Competitive Intelligence

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Counterintelligence Conference - South Africa

The FBI launched an advertising campaign during May 2012 to make the American public aware of corporate espionage in the business World.

Many organisations do not take the safeguarding of information seriously although information and intellectual property is now amongst some of the greatest corporate assets.

We believe that competitive intelligence professionals and practitioners can make a valauble contribution in this regard in their organisations.

CBIA is hosting South Africa's first counterintelligence conference during September 2012 at the Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge in the Pilanesberg Game Park.

Corporate globalisation, worldwide economic instability, governments on the verge of collapse, turmoil in the Middle East, insecurity over oil supplies and aggressive competitors all create a challenging threat environment for today’s business executive.

The need for corporations to establish and maintain robust security and counterintelligence capabilities is unmatched in history. The life blood of corporate growth and stability rests on intellectual property and trade secrets. Corporations invest millions to develop and own trade secrets and intellectual property. There is a huge payoff from corporate espionage and information theft.

 The main keynote speaker is David G. Major from the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre), Washington DC, USA. Major is a former FBI agent, a leading expert and teacher on counterintelligence and considered to be one of the World’s top counterintelligence experts. Major has a passion for helping business gaining a greater understanding of the importance of counterintelligence and information protection.

CBIA would like to invite you to join other professionals from around the World for a unique experience at a very special conference venue! For additional information and a brochure please click   

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Another keynote speaker is J. D. LeaSure, Director of the Espionage Research iInstitute International (ERII) from Washington DC, USA.

Hey Steve: Your conference addresses a key and persistently important topic and looks to be another excellent event. Please do share with the community here your observations of how things went, and whether you think this is a topic that might lend itself to more regular events such as the one you hosted at one of my favorite places around... Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge!

Craig - Thank you for your comments. We had a succesful conference with 64 people attending. Our main foreign keynote speaker was David G. Major, a retired senior FBI official, now the President of the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre) in Washington D.C. (See You should seriously consider him in the future to talk at one of your SCIP conferences. He is an excellent speaker and a walking encyclopedia on World events and the role that counterintelligence can play in the modern business environment.

Major was supported by three other American subject matter experts and eight South African speakers.

The conference was held over three days with everybody checking in on the Sunday afternoon at the game lodge. This was followed by a welcome reception and dinner. Some people arriving at the lodge on the Sunday afternoon were lucky to see a huge lion right at the entrance gate!

The conference programme started on the Monday morning and various speakers (including myself) explained to the attendees the concept of business counterintelligence and how it differs from traditional security and IT security practices and how business can benefit. Major gave a strategic overview of what is happening in the World, supporting it with case studies, facts and figures that are compiled by the CI Centre.

Others spoke about the scope of the threat, human vulnerabilities, the insider threat, motivational factors such as M.I.C.E., how to counter elicitation and social engineering attacks, the dark side of social media, the importance of having a robust technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) programme, vetting, testing the robustness of your own security programmes, countering competitive intelligence, etc.

There were also a few technical demonstrations highlighting telephone insecurities, the vulnerabilities of cellular telephones and other modern communication devices.

In between the presentations there were a number of networking opportunies, a game drive into the Pilanesberg natioanal park and on the final evening an African bush boma "braai" (barbeque) in the park.

We had attendees from five different countries and we have been requested to repeat the conference next year.

My recommendation is that businesses should seriously consider understanding how this discipline can help to safeguard their crown jewels. If you do not "pay now you will pay later" which could be far worse.

Please let me know if anybody requires additional information. I will post some of the photos in the next few days.

We have also formally launched BECSA, our new counterespionage assiciation during the conference. To read more about Business Espionage Countermeasures South Africa go to

Another viewpoint of the conference posted here



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