Public Release: 

Combating global multi-billion pound economic and industrial espionage

University of Portsmouth

Economic and industrial espionage are significant issues causing billions of pounds of economic damage to organisations around the world.

Figures on the costs of it vary significantly, but it is clear the losses are staggering and, in the US alone, figures have ranged from $2 billion to $400 billion a year.

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 (EIEC 2018) in partnership with Esoteric Ltd, a leading counter espionage and electronic sweeping company.

Taking place on 25 June, the conference 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 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.

Speakers from government bodies such as the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), UK National Authority Counter Eavesdropping (UK NACE) and Intellectual Property Office will be in attendance and there will be a variety of corporate bodies talking about their experience and how best to counter it. The conference will also bring academics from Austria, Sweden, Germany and South Korea.

Professor Mark Button, from the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, said: "Industrial espionage is a huge problem in the global economy. This conference has been organised to bring greater attention to this issue, to encourage greater research and most importantly identify ways for organisations to better protect themselves from this risk."

Esoteric's Managing Director, Emma Shaw, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Portsmouth for this conference. Given the continued threat of espionage activity in its many forms, this an unmissable opportunity where educators, government and industry will come together, learn and share best practice."

For more information and to book a place at the conference, visit


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