Economic and industrial espionage are significant problems to many organisations causing huge economic damage to some countries. Figures on the costs of it vary significantly and the quality of them are very hard to estimate, but it is clear the losses are staggering and in the US alone figures have ranged from $2 billion to $400 billion a year. The extent of the problem, however, is very difficult to gauge with many organisations reluctant to reveal cases or not knowing if and how they have experienced any loss. Academic research has also been limited with very few studies conducted on the subject. It is clear, however, that many attacks are perpetrated by a mix of cyber-espionage, corrupt insiders and failures in socio-technical systems. This conference sought to expand academic and practitioner interest in this subject and particularly bring inter-disciplinary perspectives to the problem.

The conference took place on 25 June 2018 in Portsmouth. The conference was one of the pre-conference events of ECIS 2018. The conference was planned in partnership with Esoteric Ltd, who also kindly sponsored it.


Speakers included practitioners and speakers from industry as well as the following academics:

  • Speakers from key UK government bodies such as the Centre for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure and the National Authority for Counter Eavesdropping.
  • Bill South and Lindsey Wright from William Hill on corporate espionage.
  • Economic and Industrial Espionage: Scale, Trends and Threat, Professor Mark Button, University of Portsmouth.
  • Aspects of Criminal Law regarding Economic and Industrial Espionage in Austria and Switzerland Similarities and Differences between an EU and a non-EU member state, Dr. Cathrine Konopatsch, LL,M. Institute for criminal law, white collar crime and international criminal law, University of Bern, Switzerland.
  • Obtaining justice? Outcomes of criminal proceedings in cases of economic and industrial espionage, Susanne Knickmeier, Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Germany.
  • Investigating Divine Manipulation of The Commercial Threads: A UK Economic & Industrial Espionage Research Project, Kevin Larkins MSc.
  • Snatched Secrets: Reporting trade secrets theft, Modelling a firm’s decision to report a theft of trade secrets, Dr. Nicola Searle and Dr. Atin Basuchoudhary, Goldsmiths, University of London.
  • Preventing Industrial Espionage - a case study of smuggling dual-use technology in Sweden, Peter Stiernstedt, Lecturer, University of West London and Per Gustafson, CSO, Lund University, Sweden.

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