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FBI Teaching Industry to Protect Trade Secrets

11/28/2012 -North Carolina's Research Triangle is teaming up with federal partners to educate businesses on how to keep trade secrets safe. The program is called RED DART and the FBI is helping manage the program. The Research Triangle is an area of research and development that includes universities, major corporations, and other research centers.

According to the FBI:

Through briefings to cleared defense contractors and others in technology-rich North Carolina, RED DART makes executives and employees aware of how counterintelligence works and how they can spot suspicious activity both inside and outside their companies.

FBI Special Agent Lou Velasco, who manages the program out of the FBI's Charlotte Division, said that a large part of the program is creating awareness about the seriousness of the threat of trade secret theft.

RED DART's briefings include tips forhow employees can spot suspicious behavior, such as asking suspicious questions or frequent overseas travel.

According to the article, Griff Kundahl, executive director of the Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology, has worked closely with RED DART:

“Our core constituents are early-stage companies,” Kundahl said. “They developed a product that might treat cancer, for example. They are trying to raise money and get their product to market. They don’t have much time or the resources to consider security risks. If RED DART can get them to understand these risks, it helps everybody. When they realize that all their efforts could be for naught if their technology is stolen or compromised, it can be eye-opening for them.”

Some of the additional tips for protecting a business fromespionage:

-Identify trade secrets and implement a safeguard plan

-Make intellectual knowledge "need to know."

-Educate employees on tactics such as spearphishing.