Getting a handle on just how many firms are actively engaging in spying on their competitors is exceedingly difficult. By its nature, such activity remains secret.

However The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India has managed to convince 1,500 CEOs from large Indian companies to anonymously answer questions about their business practices.

The shocking results revealed that 60% of companies admit indulging in corporate espionage. The favoured methods of gathering data on their rivals are firstly to bug offices and secondly to plant low level staff with competitors to act as moles.

The survey was conducted in a number of cities and the firms came from a broad range of market sectors.

When it comes to keeping tabs on their own staff, a whopping of 79% of Indian bosses admit hiring detectives and surveillance agencies to spy on their employees. Particular areas of interest are lifestyles being led and the individual’s whereabouts. In addition the use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linked-in, to keep tabs on both staff and rivals is common practice.

The danger for companies in other countries is to dismiss these findings and corporate espionage in general as an ‘Indian problem’. The truth is that we live in a global economy and what happens in New Delhi and Mumbai is certainly happening in all other major cities. Planting moles is more expensive (and thus less likely to happen) in countries with high labour force costs, but bugs are cheap to obtain everywhere. QCC are consistently finding surveillance bugs in a wide range of business sectors in countries all around the world, so our experience tells us that the findings of the Indian Chambers of Commerce are by no means out of the ordinary.

To discuss the security of your business information and the steps to take to keep hostile eyes away from your private data, contact QCC Global today.