Business Espionage Countermeasures South Africa (BECSA) is a professional South African association for individuals with an interest in countering corporate espionage and who recognise the uniqueness of the task to safeguard information in the business environment. BECSA was founded during October 2011 and briefings were held on Thursday 20 September 2012 at the Sandton Sun and on 21 September 2012 at the Cape Sun Hotel.
The theme of both briefings was ‘Saving jobs: protecting our information, protecting our company, protecting our employees’
Steve Whitehead, BECSA chairman gave a broad overview of the vision, mission, objectives and BECSA’s value proposition for members. He explained that BECSA stands for the following:
1. The promotion of the importance of business espionage countermeasures in South Africa;
2. To increase the awareness, knowledge and appreciation of the methods and aims of this profession;
3. To encourage the use of business espionage countermeasures in South African business;
4. To provide leading edge programmes, publications and research;
5. To develop and implement education and development designs that fulfil the professional needs of members;
6. To establish interaction and communication among members with other industry groups and with all parties involved in the protection of information in the business environment; and
7. To acquire and disseminate among the members information regarding education, training and career opportunities.
BECSA has formed strategic alliances with the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre), Washington DC and the Espionage Research Institute International (ERII), Washington DC, USA. J.D. LeaSure, director of ERII gave an overview of ERII and its interest and research into technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) and cyber TSCM.
David G. Major, president of the CI Centre gave the keynote address. His presentation dealt with the ‘Importance and value of counterintelligence in the business world’. He spoke of today’s threats against business information and provided a worldwide espionage review focusing on corporate espionage. He highlighted the Chinese espionage threat to businesses and presented statistics of cases and individuals in the USA involved in economic espionage since 1995. There has been a sharp increase in cases and arrests since 2009. Economic espionage is a crime in the USA.
South Africa has no espionage or economic espionage laws. Major gave a few basic lessons that South Africa businesses can apply to safeguard their intellectual property and corporate jewels.
New members received their membership certificates. Both J.D. LeaSure and David G. Major received honorary membership of the association.
You can read more about BECSA by visiting www.becsa.co.za
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