University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies to host Economic and Industrial Espionage Conference

Professor Mark Button

Professor Mark Button

Economic and industrial espionage are significant issues for many organisations, with episodes causing billions of pounds of economic damage to countries around the world. Figures on the costs vary significantly, but it’s clear the losses are staggering and, in the US alone, have ranged from $2 billion to $400 billion per annum. To help combat this rarely considered global problem, the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies will host the Economic and Industrial Espionage Conference 2018 in partnership with Esoteric, a leading counter-espionage and electronic sweeping specialist.

Taking place on Monday 25 June, the event will bring together academics, practitioners and Government officials to expand academic and practitioner interest in this subject and bring inter-disciplinary perspectives to the problem.

The extent of the problem, however, is very difficult to gauge with many organisations reluctant to reveal cases or otherwise not knowing if and how they have experienced any losses. Academic research has also been somewhat limited with very few studies conducted on the subject. It’s evident, though, that many attacks are perpetrated by a mix of cyber espionage, corrupt insiders and failures in socio-technical systems.

Speakers from Government bodies including the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the UK National Authority for Counter Eavesdropping and the Intellectual Property Office will be in attendance, while a variety of corporate bodies are set to talk about their experiences in this area. The conference will also bring academics from Austria, Sweden, Germany and South Korea to the fore.

Emma Shaw MBA CSyP FSyl FCMI

Emma Shaw MBA CSyP FSyl FCMI

Professor Mark Button, director of the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University of Portsmouth, explained: “Industrial espionage is a huge problem in the global economy. This conference has been organised in order to focus greater attention on this issue, encourage more research and, most importantly, identify ways in which organisations can better protect themselves from this risk.”

Esoteric’s managing director Emma Shaw MBA CSyP FSyI FCMI added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the University of Portsmouth for this important conference. Given the continued threat of espionage activity in its many forms, this event represents an unmissable opportunity where educators, Government officials and industry practitioners will join forces to learn and share Best Practice.”

*For more information and to book your place at the conference visit

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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