Economic and industrial espionage: characteristics, techniques and response

Mark Button, Susanne Knickmeier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The interest in protected information of others is probably as old as mankind itself. The danger of business secrets being spied on by competitors, hacker groups or foreign intelligence services or its exploitation by
third parties has the potential for significant economic consequences. With the increasing digitalisation of corporate and production processes, cyberattacks are becoming more and more relevant in the unauthorised outflow of know-how and pose particular challenges for law enforcement authorities in investigating and providing evidence, especially when the perpetrators act from abroad. The chapter explores economic and industrial espionage, uses real examples to illustrate it and examines the legal basis of the problem in several countries in the European Union and the UK. Furthermore, it explores the perpetrators and the techniques they use and considers the extent and cost of the problem.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Security Handbook
EditorsMartin Gill
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030917357
ISBN (Print)9783030917340
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2022


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