Magazine article Security Management

Spy Sensitivity

Magazine article Security Management

Spy Sensitivity

Article excerpt

Economic espionage is now a well-known threat, but protecting businesses from it is a continuing problem. Canada is protecting itself with a technology transfer program that encourages a dialogue between the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) and private corporations.

The CSIS technology transfer program began in January 1992. Although it is difficult to measure the success of a proactive program such as this one, Chris MacMartin, national coordinator of the program, is satisfied. He evaluates the program's progress based on whether companies want to talk to CSIS and whether they have security concerns. According to MacMartin, most companies are interested in the liaison, and one-third of those he and his staff have spoken with have voiced legitimate security concerns.

CSIS hopes this program will sensitize businesses to the ever-changing threat. "In a nutshell ... the world has changed considerably. In recognition of this change we had to adapt ... and this is one area where a new approach and new focus was necessary," explains MacMartin.

The program, which is voluntary, allows businesses in industries that depend on high technology for their livelihood to open a dialogue with CSIS. CSIS, in turn, acts as a resource for their security needs but does not provide direct intelligence information on threats or specific countries' espionage activities. "We are not setting ourselves up as a private security consultant for Canadian industry," explains MacMartin. …

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