By Santiago A. Cueto

Last week Apple released the Apple iPhone 5s.  The most innovative feature of the new phone was the device’s fingerprint scanner, which was widely heralded as being the world’s first “hack proof” access point.

It took only a few days, however, for a German hacking group to bypass the phone’s latest security feature and gain access to the device.

The incident is the latest example that no security barrier is too great for a determined corporate spy to breach.

As our foreign competitors step up their efforts to do whatever they can to steal our vital trade secrets, there’s never been a more critical time for American companies to implement effective industrial espionage countermeasures.

Safeguarding information is not only necessary to keep America competitive, it’s  also the law.

The Economic Espionage Act.

The U.S.  Economic Espionage Act (EEA) was enacted to safeguard our nation’s economic secrets.  The EEA requires that a trade secret owner take “reasonable measures” to keep information secret.

The term“’trade secret’ is broadly defined under the EEA and includes all forms and types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information, including patterns, plans, compilations, program devices, formulas, designs, prototypes, methods, techniques, processes, procedures, programs, or codes, whether tangible or intangible, and whether or how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically.”

To comply with the law’s “reasonable measures” requirement, U.S. companies are tasked with implementing a comprehensive security regime to safeguard trade secrets.

35  Industrial Espionage Countermeasures 

Below is a comprehensive list of  countermeasures that every American executive and in-house counsel should be familiar with. The list put together by the Dictionary of International Trade Handbook of the Global Trade Community, serves as an excellent overview of the many countermeasures that your company can implement.

As you’ll see, the list includes installing alarms, shredding documents, utilizing offsite storage facilities and implementing a wide range of cyber security measures.

Building Entry Points

1. Alarm: Install alarms with motion detectors in high-risk areas with dial-up alerts to security firm or police when alarm goes off

2. Control Points: Employ security personnel to control entry ways, check visitors in and out, or man doorways to sensitive areas; install surveillance cameras to monitor comings and goings.

3. Keys and Locks: Any sensitive area, especially research and development facilities, should have special keys. Doors in those areas and to stairwells should be locked at all times and connected to burglar and fire alarms. When an employee is terminated or leaves,