The words Trade Secrets in an opening black leather briefcase toSometimes business owners and leadership of businesses can’t believe that their business would be the target of any corporate espionage or illegal activity. But innovative small businesses have become not only a hotbed of technological advances, but the victim of crimes that devastate their enterprise.

For that reason, here at International Investigators, we want every business owner to be aware of the top 4 reasons to conduct Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM). TSCM is most commonly referred to as bug detection. But TSCM is also used to detect phone tapping devices, listening devices, electronic surveillance equipment and other sorts of spy equipment.

Knowing that TSCM is for spy detection, some business owners might immediately say they don’t need these services. But if any of these situations come up in your business, think twice, because it is better to be sure than sorry.

  1. If you are in negotiations for the sale of the company or merging with another company. Negotiations are based on what you know about the other side. You want to get the best financial solution for your organization – and so does the other side. Knowing that, you have to also know that not all other businesses operate ethically and will try to get confidential information about you or your business using listening devices that they can leverage into the best deal they can get.
  2. If you are involved in research and development. Cutting edge innovation is always a target for illegal gathering of information. It could be the recipe for the “secret sauce,” the patent on a new tool or the development of new software. Computer webcams have been used as spy equipment in labs and offices. It could mean financial ruin if those secrets are stolen and put out in the marketplace ahead of your product.
  3. If you are in a highly competitive industry and your client list is your “gold.” Salespeople may inadvertently open themselves up to covert surveillance and theft of client lists. Eavesdropping devices in sales offices can be cleverly concealed and are more common than you might expect.
  4. If your business is in a growth and expansion phase. When volume and revenues increase, employees are more apt to participate in theft in the workplace. It is easier for things to fall through the cracks when activity increases. Employees have equal access to illegal phone tapping or surveillance equipment that they have been known to use to get information to help them embezzle funds or devise strategies to steal equipment, information or materials.

If you have assets to protect in a business, you have reason to stay alert. Electronic bug detection, or a bug sweep, is the purpose of TSCM. Any electronic surveillance equipment can be found in TSCM sweeps. Some businesses conduct TSCM on a regular basis, others as suspicions arise. Contact International Investigators when you are concerned about corporate confidentiality and security. It might be the best call you can make to protect your assets.

-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators