Industrial secrets are being stolen through cyber attacks in Canada every day. And in many instances, it is Canadians ripping one another off.
Daniel Tobok, chief executive officer at Cypfer, a Toronto-based cybersecurity consultancy, says Canadian companies are spending — in somecases — millions of dollars annually to steal their rivals’ intellectual property.
“We’ve been involved in cases where companies have gone very far to build infrastructure to spy on their [top] one or two competitors. In one particular case, which was settled out of court, they were spending $5 million a year on this intelligence, but it actually yielded them a ROI of about $100 million … using the [stolen] tactical data of pricing, strategy, marketing.”
This happens more than you think.This is not just in the movies, this is not just in the U.S. — in Canada this is happening on a daily basis. It’s a very lucrative business.”
Tobok says, “Literally 99% of these [cases] get settled out of court.” And that makes sense. Neither side wants it public — because either they’re acting as thieves or their defences have been revealed as weak. “People really want to keep it under wraps,” he says.”
In the old days, a competitor had to implant somebody and go through your garbage to find competitive information.Those days are gone. Everything is so much easier now to do through digital means … using what I would call ‘military-grade tools and software.'”
The objective here is financial gain from theft of intellectual property and competitive advantage. This is a growing problem in Canada. It’s usually going undetected — most companies don’t even know it’s happening.”