Is the US more spy-free than Europe?
In an article, it is claimed that there are roughly 130 intelligence officers from the SWR and the GRU performing economic espionage in Germany. Similarly an article in notes that “A network of Chinese students coordinated from Belgium is believed to be carrying out industrial espionage in several northern European countries.”
Putting aside articles about spies from countries other than Russia and China hitting Europe, just these two should make you ask several questions. One of these might be “How likely is it that Europe is under attack by spies, and the U.S. is not?” Another might be “If Russian or Chinese spies are in the U.S., could my company be a target?” A third might be “How well-prepared is my company to deal with Russian spies? Or any professional spy from any other country, for that matter?”
The answer to the first question is that if spies are committing economic espionage in Europe, it is a safe assumption that they are also doing so here, and that there are more of them here than there are in Germany.
The answer to the second question is that your company may be the target of an attack if you make a product that would be of value to a foreign government. You could be the target of an attack if you make dual-use products, or products of military value,. You could be the target of attack if you make products for which there is not the infrastructure for development by the foreign government. You could be the target of attack if you make products that are also made in the foreign company (or would like to make them), and where, by stealing from you, development costs could be avoided. In fact, you could be the target of an attack independent of what you make or do.
Finally, how well are you equipped to deal with this? Well, that depends. One way to tell is to call the person who runs your company’s OPSEC program and ask which foreign governments are on their threat list.
What? You say your company doesn’t have an OPSEC program? In that case it is a fair guess that you are not equipped to deal with spies. And that you aren’t equipped to deal with competitive intelligence. And that you aren’t equipped to deal with theft. In this case consider your contribution to the annual $300 billion cost of information loss a sort of voluntary tax – one that you are legally bound to report, according to the SEC.