While US companies have spent much of the past decade on protecting financial, health, and other regulated data, some countries have been slowly penetrating networks and stealing corporate secrets from US companies. In an attempt to protect America’s trade secrets, the US Government has begun taken action. On April 15, 2011 the 112th session of US Congress held a hearing titled: “COMMUNIST CHINESE CYBER–ATTACKS, CYBER–ESPIONAGE AND THEFT OF AMERICAN TECHNOLOGY” in which they identified China specifically as one country that is focused on stealing US trade secrets.
In a recent article in FastCompany, CyberSecurity Czar, Counter Terrorism expert, and best-selling author Richard Clarke echoed the findings from Congress when he stated: “…every major company in the United States has already been penetrated by China.” Tasked with protecting America’s trade secrets, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has undertaken a new, and aggressive campaign to support the protection of intellectual property. According to the Wall Street Journal on Friday, May 18th, 2012 the FBI will unveil billboards in nine cities with the message: Protect America’s Trade Secrets. The billboards direct readers to the bureau’s website where warning signs are provided which can be used to identify suspicious activity in the cubicle or office next to your own.
It should be noted that while many experts agree that most corporate networks have already been accessed by people desiring to steal trade secrets network access alone does not and should not result in a compromise of data. Access controls coupled with strong encryption is the best solution to protect America’s Trade Secrets.