress in 2004 on Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage estimates that such activities cost anywhere from $100 to $250 billion annually.

Why is Espionage on the Rise?

Information is valuable to adversaries who will pay big money to gain a competitive edge.

Eavesdropping devices are readily available from many sources. A look in the back of most electronics magazines and this becomes all too evident.

Eavesdropping devices are becoming smaller and less expensive, making installation faster, easier and more difficult to detect.

Technological advancements are commonplace in electronic equipment, particularly convenience devices intended to save time and improve productivity. These unavoidable advancements expose communication links to interception, as well as provide new expedient methods of system attack.

The cold war is over, creating a glut in highly-skilled, government-trained "SPIES", eager to apply their trade skills.

Business competition is as fierce as ever, with an ever-increased number of competitors, compounded by a deteriorated sense of business ethics.

Eavesdropping laws are difficult to enforce, thereby lacking substantial deterrent value.

Foreign governments are assisting their own nations' commerce to engage in competitive intelligence against other nations' businesses.