- Industrial espionage causes billions in damage
- Offices and conference rooms scanned by Deutsche Telekom specialists
No chance for bugs: Deutsche Telekom is helping companies defend themselves against eavesdroppers and so protect sensitive information. Specialist technicians screen offices and conference rooms for eavesdropping technology and weak spots. They use state-of-the-art equipment to scan rooms where sensitive information is discussed. X-rays of harmless-looking coffee pots, telephones and PC mice are taken. They examine USB sticks, electrical sockets and wires, scan hollow spaces with telescopic and endoscopic cameras and measure radio frequencies to find hidden transmitters. They can even detect unsecured DECT equipment.
"Our focus with this service is on the spoken word," says Frank Eckhardt, Head of Wiretapping Protection. Industrial spies put SIM cards equipped with radio technology in the PC mice kept in offices and conference rooms, for example. The attackers' methods are becoming more and more sophisticated. Even from great distances they are able to use lasers, for example, to pick up acoustic vibrations through a window pane and listen in on conversations.
That's why wiretapping specialists recommend that customers always hold meetings on confidential topics behind closed external blinds and use rooms that face the inside courtyard. Another thing to remember: the less equipment the better. Potted plants, decorations and paneling offer ideal hiding places. And now with the Internet it is getting easier and easier to get hold of eavesdropping technology. For example, inexpensive telephone receivers from a variety of manufacturers that have been fitted with a radio bug. It takes only seconds to replace receivers like this.
Deutsch Telekom's wiretapping protection service is aimed at both DAX 30 companies and medium-sized enterprises that wish to protect confidential business information, for example when corporate acquisitions are being negotiated or bids for auctions are being prepared. "Of course we step in even after the damage has been done," explains Thomas Tschersich, Head of Group Security Services at Deutsche Telekom. "Like when companies suddenly notice that one of their competitors always just outbids them or simultaneously launches a copy of their latest product.
Once the scan has been completed the Deutsche Telekom experts provide customers with a report detailing the results. They also show companies how they can improve information and eavesdropping protection and draw up individual security concepts with them. What's more, Deutsche Telekom also offers training on how to handle top secret company information and develop an awareness of attack strategies, in addition to providing advice during construction projects and building work.
The Federal Ministry of the Interior estimates that economic and industrial espionage causes damage totaling over 50 billion euros per year in Germany alone. The actual damage caused could well be many times worse due to the high number of unreported cases. Only around one half (49 percent) of all companies in Germany has a system of emergency management in place to deal with digital economic espionage, sabotage and data theft. This was taken from a representative survey of 1074 companies conducted on behalf of the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM).
About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies with around 151 million mobile customers, 30 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of December 31, 2014). The Group provides fixed-network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers, and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries and has approximately 228,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of 62.7 billion euros in the 2014 financial year – more than 60 percent of it outside Germany.